The government authority that provides nursing home ratings and reports is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, according to CMS.gov. The government posts the ratings on the Nursing Home Compare website.
The government rates nursing homes on a five-star basis by looking at the health, staffing and quality measures, explains CMS. Health ratings are based on multiple health inspections over a three-year period. Inspectors give standard surveys and gather complaint surveys to put into their reports. On-site reviews are used as well. Staffing is another category in the rating system, using the number of staff, the number of hours provided for each resident, and the quality of care for residents who need extra attention. The third and final category include 11 different quality measures that determine how well the needs of the residents are met.
As of 2015, the government uses updated methods for rating nursing homes, taking certain topics under consideration, such as how anti-psychotic drugs are used and administered, says USA Today. These new, tighter evaluations have caused many facilities to lose from one to two stars in their overall ratings. The purpose of the new rating system is to raise standards and drive improvements for patients and caregivers.