Magnifying glass on the word quality

Effective March 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has changed the survey domain methodology of the Five-Star Rating System for nursing homes.

In the previous methodology, CMS used a skilled nursing facility’s most recent three survey cycles in calculating the survey rating; both points and stars. In the new methodology, CMS will use the most recent two survey cycles in calculating the survey ratings. CMS has updated their Five-Star Technical Users’ Guide to align with this new system.

CMS also started to report data from surveys that occurred after November 27, 2017 (start of the new survey process) on the Nursing Home Compare website. While these data will be publicly reported, they will not be used in the determination of survey star ratings until at least 12 months of data have been collected under the new process.

“While the 5 star rating is not intended and should not be the sole indicator of nursing home quality, this rating is online and a tool to help consumers select and compare skilled nursing centers. Often times this is the “first impression”.  Consumers are using it, as well as hospitals, when looking at discharging their patients.  It is important to be aware of what your skilled nursing facility’s rating is and can help guide quality improvement focus areas.” Stated Lori Hintz, RN, South Dakota Program Manager.

Download the updated Five-Star Technical Users’ Guide.

Read this CMS memo for additional details on how the new survey process will impact Five-Star ratings.