Medicare's Nursing Home Compare

by Webmaster, PhoenixMed
Published on Oct 18, 2016

Nursing Home Compare is a tool patients, families AND care managers can use to compare all kinds of information about the different nursing homes under consideration. It includes quality of care and staffing data for more than 15,000 Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes. Nursing Home Compare provides star ratings for performance on health inspections, quality measures and staffing hours. These ratings provide greater understanding of the kind of care any particular nursing home gives its residents.

As part of ongoing efforts to improve transparency in healthcare, CMS recently added six new quality measures to the Nursing Home Compare website. Five of the six new measures will be included in the calculations for the 5-star quality rating according to the CMS press release.

Those new measures, which involve self-reported data from SNFs, include 

  1. Percentage of short stay residents who were successfully discharged to the community
  2. Percentage of short-stay residents who have had an outpatient emergency department visit
  3. Percentage of short-stay residents who were rehospitalized after a nursing home admission
  4. Percentage of short-stay residents who made improvement in function
  5. Percentage of long-stay resident whose ability to move independently worsened.

CMS also added a measure that takes into account the rates of antipsychotic and hypnotic meds used in nursing homes, but that measure is not being counted toward the 5-star rating systems due to lack of consensus around what constitutes acceptable rates.  Five-star ratings are based on a methodology that looks at state health inspectgion data, staffing ratios, and quality measures.  The rating system is used by CMS for a number of healtcare provider types, including Hospital Compare, Physician Compare, Medicare Plan Finder, Dialysis Compare, and Home Health Compare.  They are all part of CMS's Open Data initiative.