CMS released “Hospital Compare,” a consumer evaluation tool that assesses hospitals based on a 5-star rating scale where 5 is the best.  The number of stars earned by each hospital summarizes that hospital’s performance on up to 64 measures of quality.  The CMS website allows users to locate information about individual hospitals as well as select hospitals for comparison of measures. (For more on Louisiana hospital, see below.)  Release of the data was initially set for April, but delayed after strong pushback from industry representatives and many in Congress who also opposed release.  Nationally, 20.4% of the hospitals were not rated because insufficient available data on which to measure results. Lack of rating, however, does not signal poor quality of care or the failure of a hospital to report data, according to CMS.  Factors associated with no rating include hospitals that are new, small or have an insufficient number of cases reported, CMS stated. Only 2.2% of hospitals nationally were rated 5 star while 2.9% were rated 1 star.  On average, CMS said that safety net hospitals received a mean of 2.88 stars, slightly lower than the average 3.09 stars received by non-safety net hospitals.

Two of the 117 Louisiana hospitals received 5 stars each and two hospitals received 1 star each. Central Louisiana Surgical Hospital in Alexandria and Specialists Hospital in Shreveport each received five out of 5 stars.  Lane Regional Medical Center in Zachary and University Health Shreveport each received one out of 5 stars.  In Louisiana, there were 33 (28.2%) unrated hospitals, higher than the national 20.4% of unrated hospitals. The 117 Louisiana hospitals in the CMS list

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