Five-Star Technical Users’ Guide Updated

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

CMS posted an updated Five-Star Technical Users’ Guide this morning, April 29, 2020.

The following statement appears on the page prior to the Introduction page:

April 2020 Revisions: Temporary Changes due to COVID-I9

On March 23, CMS announced a new, targeted inspection plan designed to help keep nursing home residents safe in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan called for focused inspections on urgent patient safety threats (called “immediate jeopardy”) and infection control. These targeted inspections allow CMS to focus inspections on the most urgent situations, so the agency can get the information it needs to ensure safety, while not getting in the way of patient care.

Due to this action, there is a great shift in the number of nursing homes inspected, and how the inspections are conducted. Without action, this would disrupt the inspection domain of the Five Star Quality Rating System because many nursing homes that would normally be inspected, will not, thereby over-weighting and impacting the ratings of those facilities that are inspected. This could then potentially mislead consumers. Therefore, we will temporarily maintain and hold constant the health inspection domain of the rating system. Specifically, health inspections conducted on or after March 4, 2020, will be posted publicly, but not be used to calculate a nursing home’s health inspection star ratings. This action will start with the scheduled update to the Nursing Home Compare website on April 29, 2020. The surveys will be posted through a link on the front page of the Nursing Home Compare website in the upcoming months (as the survey data is finalized and uploaded). 

I’ve bolded what the revisions to this Users’ Guide appear to be – a result of QSO-20-28-NH.  I blogged on this QSO issuance 2 days ago.  If you haven’t reviewed that CMS notification, I encourage you to take the time to review it as it contains a lot of information.