What it Takes to Be a Five-Star Nursing Home

A recent McKnight’s article details the criteria necessary for being designated a five-star nursing home. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) evaluates senior living care providers in three different categories: staffing levels, quality measures, and health inspection. Each of these categories carries a different amount of weight in the five-star ranking system.

In terms of staffing, the author of this article advises to assess their current staffing numbers in order to determine the type of staff that has the highest volume of activity. A nursing home can build flexibility into its budget to accommodate staffing needs as they arise, which ultimately increases hours of clinical care for patients.

Quality measures are comprised of 24 different quality categories, as determined by CMS. Nursing homes should focus on the categories that face the most challenges at the state and federal levels and develop a plan to address their performance specifically in those categories. For example, care plan developers may want to revisit a patient’s usage of antipsychotic drugs to ensure that a diagnosis warrants it. They also should consider whether non-pharmacological interventions could replace the need for medication, which tends to be overused in some circumstances. Similarly, the nursing home in question lowered the incidence of urinary tract infections among patients using a bladder scanning technology.

Finally, with respect to health inspections, the author recommends that senior living care facilities be as transparent as possible with any survey agency. Transparency is beneficial to the community as a whole, as it illustrates honesty and build a level of trust between agency and community.

At Boller & Vaughan, we are all too familiar with the rampant abuse and neglect that often occurs in understaffed, underfunded, overcrowded nursing homes. We have investigated many allegations of abuse and neglect, including those that have resulted in serious injuries to elderly residents, thus giving rise to a claim for damages against the responsible person and facility. Allow us to look into the background of your situation, evaluate the many options that may be available to you, and help you decide what move to make next. Contact the Wisconsin nursing home neglect attorneys of Boller & Vaughan, and see what help we have to offer you.