More scrutiny ahead for Five-Star ratings

Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) is getting his wish: An investigation into the timeliness, accuracy and appropriateness of nursing home ratings data.
Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) is getting his wish: An investigation into the timeliness, accuracy and appropriateness of nursing home ratings data.

In a move that top nursing home lobbyists privately hoped wouldn't come to pass, the Government Accountability Office announced in late August it will be investigating the federal nursing home rating system again.

Publicly, leaders of the American Health Care Association said they welcomed the coming examination of the Five-Star Quality Rating System.

They added, however, that they hoped the GAO will consider enhancing the system to include short-stay performance, and not just longer-term residential care.

The Five-Star system was rebased earlier this year, adding metrics related to antipsychotic use and adjusted staffing algorithms. That was one reason long-term care lobbyists initially thought an investigation request from Sens. Robert Casey (D-PA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) would not be granted. Instead, it was quickly approved.