CMS Tightens up Nursing Home Rating Criteria

When faced with the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, many people decide to research online for the best available.  The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has the website Nursing Home Compare to help family members do just that.  However, after a New York Times article revealed that even poor-quality facilities were receiving four or five stars, the agency decided to toughen up its criteria.

The CMS has recently added five new measures which factor into their ratings for nursing homes.  This is an effort that they have undertaken in order to help people compare the quality of various facilities.  However, the measures are primarily tied to to the outcomes of short-stay residents.

All calculations are at CMS’s website, but the newer factors include successful discharges, outpatient emergency visits, nursing home admissions and improvement in function for short-term residents who stay for up to 100 days.

These measures nearly doubled the metrics for short-term stays.  They are based both on Medicare claims and nursing homes’ own reporting.  Another measure that was incorporated was the proportion of long-term residents whose mobility became worse.

The CMS website, which has been comparing nursing homes since 2008, grades the facilities on a scale of one to five stars.  Scores are calculated using numerous metrics, some of the data of which are self-reported by the nursing homes.  It also bases scores off of Medicare claims and the results of health inspections.

The new metrics were previewed in April and began being slowly factored in during the month of July. It will be fully implemented in January 2017.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to compensation.  Contact the law offices of Schenk Smith.  Our attorneys will work to help you get the compensation you deserve.  Contact us today.