The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ long-awaited hospital quality star ratings, designed to help patients navigate the complicated terrain of care quality, show that St. Luke’s Boise and St. Luke’s Meridian are the top hospitals in Idaho and the only Idaho hospitals to receive the full five stars.
The St. Luke’s locations were among 102 hospitals nationwide to receive the five-star rating when the Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings were released July 27.
The new rating system ranks the overall quality of approximately 4,000 hospitals in the United States based on as many as 64 quality measures that reflect common conditions treated within the hospital environment. Mortality, readmissions, patient experience and hospital-acquired infection rates are some of the measures used by CMS to determine the overall quality ratings for hospitals.
Hospitals were only assessed on the measures for which they submitted data, and some of the measures used to calculate the ratings were based only on data from Medicare beneficiaries.
The ratings range from one to five stars (from lowest to highest). CMS uses the star system as a quality indicator for nursing homes, Medicare plans and other facilities. Specialized care provided by many hospitals, such as specialized cancer care, is not reflected in the ratings, and many smaller hospitals, where there is not enough patient activity for data to be gathered and accurately reflected in ratings, also were not included for the star system. Many Idaho hospitals, including several St. Luke’s locations, were not included for those reasons.
Of the 42 Idaho hospitals included in the “Hospital Compare” function of the new hospital rating system, 11 earned four stars, including St. Luke’s Elmore. St. Luke’s Magic Valley earned three stars.
For more information and to see what CMS scored additional hospitals, see the searchable Medicare/Hospital Compare site.
Chereen Langrill was formerly a communications coordinator for St. Luke’s Health System.