New rankings might wrongly show downturn, leaders fear

LeadingAge's Cheryl Philips, M.D., is concerned about the rebasing of quality metrics.
LeadingAge's Cheryl Philips, M.D., is concerned about the rebasing of quality metrics.

Despite progress reducing off-label use of antipsychotics among nursing home residents, providers remained worried about a rebasing of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services system to rank nursing homes.

Officials from both the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living and LeadingAge said they support adding antipsychotics measurements, but they are concerned about perceptions of homes that will lose stars in the new Five Star system.

“We have definitely supported inclusion of antipsychotics of Five Star. We believe the public reporting and calculation of that into Five Star is a necessary next step,” said LeadingAge Senior Vice President of Advocacy Cheryl Phillips, M.D.

But Philips and Mark Parkinson, the president and CEO of AHCA, said the rebasement is confusing for families and residents. 

“We are concerned the public won't know what to make of these new rankings,” Parkinson said. “If centers across the country start losing star ratings overnight, it sends a signal to families and residents that quality is on the decline when in fact it has improved in a meaningful way.”

CMS strove to rebase in a balanced way, said Thomas Hamilton, director of Survey and Certification Group.