Moving the HME Industry Forward

General Healthcare

Study: Quality of Nation’s Nursing Homes Improving

July 15, 2013

DURHAM, NC—While surveys still show that elderly people wish to stay in
their homes as they age, at least the quality of nursing homes has
improved for those who can’t avoid moving out. 

Since the 2008 implementation of CMS’ Five-Star Quality Rating System an Abt Associates’ analysis
finds that between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of nursing homes with
an overall five-star rating—or much better than average—increased in all
but three states. The proportion with a one-star rating, or much below
average, dropped as well. There are more than 15,500 nursing homes in
the country, and all of them are rated between one and five stars.

“Between
2009 and 2011, the percentage of nursing homes with a four- or
five-star rating grew in every state except for Hawaii, Montana, and
Idaho,” said Alan White, PhD, a principal associate at Abt Associates
who worked with CMS to develop the rating system. “While we don’t know
the extent to which the existence of the rating system itself has led to
this improvement, most nursing home operators pay close attention to
their ratings and seem to be motivated to improve them. Some use their
ratings as part of their marketing efforts, branding their facilities as
‘five-star’ nursing homes.”

White said the Five-Star Quality
Rating System was created to help consumers, their families, and
caregivers more easily compare nursing homes when visiting CMS’s Nursing
Home Compare website.

While there has been an 8% increase in
four-and five-star facilities in overall performance nationwide between
2009 and 2011, five states stand out as experiencing the greatest change
in their proportion of nursing homes with a four- and five-star overall
rating. These are Delaware, Tennessee, Georgia, Oregon and Indiana. The
percentage of Delaware’s five-star facilities jumped by nearly 23%;
Tennessee’s by about 16%; Georgia’s by nearly 15%; and Oregon’s and
Indiana’s each by about 14%.

In addition to overall performance, the study provides state ratings in each of the performance domains.