In the past few weeks, there have been several articles published about the CMS star ratings. Many of the articles are being published in state and local papers, giving star ratings of the local hospitals. It is really tough to have scores posted out there for the world to see, especially when your scores are at the bottom.
I was reading one of the articles where a newspaper reporter had reached out to the hospital CEO for comment about why his hospital was a one star. Instead of saying that they are working diligently to listen to the voices of the patients, and do whatever they can to make improvements, the CEO got defensive and talked about how invalid the survey is. Would he complain about the survey being invalid if they were getting five stars? I doubt it. There is a strange phenomenon around perception of validity. The lower the scores, the more invalid the tool is. The higher the scores, the more valid the tool is.
I was bothered by this CEO’s public comments, not just because he sounded like a sore loser, but because it was setting the example for all of their employees to excuse away bad scores. Sour grapes?