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CMS posts Star Ratings and three times as many hospitals earned 5 stars

After months of delay, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed its Quality Star Rating program.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released its hospital star ratings that show at least a three-fold increase in the number of providers earning 5 stars this year over last.

Of 4,805 hospitals, 337 received 5 stars; another 1,154 received 4 stars; 1,186 got 3 stars; 752 received 2 stars; and 259 received 1 star.

Last year, an estimated 102 hospitals received 5 stars. Another 934 hospitals scored 4 stars, 1,770 earned 3 stars, 723 had 2 stars and 133, 1 star.

[Also: See how CMS 5-star hospitals stack up in other ratings programs in 2016]

The results come after months of delay. CMS recently updated the methodology used in its Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating program. It is using a new distribution method called "k-means clustering" which is aimed at more accurately assigning hospitals to one of five categories in the 5-star ratings.

CMS' new statistical model provides more stability and accuracy, leading to hospitals being more evenly distributed on each end of the rating scale, from the low at 1 to the high at 5, CMS said.

CMS also removed winsorization, a method of trimming outlier hospital summary scores to promote a broader distribution of star ratings. CMS said the k-means clustering model made winsorization no longer necessary. 

Patients can view the star rating scores for their local providers through the Hospital Compare website.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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