April 25, 2019
Contact: Eric Kiehl, 717-221-7935
Cell: 717-599-2077

PA Health Care Association Response to New Federal Five-Star Ratings on Nursing Home Compare

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) President and CEO Zach Shamberg today issued the following statement in response to new Five-Star ratings on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Nursing Home Compare website:

“The abrupt change in star ratings for nursing homes may be confusing to consumers, residents and their families. By moving the scoring ‘goal posts’ for just two components of the Five-Star system, more than 30 percent of nursing homes in Pennsylvania have lost one or more stars overnight—even though staffing levels and quality of care have remained consistent.

“Since the launch of the profession’s metric-based Quality Initiative in 2012, Pennsylvania’s nursing homes have improved in 18 of 23 CMS quality measures. With a focus on enhancing treatment services and improving the overall experience for residents, Pennsylvania nursing homes are continually improving in clinical outcomes, with reductions of hospital readmissions, urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers, use of antipsychotic medication, resident pain and more.

“Despite chronic financial challenges fueled by reimbursement rates that fall far short of the true cost of care, a punitive legal climate and a skilled workforce crisis, Pennsylvania’s nursing homes continue to strive to provide the highest level of care to our aging population.

“While the Five-Star system can be a helpful tool, families should not rely on it exclusively when choosing a nursing home for a loved one. We look forward to working with the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and CMS to ensure that any additional Five-Star rating changes are clear, transparent and helpful to Pennsylvania’s long-term care consumers.”

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