Nursing homes, consumers could benefit from improvements to the Nursing Home Compare website and Five-Star Quality Rating System : report to congressional requesters.


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” Approximately 15,600 nursing homes participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs provide care to 1.4 million residents each year. To help consumers make informed choices about nursing homes, CMS developed the Nursing Home Compare website, and on the site made available the Five-Star System, which rates homes on quality components. GAO was asked to assess the website and rating system as tools for consumers. GAO examined (1) the information CMS collects about the use of Nursing Home Compare, including its usefulness to consumers, and potential areas, if any, to improve the website, and (2) the extent to which the Five-Star System enables consumers to understand nursing home quality and make distinctions between homes. GAO reviewed CMS documents and interviewed CMS officials and national and a non-generalizable sample of state-level stakeholders from four states, selected on factors such as size. GAO also analyzed Five-Star System and consumer complaint data, and analyzed resident satisfaction data from two of the four selected states. ”