HHS unveils new national quality improvement strategy

A substantial number of nursing homes improved their overall Five-Star Quality Rating between 2009 and 2011, according to a recently released Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services analysis.

About a third of nursing facilities maintained the same overall Five-Star rating in the three years studied, but there was an “overall trend towards improved ratings,” the report states. Among providers that did see a change, 41% improved their overall rating, while nearly 27% saw a lower rating.

The proportion of facilities with a one-star overall rating decreased from 23% to 16% over the three-year period, and the proportion with a four- or five-star overall rating increased from 35% to 43%.

The overall rating is based on scores in three domains: health inspections, staffing and quality measures. Staffing scores were the most consistent during the three years analyzed, according to the report. Quality measure scores fluctuated the most, even though they were held constant from March 2011 to July 2012, due to the roll out of the Minimum Data Set 3.0.

The 60-page report includes a variety of other information, including nurse staffing statistics and state-level data. Click here to access the complete document.