Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provided LeadingAge with information that the 5-Star Health Inspection Rating freeze will be lifted soon and that there will some major changes in the process. Excerpts from the announcement:
The April 2019 changes include revisions to the inspection process, enhancement of new staffing information, and implementation of new quality measures. This includes a lifting of the ‘freeze’ on the health inspection ratings instituted in February 2018. Additionally, CMS intends to set higher thresholds and evidence-based standards for nursing homes’ staffing levels. Currently, facilities that report seven or more days in a quarter with no registered nurse onsite are automatically assigned a one-star staffing rating. In April 2019, the threshold for the number of days without an RN onsite in a quarter that triggers an automatic downgrade to one-star will be reduced from seven days to four days.
The April 2019 Nursing Home Compare Update will include measures of long-stay hospitalizations and emergency room transfers, and will remove duplicative and less meaningful measures. CMS will also establish separate quality ratings for short-stay and long-stay residents and revise the rating thresholds to better identify the differences in quality among nursing homes.
To read the full CMS bulletin,click here. More information will be available in the near future.