The federal government released a grading system that allows consumers to compare hospital performance and quality on Wednesday. The one- to five star-rating system has been long-awaited as well as controversial. Not all hospitals excelled on the rating system, particularly hospitals in St. Louis that many would expect to do well. For instance, many hospital leaders of the academic institutions are frustrated at their low scores even though they provide highly specialized care. The popular St. Louis’ Barnes-Jewish Hospital only scored a two-star rating, with five stars being the highest score. St. Louis University Hospital received only one star.
A spokesperson with Barnes-Jewish Hospital said the system is highly suspect, and strongly disagree with the methodology that was used to compute the overall star rating. They claim the oversimplified rating will confuse consumers.
The system was developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to increase hospital transparency and help consumers make better decisions about their health care choices. However, many critics say it fails to help consumers pick the best hospital for their medical needs. For instance, the new rating system does not help patients identify the best cancer program in the area. The system uses a variety of data collected from hospitals such as quality measures, hospital-acquired infections and timeliness of care. According to CMS rating, the closest hospital to St. Louis to receive a perfect five stars in St. Joseph Hospital in Breese, Illinois. Many healthcare professionals and leaders in the St. Louis area are frustrated and demoralized by what they believe to be an unfair rating system.
The rising medical malpractice cases have prompted many consumers to want more transparency in the healthcare industry. If you have suffered at the hand a negligent doctor or medical facility in the St. Louis area, please contact a medical malpractice attorney at Meyerkord & Kurth, LLC.