You now have greater access to information and reviews that help you compare nursing homes in your community, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Its press release “CMS Improving Nursing Home Compare in April 2019” announces upgrades to its online tool “Nursing Home Compare” which offers these valuable insights via its Five-Star Quality Rating System.

Nursing Home Compare gives each facility an overall rating between one and five stars, with five indicating the highest quality. In addition, each nursing home is rated separately on the following categories:

  • Compliance with Medicare and Medicaid healthy and safety requirements
  • Staffing levels available to care for patients at the home at a given time.
  • Quality measures based on resident assessment and Medicare claims data.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma states, “Our goal is to drive quality improvements across the industry and empower consumers to make decisions with more confidence for their loved ones.”

Sal Marino, partner at law firm Dalli & Marino, LLP, applauds the CMS’s efforts and offers his own advice to families.

“The more transparency there is around nursing home quality, the easier it is for a family to find the best facility for their needs,” said Marino. “Families should also research Better Business Bureau reviews and contact other friends and families for feedback on their personal experiences with area nursing homes.”

Important to note that the CMS gives a nursing home an automatic downgrade to one star if no registered nurse was on-site for four days or more in one quarter.

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