April 2019 Improvements to Nursing Home Compare include:
Ending the Freeze on Health Inspection Star Ratings - In April 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will end the freeze on the health inspection domain of the Five Star Quality Rating System. We will resume the traditional method of calculating health inspection scores by using three cycles of inspections. Inspections occurring on or after November 28, 2017, will be included in each facility’s star rating.
Quality Measure (QM) Domain Improvements – CMS is introducing separate ratings for short- and long-stay measures to reflect the level of quality provided for these two subpopulations in nursing homes. We are also revising the thresholds for ratings, adding a system for regular updates to thresholds every six months, and weighting and scoring individual QMs differently. Additionally, we are adding the long-stay hospitalization measure and a measure of long-stay emergency department (ED) transfers to the rating system. Two measures from the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (QRP) will be adopted to replace duplicative existing measures.
Staffing Domain Improvements – CMS is adjusting the thresholds for staffing ratings. Also, the threshold for the ‘number of days without a registered nurse (RN) onsite’ that triggers an automatic downgrade to one star will be reduced from seven to four days.