The star ratings can be found on Medicare’s Hospital Compare website and are based on a patient satisfaction survey given to randomly selected patients, not just those on Medicare, at nearly 3,500 Medicare-certified acute care hospitals across the country. The ratings are based on patient admissions between July 2013 and June 2014. Hospitals were not included if they did not have enough surveys completed during that period.
The survey, also known as Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey, includes questions about patient satisfaction related to how their doctors, nurses and hospital staff communicated with them, how well their pain was addressed during their hospital stay, how well they were prepared to go home, cleanliness of the hospital and if they would recommend the hospital to others.
Kaiser Health News analyzed the data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and found that 76 Kentucky hospitals were included in the patient satisfaction star ratings and 17 Kentucky hospitals were not. Kaiser found that the average for all of the rated hospitals in Kentucky was 3.4 stars, one-third, or 25, got four stars; half, or 38, got three.
HealthWatch USA, a non-profit organization that promotes health care transparency and patient advocacy based in Somerset, further analyzed the data and named the hospitals in each state by its star rating.
The seven with five-star ratings are: Clinton County Hospital, Marshall County Hospital, Westlake Regional Hospital, Saint Joseph Martin, Rockcastle County Hospital, Pikeville Medical Center and Russell County Hospital.
The six with two-star ratings are: Georgetown Community Hospital, Harlan ARH Hospital, Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center, Spring View Hospital in Lebanon, University of Louisville Hospital and Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reminds consumers that these patient satisfaction star ratings are just one tool to help decide which hospital to use, and encourages them to use multiple factors to make this decision, including clinical outcomes, their health-care providers opinion and other publicly reported data.