Providers rip report on Five-Star ratings

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AAHSA President and CEO Larry Minnix
AAHSA President and CEO Larry Minnix
An analysis of the government's Five-Star Quality Rating System for nursing homes by USA Today drew a sharp rebuke from providers. The study found that one in five U.S. nursing homes consistently receive poor ratings for overall quality.This, however, was not surprising to many in long-term care since the system uses a bell curve to pre-determine that a certain percentage receive one-star ratings. In other words, one-fifth of nursing facilities will receive ratings of one star, regardless of how well they perform.

Provider groups long have called for resident, family and staff satisfaction surveys to be included in the rating process, which took effect in December 2008.

“We're very concerned about the way the data is presented” in the five-star system, Lauren Shaham, vice president of communications for the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, told McKnight's. “The Five-Star program is a great idea, but the way it's been implemented is lacking and not helpful to consumers.”