A 'satisfying' survey ahead?

Changes to the Five-Star Quality Rating System for nursing homes may be on the horizon under recommendations published by the Government Accountability Office in December.

Agency officials lauded the information made available by Nursing Home Compare and the Five-Star Quality Rating System but added that consumer usability needs to be improved.

In a move heartening to providers, the report also called for greater involvement of consumer satisfaction surveys. Operators have lobbied for years to have satisfaction survey findings included.

“We believe consumer satisfaction surveys could be a more direct measure of nursing home satisfaction,” report authors wrote.

The GAO also noted, however, that CMS has a lack of a “process to evaluate and prioritize implementation of improvements.” It charged the agency with creating one, along with a way to compare nursing homes on a national level.

The report reflects requests made in 2015 by Sens. Robert Casey (D-PA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) inquiring about the reliability of the online ratings.