Analysis uncovers inconsistencies in nursing home five-star rating system

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A new statistical analysis of the Five-Star Quality Rating System reveals some uneven results across the country.

Certain statistical factors can unfairly positively or negatively affect a nursing home's rating under the five-star system, according to the recently released report from Scripps Howard. For example, for-profit facilities, homes with more than 100 beds and facilities in Southern states all tend to receive lower marks. Nonprofits, smaller homes and facilities in Northern states, meanwhile, typically receive higher marks, the report found. These results back up claims many provider groups made when the five-star rating system was first implemented late last year. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services introduced the rating system last December.

Besides these findings, the survey, which was conducted in September and October, found that 33% of Americans believe nursing homes provide excellent or good quality care. A similar percentage of respondents with family members in a nursing home gave the same answer. More information can be found on the Scripps Web site.