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Medicare star ratings weren’t reliable

When we last wrote about the Medicare star rating system for nursing homes, the star ratings were very misleading. Facilities with quality problems could make themselves appear highly rated using self-reported information.


Changes expected in January 2015

Federal officials have announced several major changes to the Medicare star rating system for nursing homes. Additional changes are also coming from the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act, aka the Impact Act, which was recently signed into law by President Obama.

    • An electronic data collection system will be set up.
    • Staffing levels will be reported quarterly and verified against payroll data.
    • Ratings will also be based on the percentage of residents being given antipsychotic drugs.
    • Hospice facilities must be inspected at least once every 3 years.
    • Medicare is allowed to review hospice programs in which a majority of patients stay for more than 6 months.


Don’t let your guard down completely

Even though there’s a new system in place to collect this more accurate information, the new information won’t be reflected in the ratings until 2016. So if you’re looking for a nursing home for your loved one before then, don’t rely solely on Medicare star ratings.


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By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Executive Biz


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