Senator questions integrity of five-star nursing home rating system

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) has called for an investigation of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid's five-star nursing home compare tool. In a press release, he said recent reports have raised questions about the integrity of the program, which aids families in choosing a nursing home for their older loved ones.

Casey sent a letter to the United States Government Accountability Office and asked Comptroller Gene Dodaro to conduct an assessment of the general accuracy and reliability of Nursing Home Compare.

"We owe our families the peace of mind in knowing that the rating system they’re using to make a critical decision about the future of their loved ones is accurate," Casey said in a release. "The Five Star rating system has the potential to make a substantial difference in the lives of vulnerable seniors but the Administration has to make sure the rating system is working. A GAO review will put the Five Star Rating program on a stronger footing."

Nursing Home Compare rates facilities on a one to five scale in three areas: health inspections, staffing and quality measures. The tool came under fire earlier this year when a Center for Public Integrity report found nursing homes were inflating staff numbers for a better rating.

Read Casey's letter to Dodaro here.

Related article:

Report: Nursing homes inflate staff numbers for better Nursing Home Compare ranking

Quality by the Numbers: Understanding the Five-Star Rating System Changes

Topics: Advocacy , Clinical , Facility management , Operations , Regulatory Compliance