AHCA pressures CMS, lawmakers to wait on 'five-star' rating system

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AHCA pressures CMS, lawmakers to wait on 'five-star' rating system
AHCA pressures CMS, lawmakers to wait on 'five-star' rating system
The pending "five-star" nursing home rating system should be delayed because it would not accurately reflect the quality of the nation's nursing homes, the American Health Care Association told the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently.

In a letter to CMS and to key members of the House and Senate, AHCA argues that the five-star rating system is based on a "broken" survey process that does not accurately reflect the quality of resident care. Also, staffing data may include questionable information; and certain CMS quality measures do not account for patient/resident acuity, according to the letter. AHCA President and CEO Bruce Yarwood said CMS and Congress should work with his agency to correct some of these problems before implementing the five-star system.

Federal regulators are hoping to have the new five-star rating system in place by mid-December on the Web site www.medicare.gov/nhcompare. At least 10 states already have similar rating systems in place, according to Thomas Hamilton, director of the nursing homes survey and certification group at CMS.