August 15, 2019

Experts give hospital rating systems low grades

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor’s Note

In this study, experts graded the four major publicly reported hospital quality rating systems on their strengths and weaknesses−most received a C and the highest was a B.

The grades were:

  • US News & World Report−B
  • Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Star Ratings−C
  • Leapfrog−C-
  • Healthgrades−D+.

The researchers found that each rating system had weaknesses that led to potential misclassification of hospital performance, ranging from flawed measures and methodological decisions to the use of proprietary data that were not validated.

Many of the current hospital quality rating systems should be used cautiously because they often misclassify hospital performance and mislead the public, the researchers say.

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