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Choosing a nursing home: Why a 5-star rating from CMS matters

February 22, 2022

Assisted living communities can offer many benefits to seniors who need extra care. And your senior loved one’s health is central to your choice. However, you may not have considered how assisted living helps senior caregivers too.

When you’re choosing a nursing home for your loved one, there’s a lot of information to consider. You might talk with friends or family. Or maybe you’ve done some research online. But did you know the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also has helpful tools?

CMS rates nursing homes on a 5-star scale, with 5 being the best rating. According to CMS, only about 10% of nursing homes across the nation get 5 stars. Here’s what you should know about nursing home ratings and how a 5-star rating sets Autumn Leaves apart.

What does the 5-star rating system include?

The CMS rating system uses three areas to help compare and assess nursing homes. It only includes locations that provide skilled nursing care. That means the facilities in the CMS nursing home ratings have a certain level of care providers and services.

Factors that affect the rating include:

  • Health inspections: Facilities have inspections each year. Outside reviewers then rate and assess the care provided at the facility. This data also includes complaints and infection control reports.
  • Staffing: The ratings consider staffing hours and ratios as well. They look at how many registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses provide care. They also include nurse aide hours and physical therapy staff.
  • Quality: Finally, CMS has a set of specific quality measures. It uses these to compare facilities across many factors. For example, did residents have their medications reviewed for issues? How many who needed a vaccine got it? Or did short-stay residents gain better mobility? Typically, a location with a 5-star rating will score better than average on several of these measures.

How does the CMS 5-star rating help families?

In general, the CMS 5-star rating system gives families objective data on their choices. Because locations are measured on the same factors, it makes it easier to compare facility to facility. Through CMS care compare, families can search for local facilities, compare ratings, and view more detailed reports.

Quality of care is an essential factor in your nursing home choice. When you pick a facility that has a 5-star rating, it helps you feel more confident about the care your loved one will receive.

What else should I consider when choosing a nursing home?

While ratings are a helpful tool, they are only one piece of the picture. In the end, you know what’s best for your loved one. You certainly want a nursing home that provides excellent care. But other factors may guide your final choice.

Families should visit facilities, talk to providers, and ask questions. The overall environment of a nursing home can make a big difference. Your loved one may also have a specific condition or need that must be met. Make sure the nursing home you choose not only offers quality care but fits your loved one’s unique needs and personality.

Experience 5-star nursing home care in Dallas

Autumn Leaves is proud of our 5-star rating because it means we’re providing our residents with the quality care they deserve. To find out more about how we can care for your loved one, contact us today.

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