The stars are aligning.

July 7, 2017. Your Uber driver isn’t the only one working for stars these days. Medicare now gives star ratings for hospitals based on quality measures. In fact, there is a Physician Compare website which is already live. But are these ratings reliable indicators of patient outcomes? A recent pub in Cancer used actual Medicare outcomes data from cancer patients undergoing major surgeries to compare the commonly-used metric of surgical volume versus the shinier star ratings in terms of their associations with patient outcomes. Turns out the star ratings did just as good, if not better, than surgical volume at predicting short-term surgery metrics. The take home? Medicare star ratings do give patients good information to determine the best places to have their cancer surgeries. Time to start counting your lucky stars.


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