The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will apply tougher standards for the nursing home rating system nationwide. “These newly-released requirements raise the bar for nursing homes in California and across the nation,” said Mayor Michael D. Antonovich whose efforts led to a 2009 state law requiring nursing homes to post their five-star CMS rating. “These changes will further improve the ability of consumers and families to identify meaningful differences in quality among nursing homes.”
Prior to the changes announced by CMS, rating factors included the residents’ health, physical functioning, mental status, general well-being, staffing, previous inspections and other measures of operational performance.
These core factors will continue to be evaluated. However, nursing homes will now be under increased scrutiny with targeted inspections of poorly rated facilities, tougher scoring and verification of reported data on staffing through payroll records. Facilities must perform at a 3-star level in order to receive a rating on the staffing category. Quality ratings will also include usage of antipsychotics to reduce inappropriate use of these medicines.