In a press release sent out earlier today, CMS strengthened the Five Star Quality Rating System for Nursing Homes on the Nursing Home Compare website to give more families precise and meaningful information on quality when they consider facilities for themselves or a loved one. The announcement marks an important milestone to achieving the goal of implementing further improvements to the Five Star system in 2015.
The star ratings allow users to see important differences in quality among nursing homes to help them make better decisions. CMS rates nursing homes on three categories: results from onsite inspections by trained surveyors, performance on certain quality measures, and levels of staffing. CMS uses these categories to offer an overall star rating.
Beginning today, nursing home star ratings will:
- Include use of antipsychotics in calculation of the star ratings. These medications are often used for diagnoses that do not warrant them. The two existing quality measures – for short stay and long stay patients – will now be part of the calculation for the quality measures star rating.
- Have improved calculations for staffing levels. Research indicates that staffing is important to overall quality in a nursing home.
- Reflect higher standards for nursing homes to achieve a high rating on the quality measure dimension on the website.
To see a fact sheet on Nursing Home Compare 3.0, click here.
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