What is the Medicare 5-Star System?
The 5-Star System is a quality rating designed by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) to help consumers compare and evaluate skilled nursing facilities. These ratings provide a snapshot of three considerations when choosing a skilled nursing facility: health inspection history, staffing, and select quality measures.
Health Inspections — This rating contains information from the last three years of onsite inspections, including both standard surveys and complaints.
Staffing — This rating measures the hours of care given to each resident per day by RNs, LVNs, and CNAs.
Quality Measures — This rating reports the facility’s performance on 17 different physical and clinical measures.
How it works
The system rates a facility’s quality between one and five stars in each category, with one star indicating well below average performance and five stars showing well above average marks. These three ratings are then combined to calculate a facility’s overall rating of up to five stars encompassing all three sources. The ratings are updated at regular intervals.
How to use it
The 5-star Quality ratings are a valuable tool to help you narrow your search, so you can investigate additional information such as resident satisfaction, rehabilitation success, and community/professional awards and recognition. But when choosing a facility that’s right for you, there’s no substitute for personally visiting each facility on your list, talking to staff and residents’ family members, and consulting with your trusted medical professionals.
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