Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital again earned high marks in one of the nation’s most respected assessments of health care quality. Both hospitals received five-star ratings, the highest possible, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Rush Copley Medical Center received four stars from CMS.
The CMS ratings are widely considered a key indicator of quality, along with other measures such as Vizient ratings and Magnet designation. Rush University System for Health hospitals regularly score high or at the very top of these assessments.
In fact, Rush University Medical Center received the highest ranking for quality of care among 93 U.S. academic medical centers last fall from Vizient, a health care performance improvement organization. This latest CMS designation makes Rush University Medical Center the only academic medical center in the Chicago area with five stars.
“Our goal is to deliver the highest quality care with the best patient experience, and we continuously look at our processes for opportunities to improve. This rating affirms the work we do each and every day for our patients,” said Dr. Omar Lateef, chief executive officer of Rush University Medical Center. “This honor is not the result of individuals, or teams, or departments, but rather the shared vision and purpose of all 12,000 employees to provide the highest quality, patient-centered care.”
CMS star ratings are based on data on mortality; readmissions; safety, effectiveness and timeliness of care; and patient experience. This new rating is another example of the external recognition of excellence at Rush.
In 2018, Lateef, Dr. Bala Hota, the Medical Center’s chief analytics officer, and Thomas Webb, associate vice president for quality analytics, performed an in-depth analysis at Rush of CMS methodology. They found that it used a complex statistical model that put tremendous weight on small, often insignificant numbers of events, resulting in downgrading academic and other larger medical centers that treat medically complex patients, as well as patients with socioeconomic issues who are more likely to be readmitted.
“We want to focus on the measurements that are the most meaningful in tracking patient outcomes and experience.” Lateef says. “This is about doing what is best for the patient. We are hoping to continue working with rating organizations to create meaningful measures that help patients find the care they are looking for and provide valuable data for hospitals to guide internal improvement.”
CMS ratings are among the most cited in the industry, and five stars are meant to be indicative of the highest quality, most positive outcomes and a patient experience that only a small fraction of hospitals are able to demonstrate. Only seven percent of hospitals in the United States have earned five stars.
“Delivering the highest quality of patient care has always been a priority at Rush Oak Park Hospital,” said Bruce Elegant, president and CEO of Rush Oak Park Hospital. “Earning a five star rating from CMS is recognition of the excellent care we provide on a daily basis.”
“Our patients and their families may not know names like CMS or Vizient, but they are measures that consumers can have confidence in, as a mark of quality in a crowded health care marketplace,” said Dr. Ranga Krishnan, chief executive officer of Rush University System for Health. “This year, we will continue to focus on patient care and patient experience, using the measures outlined by CMS and other rating agencies and that we at RUSH have determined most directly impact patient outcomes.”
For more information about CMS ratings and the methodology, visit, CMS’s Hospital Compare website.
Top Vizient score the latest in steady stream of honors for Rush hospitals
The five-star CMS rating is the latest in a consistent stream of honors for Rush University Medical Center and the other Rush system hospitals that are unique among U.S. academic health systems, including the following:
- All three Rush hospitals have achieved Magnet status, the highest honor in nursing. Rush Copley Medical Center received Magnet designation this month. Rush University Medical Center received its fourth consecutive Magnet designation in January 2016, and Rush Oak Park Hospital received Magnet status in March of that year.
- U.S. News & World Report ranked five specialty care programs at Rush University Medical Center among the best in the country — with two in the top 10 nationwide — in the annual “Best Hospitals” issue.
- U.S. News also ranks 10 Rush University programs in the top 10 nationally, including two ranked the best in the in the latest "Best Graduate Schools" rankings.
- All three Rush hospitals have received the Beacon Award for Excellence by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, which honors intensive care unit nursing teams as being exceptional and in the top tier nationally.
- All three Rush hospitals repeatedly have received an ‘A’ grade for safety, the highest possible, from the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit patient safety watchdog organization. Rush Copley has received A grades each of the 14 times the Leapfrog Group has rated hospitals since June 2012. Rush University Medical Center previously has received 13 A grades, and Rush Oak Park Hospital has received seven.
- The Leapfrog Group also has named each of the Rush hospitals a Top Hospital (which is a different honor than Leapfrog’s safety grade). Rush Oak Park Hospital was named a Top Teaching Hospital in December. Leapfrog previously has named Rush University Medical Center a Top Teaching Hospital five times.
- The Human Rights Campaign — a civil rights organization that advocates for equality for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and/or queer/questioning — has named all three RUSH hospitals a Leader in LGBT Health Equality.
- In January 2019, Rush University Medical Center became just the third health care provider in the country to achieve the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) Stage 7 for the Adoption Model for Analytics Maturity (AMAM).
- Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital both have received the Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award, which recognizes hospitals that provide an overall outstanding patient experience. Healthgrades evaluates patient experience performance by applying a scoring methodology to 10 patient experience measures, using data collected from the 32-question survey of the hospital’s own patients. Hospitals in the top 15 percent with the highest overall patient experience scores are recognized as Outstanding Patient Experience Award recipients.
Rush is an academic health system whose mission is to improve the health of the patients and the diverse communities it serves with nationally recognized health care, education, research and a commitment to community partnerships. The Rush system comprises Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Copley Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital, as well as numerous outpatient care facilities. Rush University, with more than 2,500 students, is a health sciences university that comprises Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College.