Brownwood Regional Medical Center was one 41 hospitals in the state to receive two stars in a group recently rated by a federal agency that helps patients compare the quality of care rendered by health care providers in their area.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rated a total of 276 hospitals in Texas and the list was released in July. Only 13 hospitals received five stars, the highest score. A total of 90 received four stars and 132 received three stars. There were no one-star rankings.
The focus of the scores is to enhance transparency and assist patients make comparisons they can use to choose where they seek care.
BRMC, contacted shortly after the ratings were revealed, released the following statement to the Bulletin on Friday: “The physicians, nurses and other caregivers at Brownwood Medical Center are committed to providing every patient with quality medical care and compassionate service,” it reads. “To receive a two star rating is disappointing because it does not convey a complete picture of the care our hospital provides. The new CMS star ratings are just one of many hospital quality sites now available to the public, each using different methodology. We encourage patients to speak with their physician to determine the best place for them to receive care.”
Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, attested to the ratings not painting a completely accurate picture of the hospitals and the care they provide.
In a press release, Pollack said the star ratings program is “confusing” for patients trying to choose the best hospital to meet their care needs: “Health care consumers making critical decisions about their care cannot be expected to rely on a rating system that raises far more questions than answers,” he said. “And it adds yet another to a long list of conflicting rating and ranking systems.”
The CMS rates facilities on several factors, including like patient satisfaction, timeliness of care, complication and infection rates, and the likelihood a patient who received care will have to return to the hospital within 30 days of being sent home.
In an article published by the Dallas Morning News last month, Michael Malaise, senior vice president of communications and external relations at Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas, which also received a two-star score, said the following to the newspaper: “The bottom line is that Parkland cares for patients that other systems are unable or unwilling to take care of. That’s something our system should be praised, not penalized, for.”