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CMS Star-Rating Hospital System Draws Industry Ire, Concerns

Commentators from across a broad gamut of the American medical industry sometimes note the collective view of actors within that realm that their chosen field — medical care and delivery — is under siege.

Candidly, it is not hard to see why that opinion prevails.

For starters, and as we point out on a relevant website page at the New York law firm of Daniels, Porco & Lusardi, LLP, where our proven attorneys advocate with passion and knowledge on behalf of widely diverse industry participants, regulatory and compliance issues routinely challenge health care practitioners.

As we note, there is a “broad array of laws and regulations that apply specifically to practices, facilities, businesses and professionals in the health care field.”

Additionally, the industry faces continuing and evolving challenges from government officials and agencies on myriad fronts.

A system for rating hospitals is a case in point, with it being recently announced that the federal Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services will now make public a star-rating system that evaluates thousands of medical facilities across the country on a number of measures/metrics.

In a nutshell, the CMS product works like this: Five stars denotes a top-tier and exemplary facility of the highest order, with one star marking a hospital that the government believes has serious problems.

As a whole, the medical industry opposes the star system, with critics deriding it as being overly simplistic and, in some cases, materially misleading.

One industry executive notes, for example, that many nationally renowned teaching hospitals fare poorly in the new model, a result that she says is telling.

“These are hospitals that everyone in the know tries to get into,” she says. She voices a view that the evaluative methodology employed by the CMS is simply flawed, and that using it “is not in the patient’s interest.”

And she and other industry participants are hardly alone in that view. As noted in a national media piece discussing the CMS hospital rating system and criticisms it has engendered, “a majority of members of Congress [recently] echoed the industry’s concerns.”

It remains to be seen how the general public will react to the new measuring model, as well as what its implications might be for care delivery.

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