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CMS' Five Star Nursing Home Rating System Called Into Question Once Again
Date:8/27/2009

31 Attorneys General Call System 'Misleading' and Urge Its Suspension

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Health Care Association (AHCA) today applauded thirty-one state Attorneys General for sending a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, calling for the suspension and revision of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS') Nursing Home Five Star Rating System.

According to the letter, the rating system, which was launched at the end of the last Administration, ". . .can be misleading and create significant confusion for seniors."

"The long term care community is grateful for the dedication of the Attorneys General to provide consumers an accurate representation of the care our profession provides every day for millions of frail, elderly and disabled individuals," stated Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA. "We praise the leadership of Martha Coakley (D), Attorney General of Massachusetts, and William Mims (R), Attorney General of Virginia for championing of the use of fair and precise data in assessing quality in nursing homes for consumer use and for requesting a temporary suspension and revision to the existing Five-Star ratings system."

In part, the letter to Secretary Sebelius also states:

In the interest of consumers as well as providers, we believe it imperative that the current Five Star System be suspended temporarily and revised using a more appropriate criterion-reference evaluation methodology. Fortunately, CMS' Nursing Home Compare System that was in place before Five Star remains available to consumers as a tool for nursing home selection during what should be a short revision process.

With a desire to bring about a better system, Yarwood stated, "In order to revise the system to create one that provides clearly arti
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SOURCE American Health Care Association
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