On July 27, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its Overall Rating, which is a summary of quality measures on the CMS Hospital Compare website that rates hospitals from one to five stars. The score represents overall hospital performance on 64 measures spanning common conditions that hospitals treat.
Griffin Hospital currently has a two star rating. However, the American Hospital Association has very publicly questioned the methodology and weighting applied to the data used to compile the ratings, and an independent report by Georgetown University has raised similar concerns. During the pre-publication comment period for the star ratings, several reviewers expressed concerns and recommendations to CMS to improve the system. In addition, 225 members of Congress signed a letter expressing their concerns with the CMS star ratings signed a letter expressing their concerns with the CMS star ratings,
In Griffin Hospital’s case, the performance on one of the more heavily weighted measures, mortality within 30 days of an acute care hospitalization for heart failure patients, was worse than the national rate. This below average performance is attributable to the high number of heart failure patients being admitted to the hospital but shortly thereafter being discharged from the hospital and being admitted to Griffin’s inpatient Hospice service, home Hospice, or another Hospice service within five days. This occurred during the three-year reporting period used for the star rating. Currently, Griffin Hospital admits these patients directly to the Hospice service without an initial hospitalization.
As one of the Connecticut pioneers in developing inpatient Hospice services on-site, Griffin Hospital has a long-standing commitment to palliative care and providing the most appropriate level of care with the utmost compassion. While this patient-centered approach results in a more dignified and comfortable experience for patients and families, it also affected the mortality rate statistic for heart failure, which in turn impacted Griffin’s overall rating during the CMS star rating reporting period.
Despite these facts, Griffin remains committed to continuously improving its performance in all measures of care, including the overall rating reported on the Hospital Compare website, which is just one measure for consumers to use in making empowered healthcare decisions.