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Specialty hospitals have an edge under CMS' star ratings, analysis shows

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides information about the quality of care at over 4,000 hospitals around the country and ranks them on an annual basis. Modern Healthcare writer Maria Castellucci reported on the disparity of CMS' methodology when comparing various types of hospitals with the same rating system.

Although major teaching hospitals and smaller hospitals offer different services to contrasting patient populations, CMS ranks the hospitals based on the same quality measures. According to a recent analysis, most specialty hospitals receive five-star ratings while a small number of major teaching hospitals receive the same recognition.

HSS chief value medical officer Catherine H. MacLean, MD, PhD, commented on CMS' rating system. "We are a five-star hospital, and we don't think it's a very good rating system. You are comparing apples to oranges," she said.

This article appeared in the March 19, 2018 print issue.