CMS strengthens quality rating for nursing homes


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has strengthened its five star quality rating system for nursing homes on the nursing home compare website.

CMS said this will provide families with more precise and meaningful information on quality when they consider facilities for themselves or a loved one. This marks an important milestone to achieving the goal of implementing further improvements to the five star system in 2015, as the administration announced last October.

Star ratings allow users to see important differences in quality among nursing homes to help them make better care 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 three categories to offer an overall star rating, but consumers can see and focus on any of the three individual categories.

 The strengthening of the system means that ratings will now include the use of antipsychotics in calculation of the star ratings, feature improved calculations for staffing levels and reflect higher standards for nursing homes to achieve a high rating.

“CMS is committed to improving nursing home compare and the fivestar quality rating system to ensure they are the most trusted and easy-to-use resources we can provide,” said Patrick Conway, CMS deputy administrator for innovation and quality and chief medical officer for CMS. “Consumers can feel confident that nursing home compare’s star ratings include measures that matter most to nursing home residents and their families and challenge nursing homes to continuously improve care.”

CMS, Patrick Conway, IT and Data Security, Risk Management, US