CMS issues final report on its overall hospital star ratings methodology

From: Becker’s Infection Control & Clinical Quality

Written by Max Green

A new report issued by CMS outlines the methodology the organization uses to determine its overall star ratings for hospitals, which helps to improve the usability and interpretability of information made public on the hospital compare website.

“CMS developed this methodology with the input of a broad array of stakeholders to summarize results of all measures currently posted on Hospital Compare,” a post on the QualityNet portal reads. The Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings provide consumers with a simple overall rating generated by combining multiple dimensions of quality into a single summary score.”

CMS adds new measures to Dialysis Facility Compare star ratings

From: Nephrology News


CMS is creating a formalized review process for dialysis facility five star measures. Like those used for the ESRD QIP, these measures will be vetted by the renal community and the National Quality Forum before implementation.

“We want the measures to impact improvement for patients,” said Andress. The measures will be applied to the Dialysis Facility Compare before being considered for the star ratings. “Because a measure has been approved for the DFC doesn’t mean they will or should be included in the star rating,” he noted.

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The Hutchins Center Explains: How blockchain could change the financial system

From: Brookings

[Brookings] Editor’s note: If you want to know more about blockchain and disruptive financial services technologies after reading this Q&A, watch the Hutchins Center’s live discussion this Thursday at 1:15 p.m. EST. You can register here to receive a reminder about the event. It will be webcast live on the same page.

Bitcoin, the stateless virtual currency, often sounds like something between fad and fraud. But the technology undergirding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies—both the software protocols that make them work and a “distributed ledger” innovation known as the “blockchain”—may prove to be an enduring development that could significantly alter the way money changes hands around the world.

Trade Groups Cite Doubts About CMS’s Two Options for Adjusting Stars for SES (with Table: CAI and Indirect Standardization Differ In Approach Across Key Parameters)

From: Medicare Advantage News via AIS Health

By James Gutman, Managing Editor

Trade associations representing Medicare Advantage plans serving disadvantaged populations expressed numerous reservations about the two options CMS last month requested comments on for offering interim relief on star quality ratings for such plans (MAN 12/3/15, p. 1). In their comment letters filed by the Dec. 10 CMS deadline, the associations all thanked CMS for seeking ways to help these financially ailing plan sponsors in the short run, but said they had numerous questions remaining even after a Dec. 3 one-hour CMS conference call on the two options. And they generally voiced doubts about how effective either option would be in granting meaningful relief.