CMS Updates Consumer Resources for Comparing Hospital Quality
(Excerpts from a CMS press announcement, 2/28/19)
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated hospital performance data on the Hospital Compare website and on The data includes specific measures of hospitals’ quality of care, many of which are updated quarterly, and the Overall Hospital Star Ratings, which were last updated in December 2017. The data are collected through CMS’s Hospital Quality Initiative programs.

CMS has also posted potential changes to the Hospital Star Ratings for public comment. These changes under consideration, intended to respond to stakeholder feedback, seek to enhance the Star Ratings methodology by making hospital comparisons more precise and consistent, and by allowing more direct, “like-to-like” comparisons. One potential change, recommended by some hospitals, would place hospitals with similar characteristics into “peer groups” allowing, for example, small hospitals to be compared to other small hospitals instead of all hospitals. CMS developed these potential changes with feedback from hospitals and other stakeholders through a series of listening sessions and by considering input from a technical expert panel. The agency looks forward to public comments on the potential changes, due March 29, 2019.



CDC: Do You Have a Health Literacy Plan?
A health literacy action plan can improve how you create and share health information with different audiences. Visit the CDC’s health-literacy webpage for resources on creating or improving a health literacy plan. Also, check out the Clear Communication Index, a research-based tool that helps you develop and assess communication materials for your intended audience.

U.S. General Accountability Office: A
ADVANCE CARE PLANNING: Selected States’ Efforts to Educate and Address Access Challenges (GAO-19-231, 2/21/19)


WORTH REPEATING: Building Partnerships and Educating Families and Professionals about Supported Decision Making
The recording and slides from the February 21, 2019, Family Voices and Quality Trust webinar are now available.


Georgetown Center on Children and Families (CCF): The Questions to Ask When Assessing the Impact of Coverage Expansion Proposals on Children (9 pp.)
This new issue brief discusses a number of key questions to help advocates assess the relative merits of insurance-coverage expansion proposals, such as Medicare-for-All legislation, from the perspective of children. A related blog post — How to Assess the Impact of Health Coverage Expansion Proposals on Children – summarizes these nine key questions.

Trust for America’s Health: Promoting Health and Cost Control in States (Feb. 2019)
This report highlights 13 policies outside the healthcare sector that, if adopted by states, could improve the health and well-being of their residents.

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With families at the center of health care, all children and youth reach their full potential and health disparities are eliminated.

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Family Voices is a national organization and grassroots network of families and friends of children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities that promotes partnership with families—including those of cultural, linguistic and geographic diversity—in order to improve health care services and policies for children.

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