The Rating System from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
The Five-Star Quality Rating System is a tool to help consumers select and compare skilled nursing care centers. Created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2008, the rating system uses information from Health Care Surveys (both standard and complaint), Quality Measures, and Staffing.
The Nursing Home Compare Website features a quality rating system that gives each nursing home a rating of between 1 and 5 stars. Nursing homes with 5 stars are considered to have much above average quality and nursing homes with 1 star are considered to have quality much below average. There is one Overall 5-star rating for each nursing home, and a separate rating for each of the following three sources of information:
Caution: No rating system can address all of the important consideration that go into a decision about which nursing home may be best for a particular person. Examples include the extent to which specialty care is provided (such as specialized rehabilitation or dementia care) or how easy it will be for family members to visit the nursing home resident. As such visits can improve both the residents’ quality of life and quality of care, it may often be better to select a nursing home that is very close over one that may be, compared to a higher rated nursing home that would be far away. Consumers should therefore use the Website only together with other sources of information for the nursing homes (including a visit to the nursing home) and State or local organizations (such as local advocacy groups and the State Ombudsman program).