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 Nursing Home Ratings Improve Under Five-Star System

Nursing home quality ratings have shown modest but “striking” improvements under the Five-Star Quality Rating System administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), according to data released last week by the agency.

At a stakeholder meeting, CMS released a three-year analysis of the system, which shows that under the Overall rating, nursing home scores have improved slightly but consistently in the proportion of both four- and five- star facilities.

Indeed, the data show that the largest uptick was among the proportion of nursing homes with five-star ratings under the Overall rating, which have risen from 11.8 percent in 2009 to 15.9 percent of facilities as of December 2011.

The number of nursing homes with four-star ratings showed similar improvements under the Overall rating, with 27.4 percent receiving four stars as of December 2011, compared with 23.4 percent of nursing homes with four stars in 2009.

Drilling further down into the data, the Staffing rating shows a slight increase in the proportion of five-star nursing homes since 2009, from 7.2 percent to 8.9 percent, as of December 2011.

More notable is the proportion of nursing homes with four-star ratings, which have risen from 30 percent to 39 percent since 2009.

Also impressive are the proportion of nursing homes with one-star ratings under the Staffing ratings, which have dipped from 23 percent to 14 percent.

Ratings under the Quality Measures domain have improved dramatically, according to the data. The percentage of five-star nursing homes jumped from 10 percent to 16 percent, while facilities with one-star ratings dropped from 20 percent to 11 percent.

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