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National Hospital Ratings Systems Share Few Common Scores and May Generate Confusion

A new study reported in this month’s Health Affairs journal indicates that hospital rating systems could create more confusion than clarity for consumers. The researchers looked at four well-known national hospital rating systems and compared the hospitals that were ranked high and low in each of these systems:

And here’s what they found:

  • No hospital was rated highly across all four systems.
  • Only 10 of 844 hospitals rated as a high performer in one system were also rated highly in any of the other systems.

Why the discrepancy? Each system has its own methodology that uses or stresses different performance measures.

Source: Austin JM and others. National hospital ratings systems share few common scores and may generate confusion instead of clarity. Health Affairs, vol. 34, March 2015, pages 423-430. http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/34/3/423.abstract

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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