Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revised their Nursing Home Compare 5-Star Quality Rating System, giving 29 New Jersey nursing facilities a one-star rating. These updates intend to give consumers clearer information about the quality of care residents receive at different nursing centers. The changes also aim to promote quality improvement within the facilities.

Nursing centers with 5 stars reflect above-average care quality, and those with 1 star are considered to have below-average care quality. The overall rating is composed of three factors: staffing, quality measures, and health inspections.

Thankfully, health inspection ratings for nursing homes are now restored after being frozen since February 2018. The new rating system also adds measures tied to emergency room transfers and long-stay hospitalizations, along with removing a few “duplicative and less meaningful” metrics.

The updated rating system is more stringent on staffing. Previously, a facility would automatically receive a one-star rating after 7 days in a quarter without a registered nurse onsite. Recognizing the importance of RN staffing, CMS lowered this threshold to only 4 days before bumping a facility down to a single star.

After CMS implemented the revised rating system, 37% of nursing facilities lost one or more stars on their overall quality rating, 47% of ratings stayed the same and 16% of ratings increased.

To compare ratings for these facilities you can visit the Medicare website to use the Nursing Home Compare tool.

Our loved ones deserve to be treated with the best care possible. It is important to research all nursing centers and explore your options. Click here to read more on how to choose a nursing home.

Unfortunately there are facilities in which we trust to take care of our loved ones that fall short on their duties in more ways than one. If you or a loved one were injured due to a facility’s error, under-staffing, negligence or neglect, we strongly recommend that you speak with experienced counsel immediately.