Summary: We still haven’t figured out quality metrics in health care. So we’re always interested to see when someone takes a different approach to the topic — in this case, ranking the rankings, in a recent article in Health Affairs and this follow-up.


“In our recent paper published in Health Affairs comparing four national hospital ratings, we and our co-authors argued that the lack of agreement among the ratings requires at least two remedies — increasing rating transparency and rethinking the measures comprising hospital ratings,” Matt Austin and Timothy Vogus write in “What Does Maximum Transparency Look Like When It Comes To Hospital Ratings?”

“First, we argued in our paper that ‘maximum transparency regarding each rating’s measures and methods is needed to help stakeholders understand any individual rating and to compare across ratings.’

“Since the article’s release, this recommendation has generated conversation from Health Affairs readers and created confusion to the hospital rating organizations regarding what we meant by maximum transparency. For example, at least one rating organization expressed that they didn’t understand that maximum transparency would include sharing their regression coefficients used in their risk-adjustment models.

“To help address these emerging concerns, and to hopefully guide effective use of hospital ratings, we elaborate upon what we see as ‘maximum transparency.’ ” The full article is here, and here’s a handy chart.

Hospital quality ratings



Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...