The Five Star Quality Rating System takes the spotlight on the front page of the New York Times and the top of the news cycle, kicking off other publicity and political pressure. Regardless of any of the program's weaknesses, however, it cannot be ignored that providers have used this metric to establish goals and measure improvement — and improved they have.
Seems like it is was only a few weeks ago that the New York Times was blasting the nursing home industry for playing fast and loose with staffing numbers. Now comes a state-by-state report card that essentially says chronic understaffing is undermining care.
Given certain realities about skilled-nursing facility inspections, we should not be wondering why cheating has occurred. Rather, we should be amazed it hasn't been more rampant.
You had to know this was coming. Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that many nursing homes are submitting massaged staffing and quality indicator data to the feds. The alleged reason? So facilities could pull better Five Star ratings.
When I saw the New York Times article illuminating the clever ways devious operators could inflate their Medicare star ratings, I had mixed emotions ranging from fury to rage.
A leader in Congress has called for an evaluation of the nursing home five-star rating system in light of a recent New York Times article. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) requested that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials brief his staff by Sept. 16. One area of concern is the heavy reliance on nursing homes' self-reported data about staffing levels and quality of care, which may not be regularly audited for accuracy, Cummings stated in his Aug. 26 letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
A pall hangs over this sector at the moment, thanks to the New York Times.
As never before, data collection and analytics have become part and parcel of long-term care. Even midsize and smaller operators are sifting through amazingly granular information to document strengths, address weaknesses and unearth new opportunities. It's all fantastic stuff.
People with complex needs could find themselves squeezed out of the most appropriate long-term care settings as Medicaid beneficiaries become enrolled in programs from private sector companies, The New York Times reported in a lengthy Page 1 examination of the subject Friday.
It was a simple question, one I've asked before in moments of extreme desperation. But this time, the answer went beyond merely helpful.
I'll let you in on a secret: Most of the time, the long-term care business press is, if not always on your side, at least sympathetic to your plight.
For all the talk about reducing rehospitalizations, there seems to be a big element missing, according to the New York Times: that of talking.
Sleep quality, or a lack thereof, will no doubt be familiar to anyone who has children. Even if without progeny, some of you might relate to the following.
One of the popular drumbeats in long-term care is about the importance of "telling our story." But if you go to look for a literal story, you may find yourself coming up short.