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Five-Star Quality Rating System Changes

Changes to the Skilled Nursing Home Five-Star Rating Program effective October 2019

According to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):

CMS created the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily and to help identify areas about which you may want to ask questions.

The Nursing Home Compare Web site 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:

  • Health Inspections – The health inspection rating contains the 3 most recent health inspections and investigations due to complaints.  This information is gathered by trained, objective inspectors who go onsite to the nursing home and follow a specific process to determine the extent to which a nursing home has met Medicaid and Medicare’s minimum quality requirements.  The most recent survey findings are weighted more than the prior year.
  • Staffing – The staffing rating has information about the number of hours of care provided on average to each resident each day by nursing staff.  This rating considers differences in the levels of residents’ care need in each nursing home.  For example, a nursing home with residents who had more severe needs would be expected to have more nursing staff than a nursing home where the resident needs were not as high.
  • Quality Measures (QMs) – The quality measure rating has information on 15 different physical and clinical measures for nursing home residents.  The QMs offer information about how well nursing homes are caring for their residents’ physical and clinical needs.

Check out this PDF for details on these changes: 

Nursing Home Compare Update Schedule:

Normally, the Nursing Home Compare website and Five Star Quality Rating System are updated the last Wednesday of each month. However, due to the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and
New Year’s Day), the website and rating system will not be updated on its normal schedule.

Below are the dates of the updates over the next few months:

  • October 23, 2019
  • December 4, 2019
  • January 29, 2020
    Future updates will continue to occur on the last Wednesday of each month.
Always refer to for the most updated information.