The American Heart Association supports the efforts of organizations like CMS to improve the quality of patient care through transparent reporting of patient outcomes data. Improved patient outcomes are the ultimate measure for improving quality of care.
However, please note that the CMS data have some limitations:
- These ratings should not be used as a head-to-head comparison of hospitals, in part because they exclude HMO patients or those younger than 65, and they do not include any patients with any history of Medicare hospice enrollment in the 12 months prior to hospitalization.
- The ratings should not be used to determine where patients in critical situations should be transported. In such cases, patients should call 9-1-1 immediately to be taken to the nearest available emergency medical center.