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Feds’ Latest Plan to Measure Quality Is the Most Controversial

Over the past decade, the federal government has devised 115 different ways to measure medical quality in hospitals, from assessing wait times in emergency departments and noise levels outside hospital rooms to tracking blood clots in surgical patients. But the latest effort, to combine dozens of metrics into one patient-friendly quality indicator, has proven the most contentious. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently postponed its plan to release the new rating system, which would award one star to the worst-quality facilities and five stars to those with the best marks. The delay came after a majority of members of Congress signed a letter supporting the hospital industry’s concerns. Hospital leaders who previewed the preliminary rating system say the formula is skewed against institutions that treat the poorest or toughest patients, meaning those with complex illnesses. The number of stars would be based on 64 different measures, which CMS has posted on Medicare’s Hospital Compare website. The metrics on mortality, readmission, patient experience, and patient safety are the most influential, each representing 22 percent of a facility’s rating.

Source/more: Washington Post


David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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