Nursing Home Quality Improving

New government health data shows that quality in America‰Ûªs skilled nursing centers is improving, while scores for facilities receiving the lowest rankings are on the decline.
Examining over 15,000 facilities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that its Five-Star Rating System (Five-Star) for skilled nursing care centers showed the proportion of both 4- and 5-Star centers has increased 4% and 4.1% respectively. Alternatively, the proportion of 1-Star facilities is down 7%. Both staffing and quality improved.
‰ÛÏThe long term and post-acute care profession has improved in nearly all meaningful quality measures in recent years, including staff and customer satisfaction,‰Û said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association. ‰ÛÏWe‰Ûªre excited about this positive trend, and will continue to work with CMS to do more in these critical areas.‰Û
A Five-Star score is a composite rating based on scores in three domains ‰ÛÒ Staffing, Quality Measures (QM) and Health Inspections ‰ÛÒ with a score of five stars serving as the best ranking.
  • Staffing ‰ÛÒ5-Star nursing centers have increased slightly by 1.7%; the number of 1-Star facilities is down by 9%.
  • Quality Measures ‰ÛÒ There was a 6% increase in 5-Star centers and a 9% drop in 1-Star rated facilities.
  • In 2011, 16% of nursing homes received a 5-Star Rating; 27% a 4-Star; 41% a 2 or 3-Star Rating; and 16% received a 1-Star Rating.
  • Non-Profits performed better particularly in the staffing category.
  • Data suggests the smaller the size of the home, the better the rating.
Expect more data to be added to the Nursing Home Compare site in the future. Obviously, the increased transparency is good for consumers in choosing a nursing home. So I encourage you to go to Nursing Home Compare as one of your first stops in evaluating a nursing home for a loved one.