One of the most difficult decisions families have to face is deciding to put a loved one in a nursing home. They want to make sure they are placing their family member in a safe environment where they will receive the proper care they need.
Many of those families rely on a government rating system to determine which facilities are the best. The Five-Star Quality Rating System employed by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is a source of information to help consumers make an informed decision when choosing a nursing home. The Medicare Nursing Home Compare website features a quality rating system that gives each nursing home a rating of between 1 (much below average) and 5 stars (much above average). The nursing home is given a star rating in three areas, self-reported staffing, self-reported quality measures, and health inspections. The facility is also given an overall star rating.
A new study of California nursing homes (the nation’s largest system of nursing homes) discovered that some nursing homes have inflated their self-reporting to improve their score in the rating system. The study was done by faculty at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Connecticut and published in the Production and Operations Management journal under the title “Winning at All Costs: Analysis of Inflation in Nursing Homes’ Rating System”. The rating system was implemented in 2008 and this study used data from 2009 to 2013.