Renacci introduces bill to ensure transparency, accuracy of hospital rating system

Bipartisan legislation introduced on Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) would delay implementation of a new hospital rating system until its methodology is made clear and its accuracy is confirmed.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) developed a plan to consolidate quality measure data into a five-star rating system for hospitals so that healthcare consumers can use it to compare quality.

Renacci and U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), both members of the Bipartisan Working Group, introduced the Hospital Quality Rating Transparency Act, H.R. 5927, to ensure that the system isn’t implemented until the rating system is made transparent and accuracy can be confirmed.

“We must ensure Americans are receiving the best information while deciding where and who is best to care for their health,” Renacci said. “This commonsense, bipartisan piece of legislation verifies that the hospital rating system is not misleading to consumers because of flaws in the measures that underpin the ratings. It is the job of the CMS to act in the best interest of Americans, and in this case be as transparent as possible.”

Renacci previously joined 224 members of Congress in signing a letter calling on CMS to delay implementation of the star rating system until its methodology could be clarified.

“I agree that patients should have accurate and complete information as they decide where to seek treatment, but we need to make sure that information accurately reflects the quality of care provided by a given hospital and takes all relevant factors into account,” Rice said. “That’s why we’re working to pass this bipartisan bill that will delay the implementation of the new rating system for one year, require CMS to make their methodology and data publicly available so that it can be independently certified, and establish a public comment period so that we have time to gather input from patients, health care providers, hospital officials and everyone who would be affected by the new system.”

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