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AAHSA Statement on CMS Five-Star Rating System for Nursing Homes
Date:12/17/2008

From Larry Minnix, president & CEO

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement was delivered by Larry Minnix, President and CEO of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging:

AAHSA believes there should be two types of nursing homes: the excellent and the non-existent. Quality should be an automatic public expectation.

The five-star rating system is a great idea prematurely implemented. We support a consumer-friendly nursing home rating system based on reliable quality information that the public can understand. But what is being launched tomorrow is poorly planned, prematurely implemented and ham-handedly rolled out.

Together, government and providers must be responsible, transparent and accountable for taking care of vulnerable seniors. CMS has key responsibility for defining, measuring and overseeing quality. Data provided by the government must be accurate, reliable, timely, and friendly.

The rating system is based on three pillars: clinical measures, staffing levels and inspection reports. The staffing component is a snapshot and requires much immediate work because staffing is the best proxy for quality. Inspection data is inconsistent.

What needs to be improved about the Five-Star Rating system is:

  • Immediate development of a data collection tool around staffing.
  • Coordination of the rating system with the Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes campaign.
  • Overhaul of the survey and certification system with funding provided for a new system.
  • Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement that flows through directly for caregiving. The dollars follow the caregiver should be the mantra.

CMS and providers need to provide guidance to consumers on other
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SOURCE American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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