Each year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) update Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings on a five-star scale through Hospital Compare. Hospital Compare is a website for healthcare consumers that provides information on how well hospitals provide recommended care to their patients, allowing consumers to make more informed decisions about where to go for their healthcare needs.

Hospital-Exterior.jpgCMS measures the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey for more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide. Results are organized by several factors including timely and effective care, payment and value of care, general information, and a survey of patients’ experiences. While many of the criteria for a five-star rating fall on the clinical side, the overall experience of being in a hospital is greatly affected by the environment itself.
In 2019, 293 hospitals were recognized with five-star ratings from CMS. In turn, 282 hospitals received a one-star rating. These stars aren’t as trivial as, say, movie ratings. The Five-Star Quality Rating System aims to help consumers, their families and caregivers – along with potential employees or facility mangers – compare organizations more easily and identify problem areas about which consumers may want to ask questions.
The star rating should not be taken lightly. When researching their next healing environment, potential customers will look to these ratings to help them make an informed decision. Facilities teams should take their facility’s star rating to heart when the results are published annually, particularly if they fall in the lower end of ratings, and work towards enhancing their facility and patient care for next year’s five-star ratings. Facility managers should study the criteria of which their facility fell short; understanding the areas for improvement will instigate the facilities team to aim higher for next year.
We expect to see the number of hospitals achieving five-star ratings continue to climb in the years to come thanks to CMS’ recent “Patients Over Paperwork” initiative. Regulation and accreditation are crucial to ensuring healthcare providers and facilities uphold nationwide standards in patient care, but measuring data for federal regulation requires a great deal of physicians’ time – and is costly if there are penalties.
The Patients Over Paperwork initiative aims to remove “unnecessary, obsolete or excessively burdensome Medicare compliance requirements for healthcare facilities.” By reducing the time healthcare professionals have to spend on paperwork, they can reinvest themselves in what matters most: the patients.
Medxcel Vice President, Program Development, Support & FM Compliance Larry Lacombe recently shared insights on how healthcare facilities can take advantage of CMS’ reduced burdens, including making ambulatory care a priority, standardizing systems across multiple hospitals, and investing in projects that have been placed on the backburner.
As it is an honor to hold a five-star rating from CMS, Medxcel is proud of our hospitals that have achieved this exclusive recognition. Learn more about our services and how Medxcel enables greater patient safety, healing and satisfaction through safe, well-functioning and compliant facilities here.