GAO studies Nursing Home Compare, Five-Star Quality Rating System

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has conducted a study on Nursing Home Compare and CMS’s Five-Star Quality Rating System.

The highlights are available here. The full study can be downloaded from here.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) uses website analytics, user surveys and usability tests to help identify potential improvements to the website.

But according to Evelyn Munley of LeadingAge, the GAO found that CMS does not have a systematic process for prioritizing and implementing potential improvements and CMS officials describe a fragmented approach to reviewing and implementing recommended website changes.

The GAO also found that several factors inhibit the ability of CMS’s Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers understand nursing home quality and choose between high- and low-performing homes, which is CMS’s primary goal for the system.

The office recommends that the CMS administrator establish a systematic process for reviewing potential website improvements and help improve the Five-Star System’s ability to enable consumers to understand nursing home quality.