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New Quality Measures Announced for Five-Star Rating System

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the introduction of six new quality measures to its Nursing Home Compare Five-Star Quality Rating System. CMS will begin posting data on the new measures in April of this year and five of the six measures will begin to be used in the calculation of ratings in July 2016.

In a presentation released on March 3, CMS provides details on the six new quality measures listed below:

  1. Percentage of short-stay residents who were successfully discharged to the community (claims-based)
  2. Percentage of short-stay residents who have had an outpatient emergency department visit (claims-based)
  3. Percentage of short-stay residents who were re-hospitalized after a nursing home admission (claims-based)
  4. Percentage of short-stay residents who made improvements in function (minimum data set (MDS)-based)
  5. Percentage of long-stay residents whose ability to move independently worsened (MDS-based)
  6. Percentage of long-stay residents who received an antianxiety or hypnotic medication (MDS-based)

The last measure about antianxiety/hypnotic medication will not be implemented in July with the others as details about its specificity and thresholds are still being worked out.

CMS cited the objectives of these modifications as increasing the number of short-stay measures, covering important domains not already covered and increasing the amount of claims-based measures which can improve overall accuracy. 

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