April 2019 Improvements to Nursing Home Compare and the Five Star Rating System (Mar 2019)

CMS Quality Safety & Oversight Memorandum
PUBLISHED: March 5, 2019
CMS LISTING: Quality, Safety and Oversight Letter 19-08-NH

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The March 5, 2019 memorandum 19-08-NH from CMS was solely focused on improvements to Nursing Home Compare’s Five Star ratings. A large portion was dedicated to the survey freeze for that portion of the Five Star ratings and updates to the Quality Measure domain.

Staffing Five Star rating changes

New Rating Tiers: To incentivize improved nursing home staffing levels, CMS established new thresholds for staffing ratings and adjusted the staffing rating’s grid to increase the weight (value of) registered nurse staffing hours on the staffing rating.

One Star penalty for missing RN hours: Previously facilities that reported seven or more days in a quarter with no RN onsite are automatically assigned one-star for their staffing rating domain. This memorandum lowered that threshold to four days from seven.