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How CMS Hospital Quality Star Ratings Work

Learn how the CMS Hospital Quality Star Rating system works and how language services managers can contribute to improved ratings.


Ways Language Services Managers Can Contribute to Improved Overall Ratings

resource cover imageThe Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their much-discussed Hospital Star Rating system in July of 2016. Designed to increase transparency and allow patients to make an informed decision about which hospital to utilize, the new program raised questions among hospital leadership: How are these star ratings determined? Do they represent a fair assessment of hospital performance? How can hospitals improve their ratings?

As the leading provider of language services in healthcare, CyraCom partners with hospitals nationwide. We’ve created this guide to help providers understand how CMS Star Ratings work – and how a quality language services program may impact key CMS metrics like mortality and safety, readmissions rates, and patient satisfaction, improving a hospital’s overall rating.

What are the CMS Star Ratings?

Created in partnerships with the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA), CMS star ratings combine a series of Hospital Compare core measures “to make it easier for consumers to make informed health care decisions and to support efforts to improve quality in U.S. hospitals.”

The original Hospital Compare site, released in 2005, featured 10 core processes of care measurement. Since then, the list has grown substantially. By 2016, Hospital Compare included over 100 measures of comparison, available online for potential patients to review. CMS then
sought to simplify the hospital comparison process by creating the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating. This new measure would incorporate various Hospital Compare scores to assign each hospital a single rating – from one to five stars.

Download this whitepaper to learn more about how the ratings are calculated, and how hospitals with a high percentage of non-English speaking patients can improve limited-English proficient (LEP) patient interactions, which may go a long way toward bettering CMS metrics.