Less than a month after a New York Times story revealed concerns about insufficient nursing home staffing levels, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) handed out nearly 1,400 one-star reviews.
According to Skilled Nursing News, when CMS updated its Five-Star Quality Rating System for nursing homes last week, 1,387 facilities received one-star ratings for staffing coverage, according to a follow-up piece from the Times and Kaiser Health News. Those new negative numbers were either the result of legitimate staffing struggles or a failure to report required payroll data, the Times found.
Previous measures of nursing home staffing levels had relied on self-reported data from skilled nursing operators, which critics said left the program open to manipulation. An academic study into the matter, for instance, found that about 6% of California nursing homes were inflating their quality measures when reporting data to CMS — with the fudging more common in larger, for-profit systems.
The Kaiser/New York Times investigation was based on hard payroll numbers from providers, which CMS began collecting in recent months as part of updated reporting requirements for skilled nursing facilities. In particular, the federal government took aim at facilities that did not have consistent registered nurse (RN) coverage.
Read the full story at Skilled Nursing News.