Calif. Nursing Homes Begin Publicly Posting CMS Quality Ratings
On Saturday, California nursing homes began posting federal ratings on their quality of care, the Ventura County Star reports (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 12/30/10).
Details of Rating System
The ratings, which will be available online, will indicate how each nursing home facility scored in CMS' five-star rating system.
One star means that the facility rates "much below average," while five stars means the facility rates "much beyond average" (Ventura County Star, 12/30/10).
The new law also calls for nursing homes to post an explanation of the rating system and instructions on how to obtain the facility's state licensing information from the Department of Public Health's website.
Facilities that do not comply with the new law could face a range of possible fines (Los Angeles Times, 12/26/10).
Next year, CMS plans to redesign the quality measures used to determine overall ratings. According to DPH officials, the revisions mean that California nursing homes might not receive an updated CMS rating until 2012.
Until CMS issues the new ratings, DPH is instructing facilities to post their most recent ratings (Ventura County Star, 12/30/10).
Some Nursing Homes Begin Paying Fee
In related news, some California nursing homes say they might increase costs for residents with private insurance coverage now that they have started paying a state-imposed quality assurance fee of $13.08 per bed, per day.
When the state enacted the fee in 2005, it exempted 75 nursing homes associated with multi-level retirement communities because it assumed such facilities had fewer beneficiaries of Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program. After determining that Medi-Cal paid for 51% of the bed days at such facilities, state officials decided to begin imposing the fee on the 75 multi-level retirement communities (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 1/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.