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Feds Launch Nursing Home Rating System
Today the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a Five–Star rating system designed to give consumers information to compare Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes throughout the nation.
CANHR welcomes federal efforts to improve information on CMS’s Nursing Home Compare website, but cautions consumers they should not read too much into the ratings. The ratings are most useful for helping consumers quickly identify poor quality facilities they should avoid.
High ratings in this system are no guarantee of quality care. It is as important as ever for consumers to visit nursing homes under consideration and make a personal assessment about the quality of care. CANHR’s fact sheets on choosing a nursing home and nursing home evaluation checklist give helpful suggestions for making these visits.
Consumers who use the federal rating system should keep the following points in mind:
In summary, the ratings may be misleading due to inaccurate or incomplete information.
Examined from a statewide perspective, the federal ratings give yet another dismal reminder about the widespread poor care in California nursing homes. 547 of California’s 1254 Medicare and Medi–Cal certified nursing homes earned 1–star (much below average) or 2–star (below average) ratings. CANHR hopes that operators of substandard nursing homes and state and federal officials respond to the ratings as a wake–up call and take long overdue actions to improve residents’ care.
Page Last Modified: December 19, 2008