by Carmela Coyle
Here’s the issue: CMS’ star quality rankings for hospitals do not account for the unique way Maryland’s hospitals report data. Maryland’s hospitals operate under a more stringent quality program, but historically were not required to submit certain inpatient and outpatient data or present-on-admission codes to CMS until 2014. As a result, Maryland’s hospitals appear to lag on quality measures when in fact, the problem is that the playing field isn’t level. And with more national publications, like U.S. News & World Report, relying on CMS data for their own hospital rankings, the flawed rankings gain even greater exposure.