Under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), Medicare rates hospitals under a five-star system. The purpose of the system is to compare hospitals to create transparency. One of the consistent problems effecting healthcare is that people are unable to assess the quality of the care they receive, they can’t compare hospitals, and they can’t exercise their judgment in choosing where to receive medical care. This post will review the rating system.
Most hospitals receive middling ratings, which reflect a mixture of good service and preventable errors. The rating system is based on eleven different facets of patient care, from medical staff communication to how well patients believe their pain was addressed.
Hospitals that receive low marks do not necessarily mean that they provide abysmal care. Low marks only indicate that the hospital scored poorly on the listed criterion, as compared to other hospitals in their area.
The hospital rating system remains controversial because it is limited in its scope of review. Moreover, it penalizes hospitals that operate in low-income areas. Those hospitals operate with reduced budgets and under more difficult situations, unlike specialty hospitals, which focus their efforts on a few procedures. In fact, many of the top hospitals are smaller and more specialized hospitals.
Unfortunately, not too many hospitals receive five-star ratings. If you or a loved one was injured in a hospital that received a poor rating then you may want to speak to a lawyer. You could have an actionable claim for injury and compensation. Poor ratings indicate that the hospital makes frequent mistakes therefore your injury could be the result of preventable mistake or negligence. An attorney can help you investigate and determine if you can recover compensation.