More on Quality and Safety

251 hospitals earn 5 stars, 101 earn 1 star, in new CMS Hospital Compare rankings (full list)

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services assigns ratings to more than 3,500 hospitals.

Photo by <a href="">Arkansas Surgical Hospital</a>Photo by Arkansas Surgical Hospital

There are 251 hospitals with a five-star patient experience rating, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said on Thursday as it unveiled a new ranking criteria to its online Hospital Compare service.

CMS said it used answers to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey recorded by more than 3,500 hospitals to assign the rankings, which it said will give consumers a clearer picture of quality when it comes to choosing a healthcare provider. Patients are asked to complete a HCAHPS after a hospital stay.

See full list of ranked hospitals below

The vast majority of hospitals earned two, three or four stars, and only 101 hospitals earned one star. CMS said a one-star review does not mean patients should expect bad care there.

According to an analysis by Kaiser Health News, the highest rankings seemed to go to small, obscure hospitals that specialize in specific surgical procedures, while many of the most well-regarded facilities ended up in the middle.

CMS used patient input from HCAHPS  surveys, which look at things such as how well nurses and doctors communicate with patients, how responsive hospital staff are to patient needs, how clean and quiet hospital environments are and how well patients are prepared for post-hospital settings. High scores also help hospitals show better value of care, which is directly tied to reimbursements in the shift to value-based payments.

[Also: Healthgrades announced patient experience, patient safety awards]

The new five-star system thrusts CMS into the realm of consumer hospital rankings, a crowded and sometimes confusing field since methodology is often different across these databases. Healthgrades, Truven, Leapfrog and U.S. News tend to lead when it comes to hospital rankings, though experts have recently noted how “top hospitals” rarely make it on multiple lists. In fact, a recent analysis by Healthcare Finance of recent Healthgrades and Truven lists found only St. David’s Medical Center in Austin Texas made all four of the recent lists put out by those agencies.

St. David’s, however, earned four stars in the CMS rankings.

[Also: Only one hospital on all lists]

The American Hospital Association on Thursday cautioned consumers against taking these ratings too much to heart.

“There’s a risk of oversimplifying the complexity of quality care or misinterpreting what is important to a particular patient, especially since patients seek care for many different reasons,” the organization said in a statement. "Hospital rating systems also need to keep up with the rapidly evolving nature of the quality measures underlying them. Patients should use all available resources at their disposal -- including their health care providers -- to identify which health care decisions are right for them." 

Here is the full list the 3,553 hospitals that earned a star ranking by CMS, sorted by star rankings. To find a specific facility, you can search by name, state name or county name.

Hospital City State Rating Resp. rate (%) County Street Phone Number survey responses
Hospital City State Rating Resp. rate (%) County Street Phone Number survey responses

Twitter: @HenryPowderly