Mason County News
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Nursing Home Information Available Online
Wednesday, March 25, 2009 • Posted March 25, 2009

gLooking for information on nursing homes in your area? Trying to find a good home for a friend or relative?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has just revamped its nursing home quality reporting system to provide additional help.

“Last month, CMS took a significant step forward by releasing a new version of the website ‘Nursing Home Compare’,” said Charles Phillips, Ph.D., M.P.H., Regents Professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. “The new reporting format takes a lesson from rating systems used in other industries.”

In the new format, each nursing home is given an overall rating of one to five stars. Homes with “one” star are likely to provide the worst care, while those with “five” stars likely provide the best.

Dr. Phillips helped develop the rating system that evaluates a home on three dimensions: performance on its annual survey, nurse staffing and rating on a number of quality indicators related to resident care. In each of these areas, a home is rated using the five-star system. These three ratings are then combined to create the home’s overall star rating.

“It’s important to remember that no rating system is a substitute for visiting a home, speaking to staff and residents, and observing care,” Dr. Phillips said. “However, this new system provides a good starting point in the search for a good home.”

To access the new rating system, go online to www.medicare.gov and select “New Nursing Home Five-Star Quality Rating.”

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