Florida nursing homes ahead of the curve with five-star rating system

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Florida nursing homes ahead of the curve with five-star rating system
Florida nursing homes ahead of the curve with five-star rating system
The five-star rating system introduced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may be new for nursing homes on a national scale, but it's old hat in the Sunshine State.

Florida has been rating its nursing homes with a star scale for the last few years on its own healthcare consumer watchdog site, www.FloridaHealthFinder.gov. Healthcare officials their say that integrating their facilities with the new federal CMS five-star system shouldn't be difficult, as they're already accustomed to such a rating plan.

Florida is ahead of the game when it comes to the new sprinkler rules, as well. Laws passed in Florida earlier this year require all nursing homes to have sprinkler systems by Dec 31, 2010, years before the national deadline of 2013. Gov. Charlie Crist (R) last week approved legislation that will help cash-strapped facilities to pay for the upgrades. Only four of the state's 672 nursing homes are currently without a sprinkler system, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

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