National Hospital Ratings Often Conflict

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Of the 844 hospitals rated as a higher performer by one rating system, only 10% were rated as a high performer by any other rating system.
Of the 844 hospitals rated as a higher performer by one rating system, only 10% were rated as a high performer by any other rating system.

HealthDay News -- National hospital rating systems are rarely in agreement, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

J. Matthew Austin, PhD, of Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues compared four national rating systems to better understand differences in hospital ratings. For each rating system, the authors designated high and low performers, and examined the overlap among rating systems.

The researchers found that no hospital was rated as a high performer by all four systems. 

Of the 844 hospitals rated as a higher performer by one rating system, only 10% were rated as a high performer by any other rating system. The lack of agreement was likely due to the fact that each system uses different rating methods, has a different focus, and emphasizes different measures of performance.

"Although the variety and differences among hospital rating systems may be beneficial to patients, providers, and purchasers, these stakeholders would benefit if rating organizations could agree on standards for transparently reporting key features of their ratings," the authors write.

Reference

1. Austin JM. Health Aff. 2015; 34(3):423-430. 

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