CMS hosted an Open Door Forum this afternoon on the upcoming changes to the Nursing Home Compare 5-Star rating system.  These changes will be effective on February 20th.  Nursing facilities will be able to privately view their revised ratings by mid-morning Friday via their MDS portal log-in.  

The updated scoring system may cause a large swing in facility star ratings.

First, the rating system will add a true anti-psychotic utilization measurement for the facility.  This will include measurements for both long stay and short stay residents.  The reduction of reliance on anti-psychotics has been a goal for CMS for a number of years, and now this will be used to calculate the facility’s 5-Star rating.

Secondly, the quality measurement scale used will undergo a significant revision.  This means that the quality measurement standards will be much higher than those used in the existing scale.  CMS has said that quality metrics that would have been satisfactory in the past may no longer be good enough.  While CMS will be adding additional quality measurements in 2016, they stated this current change will the larger of the two updates.  Further details related to the revisions to quality measurements will be detailed in a technical document available to nursing facilities with their private score preview starting this Friday, February 12.

Lastly, CMS stated that there will be minor adjustments to the algorithm that calculates the staffing score.  No further details on the changes were available at the time.