Last week, CMS released rebased Five Star ratings that caused approximately one-third of the nation’s skilled nursing facilities to lose a rating star due to administrative changes. Next year, more quality measures, including measures for rehospitalization and discharge rates, will be added. Although providers are unhappy with the changes, CMS officials say there have been big improvements, including an almost 20 percent reduction of antipsychotic use in two years. Changes that went into effect last week include the inclusion of quality measures pertaining to antipsychotics use by short-stay and long-stay residents, increased performance expectation, and adjusted staffing algorithms at verifying nurse staffing levels via payroll records. CMS also announced that it will be releasing results of pilot surveys that check “adequacy” of resident assessments and “accuracy” of provider information self-reported to help calculate quality measures. According to CMS officials, many nursing homes will see a decline in ratings until they make further improvements.
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