Updates to the Nursing Home Compare website and Five Star Quality Rating System (Dec 2020)

CMS Quality Safety & Oversight Memorandum
PUBLISHED: December 4, 2020
CMS LISTING: Quality, Safety and Oversight Letter 21-06-NH

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The December 4, 2020 memorandum 21-06-NH from CMS included 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. This follows previous changes to the Staffing ratings:

CMS waived the requirement for nursing homes to submit staffing data per 42 CFR 48370(q), and did not update the Staffing Rating domain of the Five Star Quality Rating System that was scheduled for April 2020.  However, due to the importance of staffing and its relationship to quality, CMS ended the waiver to submit staffing data on June 25, 2020. Furthermore, CMS resumed updating the Staffing Rating domain of the Five Star Quality Rating System in October 2020 (see QSO-20-34-NH). Staffing data will continue to be collected as required, and staffing ratings will continue to be updated quarterly, as scheduled.

On September 3, 2020, CMS announced the launch of Care Compare, a streamlined redesign of eight existing CMS healthcare compare tools available on Medicare.gov, including Nursing Home Compare. On December 1, 2020, the legacy Nursing Home Compare website, and the data.medicare.gov website (which houses the underlying data for the Nursing Home Compare website) are no longer available, and users will be redirected to the new websites.