The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently revised the system it uses to rate nursing homes across the country. This results of the ratings are available on the CMS website, which nearly 1.5 million people access every year to get information that will help them make a decision on which nursing home meets the needs of their loved ones.
The revamped rating system is more strict than the previous one. According to medicalmalpracticelawyers.com, "The nursing home rating changes resulted in approximately two-thirds of U.S. nursing homes losing one or more stars in their quality rating, and about one-third of the nursing homes suffering losses of one or more stars in their overall ranking."
In Maryland, the new ratings resulted in a sharp decrease in high-rated nursing homes. 5 and 4-star rated nursing homes declined while 3, 2, and 1-star rated homes increased. Here are the official totals below.
Maryland Nursing Home Ratings
Total nursing homes in Maryland: 228
5-Star Rated Nursing Homes - Decreased from 81-59. Net Change: -22
4-Star Rated Nursing Homes - Decreased from 54-51. Net Change: -3
3-Star Rated Nursing Homes - Increased from 37-45. Net Change: +7
1-Star Rated Nursing Homes - Increased from 12 to 27. Net Change: +15
CMS said the following on its website re: the changes to the ranking system:
We have made 3 significant improvements to the Five Star Nursing Home Quality Rating System:
- Incorporated the 2 nursing home quality measures for antipsychotic use into the Quality Measure Rating.
- Increased the number of points necessary to earn a Quality Measure Star Rating of 2 or more stars.
- Changed the scoring method for the Staffing star rating. Nursing homes must earn a 4-star rating on either the RN or total Staffing rating to achieve an overall Staffing rating of 4-stars.
Many nursing homes will see a lower quality measure rating as a result of these changes, even though the underlying QM data may not have changed. Because of these changes, it is not appropriate to compare a facility's QM ratings that appear in February with those that appeared in earlier months.