As of February 20, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revised its 5 Star Rating System for nursing homes. The changes to the system involve adding two new nursing home quality measures for antipsychotic use into the Quality Measure Rating, Increasing the number of points necessary to earn a Quality Measure Star Rating of two or more stars and changing the scoring method for the Staffing star rating.

The two new quality measures relate to the use of antipsychotics for short-stay residents without certain diagnoses and the continued use of antipsychotics for long-stay residents with the same conditions. According to CMS, they added these QA measures to address concerns that antipsychotics often are prescribed for diagnoses that do not require them.

CMS also changed the way facilities can earn a four star rating for Staffing to require that the facility must now scores four stars on both its registered nurse and staffing metrics to get such a rating.

CMS advised that these changes will likely result in many (a third or more) nursing homes seeing a lower rating than they have seen in prior years. Nursing homes can take a look at their current rating by going to –http://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html