Nursing Home Compare – 5 Star Rating (update)

December 11, 2008

Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services reached out to nursing home administrators today in an attempt to quiet anxieties over next week’s roll out of the new Five Star Rating on CMS’ Nursing Home Compare website.  CMS Regional offices set up teleconferences with LTC affiliates, so member nursing homes could hear directly from CMS staff how the roll out was going to work and what last-minute changes were being made.  The key facts that made me take notice were:

1) State license and complaint surveys are going to be weighted so the five-star comparison is intra, not inter-state.

2) The Staffing tab data will be weighted across with RUG scores before being tabulated into the five-star algorithm

3) Nursing Home Compare will be kept up to date (within a quarter) and the Five Star will be updated monthly.  

I will be interested to see how this plays out next week when the Five Star rating is debuted.  As I said in my earlier post, though, I remain positive on the Five Star rating, though, it should be mentioned, this objective metric will never be able to capture the full scope of care being provided.

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