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Nursing home rating system gets big fixes

A sudden and suspicious leap in the amount of nursing homes earning high rankings has led the federal government to announce changes to the five-star ranking system, to be implemented early next year, according to HT Health.

One significant change to the system will allow a electronic reporting system to verify payroll and patient information submitted by nursing homes themselves. This nationwide auditing program will strive to ensure reported information is accurate. That information, now, will also include statistics on residents administered anti-psychotic drugs, HT Health reported.

“We are focused on using as many tools as are available to promote quality improvement and better outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries,” said Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Formerly, hand-written submission forms were rarely audited, according to HT Health.

More than 15,000 nursing homes across the country are rated using the current system, which directs consumers based on a variety of factors including quality of care. The government said the expanded system will make rankings more accurate while also offering consumers more information into formerly unreleased statistics like staff turnover.

This after nursing homes nationwide seemed to realize that ranking high on the rating system was a formula just needed to be learned.

The number of homes that held four or five-star rankings almost doubled in four years, from 36 percent in 2009 to 65 percent in 2013, HT Health reported.

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The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.