Sunday, February 15, 2015
Kaiser Health News reported a story regarding a change in the nursing home star rating system. The story, Government To Grade Nursing Homes On Tougher Scale,. dated February 12, 2015, notes that effective immediately the government is "grading" the nursing homes harder "in part by increasing scrutiny of their use of anti-psychotic drugs and raising the bar on an array of quality measures." The five-star rating system that is used to "grade" nursing homes has been criticized previously and the article references an article in the August 24, 2014 New York Times, Medicare Star Ratings Allows Nursing Homes to Game the System.
The quality score changes include "count[ing] the percentage of residents given anti-psychotic drugs, reflecting concern that too many are unnecessarily drugged to make them easier to manage." But as the story notes, that data will continue to come from the nursing homes. According to the article, the changes will start showing up on the website February 20, 2015 although the administrators of the nursing homes will have the new ratings earlier.