No hospital in Middle Tennessee is impressing patients enough to earn a five-star rating from the government, new survey data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows.
The highest ratings this year go to Saint Thomas — both West and Midtown. They earned four stars, with better-than-average safety and a lower-than-average number of patients who have to be readmitted.
Williamson Medical Center also scored well, as did TriStar's hospitals in Dickson and Gallatin. But TriStar scored at the lowest end, too, with Skyline Medical Center getting dinged for the patient experience and readmissions. Vanderbilt Medical Center — with two stars — also had problems with timeliness of care and cleanliness, at least according to the survey data.
There have been many complaints among hospitals about the patient surveys, known as Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems or HCAHPS [pronounced "H-caps"]. CMS sends a 32-question form to a random sample of patients several weeks after they're discharged. Attempts to please patients and improve scores have even gotten some blame for stoking the opioid crisis.
However, hospitals have to take the results seriously. The Affordable Care Act uses the survey data as one factor in determining whether a facility will get a bonus or have its reimbursement docked.