Research Brief: CMS Hospital Quality Star Ratings of Rural Hospitals

Researchers at the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program released a brief on CMS Hospital Quality Star Ratings of rural hospitals.

The brief details how rural hospitals were more likely to be unrated than their urban counterparts (41.6% vs. 12.0%) and the percentage of unrated rural hospitals has increased dramatically between 2016 and 2021 (34.3% to 41.6%). Nearly all unrated rural hospitals are Critical Access Hospitals, and almost half of unrated rural hospitals are in the Midwest census region. Star ratings can give patients important information and help them compare hospitals locally and nationwide, but patients should consider a variety of factors when choosing a hospital – not just their star rating or lack thereof.