AAMC Applauds Bill Aimed at Correcting Ratings System That May Mislead Patients

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement following the introduction of the Hospital Quality Rating Transparency Act of 2016 by Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.):

“Patients need accurate and reliable information in order to make decisions about their health care. The current proposed methodology for the Hospital Compare Star Ratings does not provide this, but rather may mislead patients into making poor decisions about hospitals. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has not adequately responded to concerns from Congress and hospital stakeholders about the proposed ratings, and the AAMC applauds Representatives Renacci and Rice for introducing this important legislation that would increase transparency and provide time for CMS to improve the ratings.

The current methodology does not take into account important differences in the patient populations and the complexity of conditions that teaching hospitals treat. The ratings generated by this flawed system could possibly steer patients away from some of the best hospitals for their conditions.

The AAMC strongly supports providing patients with transparent and meaningful information about hospital quality. We urge Congress to pass this legislation to give stakeholders time to work with CMS to fix the methodology so that patients can make the best possible decisions about their health care.”

The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members are all 154 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 173,000 full-time faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.