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Research Letter
June 2016

Association Between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Star Rating and Patient Outcomes

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Health Policy and Medicine, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston,
  • 4Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(6):848-850. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.0784

In an effort to help patients choose hospitals based on quality, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently introduced a 5-star hospital rating system. This rating depends solely on patient experience based on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, and currently, it does not include measures of quality of care or patients’ health outcomes. Whether hospital stars are associated with better outcomes is unclear, and critics worry that the star rating system may mislead patients into thinking that 5-star hospitals are superior in quality.14 Therefore, we investigated whether hospitals with more stars have lower risk-adjusted 30-day mortality and readmissions than hospitals with less stars.

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