KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Nursing Home Rating System Gets Makeover

The Obama administration announced Monday that it will substantially revise the five-star rating program for nursing homes.  

The New York Times: Medicare Revises Nursing Home Rating System
The federal government on Monday announced substantial changes to the government’s five-star rating program for nursing homes, a widely used consumer tool that has been criticized for its reliance on self-reported, unverified data (Thomas, 10/6).

The Associated Press: Medicare To Improve Nursing Home Ratings
The Obama administration says it’s launching a makeover for Nursing Home Compare, the government website consumers can turn to when a loved one needs long-term care. Officials said Monday a key improvement will involve a new electronic reporting system to gather details on nurse and aide staffing directly from payroll records (10/6).

CQ Healthbeat: Nursing Home And Home Health Agency Staffing Under New Scrutiny
The Obama administration will use payroll data starting next year to find out how many workers each of the nation’s 15,000 nursing homes employs to help patients, federal officials said on Monday. The process is part of an effort to improve the quality of care offered by nursing homes, home health agencies and other medical providers. Part of the initiative comes from a bipartisan law that President Obama signed on Monday. The legislation, known as the IMPACT Act, could lead to significant long-term changes in the way that the providers are paid. The rest of the efforts are being done through rulemaking and executive actions. Consumers have long been frustrated by the difficulty of comparing nursing homes and home health agencies. The administration said the new requirements would give consumers more tools (Adams, 10/6).

Modern Healthcare: CMS Expands Nursing Home Reporting Requirements, Updates Rules For Home Health Agencies
The CMS will implement a quarterly electronic filing system for nursing homes, subject to audits, to report staffing levels. The enhanced reporting will include data on what types of workers are on duty and the rate of personnel turnover (Demko, 10/6).

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