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1-star hospital number falls in latest CMS rankings, 5-stars slide; See the data

According to the data, 242 U.S. hospitals earned only one star in latest compilation, up from 102 one-star hospitals listed in July.

Henry Powderly, Editor-in-Chief

The number of lowest and highest-ranked hospitals for patient experience slid in the latest Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare list, according to new data.

According to the data, 76 U.S. hospitals earned only one star in latest compilation, down from 102 one-star hospitals in July.

CMS updated its rankings on Oct. 8, which are based on patient responses to Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surveys between Jan.1 and Dec. 31 of 2014. Patients receive these at the end of their care and are asked to answer questions on the quality of the experience they received from each hospital. Poor scores can result lower reimbursement rates from Medicare under the government's value-based purchasing program.

[Also: Number of 5-star hospitals doubles in updated CMS ratings; See the data]

CMS updates its database quarterly.

In its latest report, 207 hospitals earned five stars, a drop from the 548 that earned high marks in July. The latest tally is also lower than the 251 that earned five stars when the rankings were first announced in April.

CMS said 1,087 hospitals earned four stars, 1,531 earned three stars and 638 earned two stars in latest rankings.

While government tracking, and the incentives or penalties that follow, are designed to drive hospitals to make improvements in care and patient experience, a recent report by the Government Accountability Office suggests that the program is having little effect on hospital quality. However, the GAO added that the long-term effect of financial penalties could drive the kind of improvement CMS is looking for.

[Also: Quality incentives, penalties not improving US hospitals, Government Accountability Office says]

According to the GAO, in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 74 percent of hospitals earned a median bonus of $39,000 and a median penalty of $56,000. The remaining 26 percent were either the highest- or lowest-ranked hospitals and earned much higher rewards or penalties.

Here's the full list of the latest CMS rankings. It is searchable by facility name, address and state:

Hospital Address City State Star Rating Number of surveys Percent completed Measure start date Measure end date
Hospital Address City State Star Rating Number of surveys Percent completed Measure start date Measure end date

CORRECTION, 10/26/15: A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed the Overall Hospital Rating answers on the HCAHPS surveys to the Summary Star Rating. The database has been updated to reflect the actual Summary Star Ratings in the latest CMS data and the story has been updated to reflect the actual rankings numbers. We regret the error.

Twitter: @HenryPowderly

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