Among nine highest ranked hospitals in Chicago area
Rush Oak Park Hospital and Rush University Medical Center both received four stars in a new quality rating system for hospitals nationwide that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced on July 27.
Only nine hospitals within 25 miles of Chicago received four stars, and no hospital in that area received five, the highest possible rating. The most common rating nationwide is three stars. CMS, as the centers are known, ranked Rush University Medical Center higher than any other academic medical center in the Chicago area.
The new Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating awards one to five stars based on 64 of the more than 100 quality measures that CMS collects from hospitals and publicly reports on its Hospital Compare website. The Hospital Compare website is available to help consumers make decisions about where to seek medical treatment and other kinds of care.
The quality measures data evaluate each hospital’s performance in areas such as treating common conditions like heart attack and pneumonia, preventing hospital-acquired infections, mortality rates and hospital readmissions. The overall star rating shows how well each hospital performed, on average, compared to other hospitals in the United States, and is intended to simplify the website’s multiple data points available for patients.
“… the best care possible”
“To be among the small number of four-star hospitals that exceed the strict standards of quality the CMS measures is a reflection of our commitment to providing the best care possible for our patients,” said Bruce Elegant, president and chief executive officer of Rush Oak Park Hospital. “Coming on the heels of our Magnet designation for nursing excellence, this rating is also an outstanding accomplishment.”
Michael Silver, MD, Rush Oak Park Hospital’s vice president of medical affairs, adds that the four-star quality rating is also a distinctive indication of the high caliber of medical staff and caregivers the hospital provides. “It's nice to receive recognition of our staff's total commitment to delivering exceptional care. The quality of care provided by ROPH surpasses any of our surrounding hospitals.”
New ratings make it easy to compare hospital quality
CMS also awards quarterly star ratings based on patient satisfaction data, which is included in the new rating as well. Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital have received four stars in each of the ratings based on patient satisfaction data, which CMS debuted in April of 2015.
CMS said in a statement announcing the new rating system “we are updating the star ratings on the Hospital Compare website to help millions of patients and their families learn about the quality of hospitals, compare facilities in their area side-by-side, and ask important questions about care quality when visiting a hospital or other health care provider.”
“In addition, researchers found that hospitals with more stars on the Hospital Compare website have tended to have lower death and readmission rates,” says Kate Goodrich, MD, MHS, director of CMS’s Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, in a post published today on The CMS Blog.
“Rush ratings will only get better”
CMS only assessed hospitals on the measures for which they submit data, and some of the data applies only to beneficiaries of Medicare, the federal health insurance program for adults age 65 and older and younger people with disabilities, end stage kidney disease and ALS. The measures of patient experience, safety, and timely and effective care are based on data from any adult patients treated at the hospitals, according to CMS.
The ratings do not include specialized and advanced edge care that certain hospitals provide, such as specialized cancer care. About 20 percent of hospitals on the Hospital Compare website did not receive overall star ratings because CMS does not have sufficient data about them top calculate a rating.
There are some concerns in the hospital community that the measures do not reflect advanced treatments they provide. CMS says it will fine-tune its quarterly ratings based on hospital feedback.
“I imagine Rush’s ratings will only get better as the measurement systems improve to better recognize severity of patients condition, and as we continue on our journey to make the care we provide for our patients even better,” says Mike Dandorph, Rush University Medical Center president and chief operating officer.