U.S. News' rating system for nursing homes builds on government's 'five-star' model

Share this content:
Alaska has the largest percentage of five-star rated facilities in the United States, while Louisiana has the lowest. That is according to U.S. News and World Report's America's Best Nursing Homes rankings. The list expands on information from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Nursing Home Compare Web site, which houses the new "five-star" rating system.

The CMS five-star system rates nursing homes on three criteria: health inspection performance, nurse staffing levels, and quality performance and improvement measures. The U.S. News system creates a multi-tiered approach to deciphering the CMS model. Nursing home search results are grouped based on the number of CMS stars received in each of the three categories, and allow for combined searches. For example, users can search for a CMS five-star rated facility in a certain state or zip code, then refine the search to show only religious facilities or facilities with only Medicare residents, according to the magazine.

Facilities that receive five stars in all three CMS categories are placed on an honor roll. There are currently 27 facilities on the list and information is updated quarterly. For more information on U.S. News and World Report's nursing home list, visit http://health.usnews.com/sections/health/best-nursing-homes/index.html.