The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released their first ever star ratings for hospitals across the country.
Hospitals in Sacramento County were included in the measures, which looked at how facilities performed in 64 different areas, including patient experience, safety, and timely and effective care.
Ratings are on a scale of one to five, with one being the lowest. No Sacramento County hospital received five stars.
Sutter Medical Centers in Sacramento, Roseville and Davis all received four star ratings along with Kaiser Hospital in Roseville.
“We are very proud of the work that we do and that we’ve been doing for years to improve the quality and the safety of the care that our patients and families receive,” says Dr. Don Wreden, senior vice president of patient experience at Sutter Medical Center Sacramento.
Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, received the lowest rating in the county with one star.
In an email, Melissa Jue, communication specialists for Dignity Health, parent company of Mercy, says hospital officials do not believe the methodology used for the star rating system is an accurate representation of a hospital’s overall quality.
“We recommend patients review detailed safety information available on Hospital Compare in order to make informed decisions about their health care,” she says.
Hospitals are assessed based on data they submit for each measure. Some measures are based only on information from Medicare beneficiaries and some from a hospital’s general patient population.
Wreden says no rating system is perfect. He also says CMS’ system has been criticized by some for oversimplifying a complicated health care system.
“Health care is a really complex thing and there are many aspects of care that are affected by things that aren’t measured effectively by any measure that’s used. All of the metrics have their strengths and their weaknesses. The star rating is no different,” he says.
Star ratings will be updated quarterly and new measures will be added to Hospital Compare as they are reported.