CMS releases updated Five Star ratings

Jan. 29, 2021
Contact Deborah Pacyna

CMS releases updated Five Star ratings
California providers maintain quality performance record during pandemic

SACRAMENTO, CA - California skilled nursing providers maintained their record of continued quality performance despite the negative influences of the COVID -19 pandemic in the latest update of national Five-Star ratings. Eight four percent of California nursing homes maintained or improved their star ratings in the latest report and

Of the 22 quality measures that were updated to include data through June 2020, California ranks number one, two or three in 10 separate quality categories. These include (measure and rank).

LPN Hours per patient per day 1
Activities of Daily Living Decline 1
Urinary Tract Infection 1
Short Stay (SS) Flu Vaccine 1
SS Pneumonia Vaccine 1
Weight Loss 2
Injurious falls 2
Long Stay (LS) Ability to Move Worsened 2
LS Flu Vaccine 3
incontinence 3

Also of note: California providers are  fourth best  in the nation in reducing the use of antipsychotic medication.

“These numbers reflect the commitment of our providers and caregivers during the most difficult period of the pandemic,” said Craig Cornett, CAHF CEO/President. It’s been a monumental challenge to maintain high standards while dealing with the threat of infection, staff and resident illnesses and intermittent access to personal protective equipment.”

The update of the federal performance measures by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reflects infection control focused survey deficiencies which were counted as complaint surveys for scoring and rating purposes. The new ratings also reflect staffing levels and performance from July 2019 to June 2020. which includes a timeframe from March – June 2020 when visitations from friends and families and group activities like communal dining were restricted or prohibited to prevent COVID-19 infections.

The national average showed little absolute change for the vast majority of nursing homes. Only three measures had an absolute change of greater than or equal to one percentage point. Long-stay depression worsened from 5.1 to 6.1 percent. Long-stay mobility worsened from 17.1 to 18.5 percent and short-stay functional improvement improved from 68 to 69 percent.

As a result of the efforts since March 2020 to physically distance residents and reduce possible exposure to COVID-19, it is not unexpected to see some quality measures, like depression, worsen.

The latest Five-Star ratings are available to view by the public on Medicare's Care Compare website.