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Hospital ratings system ready to launch

The hospital injury feels sick about a new hospital ratings system. But the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says it will soon release the ratings designed to help consumers better understand their health care choices.

Patient advocates have long argued that Americans can make better choices about health care with more information available to them about how hospitals and doctors fare in comparisons.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will release star ratings on the quality of 3.662 hospitals across the nation. About half of the facilities will be rated average, according to a recent news report. The soon-to-be-released ratings will also show that hospitals that serve poor areas will be likely to have below-average scores.

The ratings will be familiar ones, ranging from one star to five stars. They will be awarded based on 64 measurements already available to the public. The measures include mortality rates, readmissions, frequency of medical scans (example: MRIs), rates of infections and patient feedback.

The hospital industry apparently fears the ratings are too simple and that more nuance is required to give a fair assessment.

According to the news report, the ratings currently break down this way:

  • 5 stars: 102 hospitals
  • 4 stars: 934 hospitals
  • 3 stars: 1,770 hospitals
  • 2 stars: 723 hospitals
  • 1 star: 133 hospitals

The government does not have enough data to rate another 937 hospitals.

Hopefully, the ratings will help consumers better understand their health-care choices.

Those who have suffered medical malpractice because of hospital staff or doctor negligence can speak with Huntington attorneys experienced in protecting patients and their families.

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