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Nursing Home Compare Star Ratings Changing in April

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its next set of updates to Nursing Home Compare and the Five-Star Quality Rating System that will be arriving in April 2019. Changes coming include:

  • Health Inspection Star Ratings will be unfrozen – CMS will be ending the freeze on the health inspection star rating score in April that was in place until all nursing homes had been surveyed at least once under the Long-Term Care Survey Process (LTCSP).
  • Updates to Staffing Star Rating  – After the switch to using Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) data, CMS started giving an automatic one-star staffing rating to nursing homes with 7+ days in a quarter where no RN is on site. In April, the number of days will be reduced from seven to four for the automatic 1-star rating.
  • Quality Measures will be updated – New measures being added to Nursing Home Compare in April will include Long-Stay Hospitalizations and Long-Stay Emergency Room Transfers. The Agency also states that it will remove “duplicate and less meaningful measures.” CMS also notes that it is creating separate quality ratings for Short-Stay and Long-Stay residents, but no timeline has been included for that.

Read the full March 5, 2019 press release, “CMS Improving Nursing Home Compare in April 2019” on the CMS.gov Newsroom webpage.

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