CMS Announces Updates to Five Star Quality Rating System

Nov 30, 2020 | Five Star Staffing Ratings, CMS' PBJ Policies

News Digest: PBJ Based Staffing Five Star Ratings to Resume after Pandemic Waiver

CMS released a substantial update and upgrade to the Five Star rating system as posted on Nursing Home Compare. Particularly, the changes reflected a post-pandemic restart of normal activities.

CMS will resume calculating nursing homes Health Inspection and Quality Measure ratings on January 27, 2021.


CMS Announces Updates to Five Star Quality Rating System

CMS will resume updating health inspections, quality measures with January 2021 refresh.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on December 4 that the Five Star Quality Rating system will resume all updates with the January 2021 refresh. Due to the public health emergency (PHE) first issued in March 2020, the 3 domains of the rating system had previously been held constant at varying times throughout the past 9 months as a result of changes to health inspections and certain temporary regulatory waivers.

During this time, CMS also unveiled the new Care Compare site, which officially replaced all legacy sites, including Nursing Home Compare, on December 1, 2020. Complete updates to the Five Star Quality Rating system will be available at the new Care Compare site on January 27, 2021


Eyigor, Jodi. “CMS Announces Updates to Five Star Quality Rating System.” LeadingAge, 4 Dec. 2020,


Five-Star Ratings Updated and Second Quarter PBJ Staffing Data Released

On Wednesday, October 28 Nursing Home Compare and Five-Star ratings were updated. Survey Ratings did not change as traditional nursing home surveys have not yet resumed equally across the nation and CMS prioritizes focus surveys on infection prevention and control during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quality Ratings were updated to reflect the replacement of the short-stay pressure ulcer measure with a new Quality Reporting Program (QRP) measure—Changes in Skin Integrity Post-Acute Care: Pressure Ulcer/Injury. All quality measure data still only reflects data up to the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019 and before the COVID-19 pandemic. There were minimal changes in Quality Ratings.

Staffing Ratings were updated and reflect Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) data for Q2 2020 (April – June 2020). Previously, Staffing Ratings were based on Q4 2019 PBJ data because Q1 2020 data submission was optional due to COVID-19.


Sreenivas, Kiran. “Five-Star Ratings Updated and Second Quarter PBJ Staffing Data Released.” AHCA/NCAL, 12 Nov. 2020,

Related CMS and PBJ Resources

To learn more about the details, policies and information in these articles, please review these CMS and PBJ publications.

Cms qso memorandum for pbj
QSO Memo 21-06-NH
Five star care compare technical users guide
Technical Users' Guide

October 2020

Five Star Users’ Guides

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