For the second year in a row, Cortland Regional was named among the top
10 hospitals in New York State by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services’ (CMS) 2017 Value-Based Payment (VBP) program. This federal,
performance-based program also placed Cortland Regional among the top
10 percent of hospitals in the entire country.
Each year CMS scores over 3,000 hospitals on four aspects of care—risk-adjusted
mortality and patient outcomes; patient experience; clinical care processes
and safety; and overall efficiency, as measured by Medicare spending per
Although Cortland Regional slipped in the rankings from first in New York
to 9th this year, this is still a major achievement. The medical center’s
composite score was more than 19 points above the New York average, and
15 points above the U.S. average. This translates into a significant Medicare
reimbursement bonus for the hospital, and validates Cortland Regional
as a high quality, safe, and low cost healthcare organization.
The CMS Value-based Payment (VBP) program is a budget-neutral initiative.
CMS withholds two percent of all hospital inpatient Medicare payments
and later redistributes those dollars based on VBP scores. This means
that lower performing hospitals give up some or all of these reimbursement
funds so that CMS can reward high performing organizations like Cortland Regional.
“Scoring in the top 10 in New York and the top 10 percent in the
U.S two years in a row is a remarkable feat and one worth celebrating,“
said Cortland Regional President and CEO, Mark Webster, “It continues
to reinforce our consistent hard work to offer our community exceptional,
high quality, safe, and compassionate care.”
Cortland Regional’s shift to 9th place in New York State was partly
due to a change in CMS’s scoring methodology, and these metrics
will continue to evolve. In 2016, CMS removed seven clinical care process
measures and added two hospital acquired infection measures. Weighting
in clinical care process, outcomes, and safety scoring also changed. This
resulted in bunching the highest achievers closer together than ever.
Cortland Regional scored just one-half of one percent behind the top hospital
in New York. The only nearby hospital with higher value-based purchasing
scores than CRMC was Guthrie-Corning, and CRMC was one of only four hospitals
in last year’s top 10 to make the list again this year.
On a national level, Cortland Regional placed 319th out of over 3,000 hospitals
with enough data to be scored by CMS.