Average Star Rating Graph
Fixes for the “Broken” Nursing Home Star Ratings Part 3: Quality

Source: CMS Welcome to the third installment of our four-part series on improving the CMS Five-Star rating system for nursing homes.  This month, we move from Staffing to Quality, the last of the three domains.    Why Is Quality Last? The fact that Quality is last is the perfect way to start.  Isn’t in strange […]

Fixes for the “Broken” Nursing Home Star Ratings Part 2: Staffing

Source: CMS Welcome to the second installment of our four-part series on how the CMS Five-Star rating system for Nursing Homes can be improved.  Last month we covered the Survey domain and this month, we’re turning our focus to Staffing. From the perspective of the operator or administrator, staffing represents a constant battle.  On one […]

Fixes for the “Broken” Nursing Home Star Ratings Part 1: Survey

Source: CMS It’s not a surprise to see Nursing Homes in the news, and it’s usually not to paint a sunny picture.  Issues related to COVID-19 have understandably dominated much of the recent coverage, but a March article in the New York Times took aim at a different target – CMS’s Star Ratings system.  Articles […]

Infection Control Deficiencies Showing Outsized Impact on Survey Star Rating

Source: CMS As we reported in December, CMS recently announced that the results of Focused Infection Control Surveys (FICs) conducted during the pandemic would be included in the Health Inspection (Survey) domain of the Five-Star program for Nursing Home ratings. This reversed course from a previous statement that these deficiencies would not contribute to Five […]

Survey and Quality to be Unfrozen, Infection Surveys Included

Source: CMS The Thaw Continues According to their memo on December 4th, CMS will resume calculation of the Health Inspection (Survey) and Quality domains of the Five-Star Rating system for Skilled Nursing Facilities as of January 27, 2021. This continues the trend started last month with an end to the one-quarter “freeze” of the Staffing […]

Unfrozen Staffing Star Ratings Rise, Defying Expectations

Source: CMS Frozen No More At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, CMS issued several waivers to help facilities focus on patient care rather than on reporting requirements. In addition to the earlier halt of standard Survey activity, these waivers covered both MDS and PBJ data, resulting in freezes to several of the Star Rating domains. But […]

SNF Trends Report Underlines Correlation Between Star Ratings, Occupancy and Operating Margin

Image credit: CLA Recently, respected advisory firm CliftonLarsonAllen released their latest SNF Cost Comparison and Industry Trends Report.  CLA explores several prevailing themes in an industry besieged by challenges, including issues with decreased liquidity and occupancy, the rise of telehealth, and the continuing importance of PDPM to the bottom line.  But one of the findings […]

Covid-19 and Nursing Homes: Controlling Community Spread

With their high concentrations of vulnerable residents, Nursing Homes are particularly susceptible to outbreaks of Covid-19.  Countless news stories have documented the ravages of the disease among seniors in these facilities, with the death toll registering over 58,000 by the end of September per CMS data.  The effort to safeguard Nursing Home residents has been […]

New Infection Control Fines: Knowing What To Expect

On June 1, CMS outlined the details of the enforcement actions or penalties that can be levied against facilities for their performance on the new Targeted Infection Control Surveys.  We’ve written before about issues with past Infection Control deficiencies and about the new IC Surveys, but now, the two combined can be a significant liability […]

The Freeze Sets In: Minimal CMS Star Rating Changes Due to Covid-19

In our previous posts, we noted that CMS has frozen the Survey Rating and intends to freeze the Staffing Rating and some Quality Measures starting this month.  Let’s take a look at the impact of some of these changes. In a typical, non-frozen month, about 5% of facilities nationwide experience a Survey Rating change.  This […]