By Kerry Young, CQ Roll Call
April 20, 2016 -- The American Hospital Association (AHA) on Wednesday welcomed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS's) decision to delay the launch of its overall star ratings program, which had been slated to be made public tomorrow.
CMS on Wednesday said it had pushed the public release date until July. Hospitals will have 30 days to review their data before its release, the agency said.
Hospital officials had rallied more than half of the members of the House and Senate to support the ultimately successful bid to delay the kickoff, said Rick Pollack, chief executive and president of the AHA, in a Wednesday statement.
"The delay is a necessary step as hospitals and health systems work with CMS to improve the ratings for patients, and the AHA commends CMS for their decision," Pollack said. "Health care consumers need reliable, factual information to make critical care decisions. We will continue to share our concerns with CMS as we look for ways to make changes to the ratings system, and ensure it is useful and helpful for patients."