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Healthcare providers want to enhance CMS Overall Hospital Star Ratings – CyraCom can help. Our team recently launched a carefully researched resource to help hospitals:

How to Improve Your CMS Quality Star Rating with a Language Access Plan

In addition to providing background information and explaining how Star Ratings are calculated, our CMS landing page describes how quality language services positively impact your score. Let’s review the top three focus areas for improving your hospital’s CMS Quality Star Ratings:

1. Patient Experience

Responses to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Patient Experience Questionnaire supplies unfiltered feedback from your patients. The questionnaire asks patients about communication, focusing on whether the patient felt listened to, understood, and respected.

How Language Services help you improve Patient Experience

LEP patients tend to rate hospitals worse than English-speaking patients. Adverse experiences during treatment may contribute to LEP patients’ poor evaluations. Qualified interpreters can help your staff provide:

  • Better patient understanding: Interpreters help LEP patients understand their procedures and medications to avoid complications.
  • Cultural competence: Language barriers and cultural misunderstandings commonly contribute to poor health outcomes and readmission rates.
  • Increased patient satisfaction: Studies show that patients with access to third-party, qualified interpreters increased trust and patient satisfaction compared to relying on bilingual staff or family members for interpretation.

Read more about improving Patient Experience

2. Mortality/Safety of Care

Despite the legal requirements of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, studies show that communication barriers in healthcare lead to a greater chance of extended-stay hospitalizations, misdiagnosis, and grave medical errors for LEP patients.

Hospitals can improve patient safety by enhancing communication strategies and implementing language services. Developing or improving your hospital’s Language Access Plan creates a roadmap to better care for LEP patients.

Read more about improving Patient Safety

3. Readmissions

Statistically, non-English speakers, particularly in Latino and Chinese populations, readmit at a significantly higher rate than the general population.

Why the difference? A review of 10.7 million Medicare patient records revealed that avoidable readmissions cost Medicare $17 billion a year because patients do not:

  • Understand their diagnosis
  • Know which medications to take and when
  • Comprehend important information or test results
  • Schedule a follow-up appointment with their doctor
  • Receive adequate care at home

Readmissions rates factor significantly into a hospital’s CMS star rating, comprising nearly a quarter of the overall score. Hospitals committed to reducing readmissions among their LEP patient populations are making interpreters part of their continuum of care, active in each stage of the treatment process.

Read more about decreasing Readmissions

Our team is ready to help you boost your Star Rating

Check out our CMS Quality Star Rating resource for more insights, or contact CyraCom for a complimentary language services consultation.

Lindsay Lawson

Lindsay Lawson

An experienced researcher, writer, and editor on language services-related topics, specializing in interpreting and translation services, how language works.