Decoding Medicare and Medicaids Five-Star Rating System

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on May 27, 2015 in Nursing Homes and Elder Rights
Updated on February 24, 2022

Wisconsin Nursing Home LawyersChoosing the right assisted living facility for a loved one is never an easy task. The Nursing Home Compare website provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) offers a solid starting point when researching nursing home facilities, but what do those scores really mean for the quality of care in America?

If you or a loved one has experienced neglect or abuse by a nursing home facility, contact the nursing home abuse lawyers at Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice today. For more than a decade we have fought for the rights our clients and their loved ones.

In 2008, the CMS created the Five-Star Quality Rating System on its Nursing Home Compare website as a resource for families researching nursing home facilities.

Based on these ratings, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a state and national-level analysis of what those ratings mean for the state of nursing home facilities across the country. They found:

  • About one third of certified Medicare and Medicaid homes have low ratings of one or two stars, while 45 percent have overall ratings of four or five stars.
  • Nonprofit nursing homes generally rank higher than their more prevalent for-profit counterparts.
  • Smaller facilities with fewer beds generally rank higher than larger ones.
  • Categories, such as quality measures and staffing levels, that are self-reported tend to rate higher than those that are derived from state health inspections.
  • States with higher levels of low-income seniors, often have poorer rating facilities.
  • Nursing home quality can vary significantly from state to state. In eleven states, at least 40 percent of facilities received low ratings. In 22 states and the District of Columbia, at least 50 percent of facilities received relatively high rankings.

These findings show that while researching the quality scores and ratings of various nursing home facilities is important, those numbers are not always an accurate reflection of what a facility is really like. Nothing can replace the important step of visiting nursing homes in person when researching the best home for your loved one.

Understanding the signs of abuse can help you in your search. Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately if you or a loved one experiences any kind of abuse or neglect. Our personal injury attorneys are both compassionate and passionate in their efforts to defend your rights.

Call 877-877-2228 or complete the Free Case Evaluation form to speak with a lawyer today.

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