We are always grateful when we receive accolades – each honor is an affirmation that Deutsches Altenheim is providing exceptional care to our residents, helping seniors to enjoy their lives in comfort and safety. Receiving the coveted five star rating – the highest standard – tells the public what we already know to be true: we are succeeding in our mission to help seniors live their best life possible.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sets and enforces standards for nursing homes certified by Medicare or Medicaid, as most are. The agency also collects information from states and individual facilities and assigns each facility a rating of one to five stars in each of three categories: state-conducted health inspections, nursing and physical therapy staffing, and quality of medical care. The ratings are combined to produce an overall rating of one to five stars.
Five Star Quality Rating System
CMS created the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily and to help identify areas about which you may want to ask questions. The information is featured on CMS’s Nursing Home Compare web site. Nursing homes with five stars are considered to have much above average quality and nursing homes with one star are considered to have quality much below average. There is one Overall star rating for each nursing home, and a separate rating for each of the following three sources of information:
Health Inspections – The health inspection rating contains information from the three most recent health inspections and investigations due to complaints. This information is gathered by trained, objective inspectors, including at least one registered nurse. The inspection team visits the nursing home and looks at many aspects of life in the nursing home including, but not limited to:
- The care of residents and the processes used to give that care
- How the staff and residents interact
- The nursing home environment
- Inspectors also review the residents’ clinical records, interview residents and family members, as well as caregivers and administrative staff.
Staffing – The staffing rating has information about the number of hours of care provided on average to each resident each day by nursing staff. These types of staff are included in the nursing home staffing information:
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)
- Nurse Aides
- Physical Therapist (PT)
This rating considers differences in the level of residents’ care need in each nursing home. For example, a nursing home with residents who had more severe needs would be expected to have more nursing staff than a nursing home where the resident needs were not as high.
Quality Measures (QMs) – The quality measure rating has information on 17 different physical and clinical measures for nursing home residents. CMS uses this information to measure parts of nursing home care quality, for example: whether or not residents have gotten their flu shots, are in pain, had one or more falls that resulted in a major injury, or are losing weight. The QMs offer information about how well nursing homes are caring for their residents’ physical and clinical needs. Nursing Home Compare has two different types of quality of resident care measures: short- and long-stay resident quality measures.
- Short-stay resident quality measures show the average quality of resident care for those who stayed in a nursing home for 100 days or less or are covered under the Medicare Part A Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) benefit. Short-stay residents often are those recovering from surgery or are discharged from a hospital stay. Many short-stay residents get care in a nursing home until they are able to go back home or to the community.
- Long-stay resident quality measures show the average quality of care for certain care areas in a nursing home for those who stayed in a nursing home for 101 days or more. Residents in a nursing home for a long-stay are usually not healthy enough to leave a nursing home and cannot live at home or in a community setting. These residents may be older and/or have more serious health issues.
Why is this information important?
Nursing homes vary in the quality of care and services they provide to their residents. Health inspection results, staffing data, and quality of resident care information are three important ways to measure the quality of a nursing home. This information, combined in the star rating, gives a “snapshot” of the quality of each nursing home. German Centre is proud to be among the elite providers of care to Boston-area seniors.