Rush Hospitals Receive Four Stars in New Federal Quality Rating

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital both received four stars in a new quality rating system for hospitals nationwide that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced today. CMS, as the centers are known, ranked Rush University Medical Center higher than any other academic medical center in the Chicago area.

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.

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 new rating further demonstrates that the quality of care Rush provides to our patients is among the best in the Chicago area and the nation. We are very pleased to know that objective data shows we’re taking such great care of our patients,” says Omar Lateef, DO, Rush University Medical Center’s chief medical officer.

“We have had a relentless focus on quality and safety by medical, nursing and administrative teams at Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital for years,” Patty Nedved, MSN, acting chief nursing officer and associate vice president for professional nursing practice at Rush. “CMS is increasingly the ultimate arbiter of quality in the U.S. and sets the standard for all hospitals, and the four star ratings place Rush among a small number of hospitals and a smaller number of academic medical centers.”

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.

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 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 to 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.

“Rush is consistently rated highly in quality, safety and patient satisfaction, which is a tribute to the tremendous focus of our incredible teams of physicians, nurses and staff on providing the very best care to all of our patients,” says Mike Dandorph, Rush University Medical Center president. “I imagine as the national measurement systems improve to better recognize the complex patient conditions managed by our world-class clinical teams and we continue on our journey to make the care we provide for our patients even better, Rush will continue to be recognized as a national leader in quality and patient safety.”

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