San Diego elder abuse attorneys, we know that choosing a nursing home for a loved one can be a daunting
task, particularly in light of growing concerns about the quality of care
To help facilitate the process, the Obama Administration recently approved
changes to the Five Star Quality Rating System for Nursing Homes, also
known as Nursing Home Compare. The system, which is available online,
allows consumers to make more informed decisions by providing information
about the quality of care in the 15,800 nursing homes that participate
in Medicare or Medicaid.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, while the onsite inspections form the core of the rating system, the
agency is concerned that the quality measures and information about staffing
levels rely on self-reported data from nursing homes that have been difficult
to verify. In response, the following improvements to the Five Star Quality
Rating System will be made beginning in 2015:
- CMS and states will implement focused survey inspections nationwide for
a sample of nursing homes to enable better verification of both the staffing
and quality measure information that is part of the Five-Star Quality
- CMS will implement a quarterly electronic reporting system that is auditable
back to payrolls to verify staffing information that is used to calculate
quality measures for staff turnover, retention, types of staffing, and
levels of different types of staffing.
- CMS will strengthen requirements to ensure that states maintain a user-friendly
website and complete inspections of nursing homes in a timely and accurate
manner for inclusion in the rating system.
The Five Star Quality Rating System currently tracks the prevalence of
pressure ulcers, use of restraints, extent of injurious falls, and information
about the staffing levels in nursing homes. Starting January 2015, the
rating system will also include the extent to which anti-psychotic medications
are in use.