Changes Coming to Nursing Home Compare This Summer

On July 1, 2024, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new QSO Memo, “Nursing Home Data and Care Compare Updates” which outlines upcoming changes to publicly available data shared by CMS. Here’s what you need to know about what’s coming on July 31, 2024.

Staffing Level Case-Mix Adjustment Methodology Implementation

In a QSO Memo dated September 20, 2023, CMS announced changes that would be made to Nursing Home Compare, in part due to changes to the MDS which were effective in October 2023. The staffing case-mix methodology, which was based on MDS items from RUG-IV items from the now-obsolete MDS Section G are being replaced by Section GG items. Starting April 2024, CMS froze the staffing measures used to calculate the staffing star ratings while it revised the case-mix methodology to be based on the SNF PDPM.

At the end of this month, the updated nursing home staffing measures will be posted. The staffing rating thresholds will also be revised so the same overall distribution of points is maintained for the impacted staffing measures. The April 2024 Five-Star Technical Users’ Guide sections which outline the September 2023 and April 2024 updates provide a good overview of what’s coming.

It’s important to note that the QSO Memo issued July 1 states that a facility’s staffing star rating could possibly change despite the same points distribution methodology being utilized. The updated staffing level case-mix adjustment methodology and/or changes to the number of staffing hours reported by a facility quarter to quarter could impact a facility’s staffing star rating. One other upcoming change which providers may be happy to hear about that could have a positive impact on staffing data is the newly announced update to the staffing turnover methodology.

Staffing Turnover Measure Methodology Revision

As indicated above, CMS is also changing the way staffing turnover is calculated for reporting on Nursing Home Compare. The staffing turnover measure will be extended to 90 days from 60 days to allow for maternity/paternity leave (up to 12 weeks) so staff who are out on a longer leave are not included in the turnover calculation.

Claims-Based Quality Measures Risk Adjustment Methodology Revision

CMS also indicated in the QSO Memo that the risk adjustment methodology for claims-based Quality Measures will be revised to incorporate the most recent data available. The CMS Quality Measures webpage has been updated to reflect the availability of the MDS 3.0 QM User’s Manual Version 16.0 Risk Adjustment Appendix File. The technical specifications for the QMs are available in the Downloads section of that page or you can download the .zip file here.

Nursing Home “Guides” to be Updated

CMS will be posting new nursing home guides for consumers on Nursing Home Compare to assist prospective residents and consumers will understand the information that is available on the website and aid in their decision-making. The guide currently on NHC was last revised October 2019.

New Facility Data to be Made Available

Two updates are coming to on July 31, 2024:

  • CMS will begin posting aggregate MDS data at the facility level on
  • CMS will also provide facility characteristics that are based on data collected on the CMS-671 form during recertification surveys.

View CMS QSO 24-14-NH “Nursing Home Data and Care Compare Updates” here.

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