Cortland Regional Recognized among Top 10 Hospitals in New York State by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services


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 beneficiary.

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.