2016-05-11 / Columns

Look for a 5-Star Rating when choosing a care & rehabilitation center


Making the decision to move a loved one to a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center is one of the most difficult decisions a family may ever have to make. Should the time come, it’s important to choose a center that has a reputation for quality. To help guide consumers, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed a rating system.

CMS is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). One of its responsibilities is to monitor and rate nursing homes nationwide. CMS created the 5-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers, their families and caregivers compare nursing home options and identify specific areas that they should inquire about when visiting a community.

The Nursing Home Compare website features a quality rating system that gives each nursing home a rating between one and five stars. Nursing homes with five stars are considered to be of premier quality, while nursing homes with one star are considered to be far below average. Here are the national averages:

 10% in each state receive a 5-Star Rating.

 The middle 70% of facilities receive a rating of two, three or four stars, with an equal number in each rating category.

 20% receive the poorest score—a 1-Star Rating.

CMS’ health inspection ratings are based on the relative performance of communities within a state. Here are a few of the measured standards:

 Health Inspections—The health inspection rating contains information from the last three years of on-site inspections, including both standard surveys and any complaint surveys.

 Staffing—The staffing rating has information about the number of hours of care provided on average to each resident each day by nursing staff.

A 5-Star Rating reflects excellence in programming, community management, patient care, medical practices, staffing, amenities and patient satisfaction. Less than half of all nursing homes nationwide receive four stars, and even fewer earn the 5- Star Rating. In New Jersey, only 27 percent of nursing homes have a 5-Star Rating.

The Lions Gate Health Center, part of Jewish Federation’s Jewish Senior Housing & Healthcare Service (JSHHS) recently received a 5- Star Rating. Acting CEO and Executive Director of Operations Susan Love said, “We made a commitment to our residents and to our community to provide the best care and services possible. The recent 5- Star Rating is the culmination of that commitment. Results like these would not be achieved without the hard work and dedication of the staff at Lions Gate.” s

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