Health and Family Services Cabinet
New Nursing Home Rating System Enhances Tools for Consumers
Inspector General Also Encourages Site Visits, Interviews
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) recently launched a new rating system to be used as a tool for consumers to access information about the past performances of every CMS certified nursing home in the country, including facilities in Kentucky. The feature is part of CMS’ Nursing Home Compare Web site.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) strongly encourages consumers to use the tool along with other resources such as visiting facilities, talking with staff, or contacting the cabinet’s long-term care regional ombudsman offices for more information.
“We’re excited about the launch of Nursing Home Compare’s rating system and welcome the opportunity for consumers to have online access to past inspections of facilities,” said CHFS Inspector General Sadiqa Reynolds. “Still, we want to emphasize there are additional avenues for gathering information, particularly visits to facilities, when considering where to place a family member or loved one.”
The new five-point rating system provides numerical ratings of nursing home facilities, ranging from one (poor) to five (excellent). The rating is composed of data gleaned from health surveys, nurse staffing data from the most recent health survey inspection and several quality measures.
“The rating system was created to be a tool for consumers, but it isn’t the only resource out there,” said Reynolds. “Patients have individual needs, and a facility’s ability to respond to them can vary. That’s why it’s important to visit facilities and talk to the staff about individual situations.”
Reynolds also stressed that Nursing Home Compare only includes information on nursing homes that are Medicare or Medicaid certified. Those interested in information about any facility not found in this database should contact the OIG at (502) 564-7963.
For more information or to ask questions regarding nursing home facilities in Kentucky, call the CHFS long-term care ombudsman at (800) 372-2991. Contact information for ombudsman staff serving the state’s various regions can be found at http://chfs.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/DE885EC9-5B88-447A-8530-AEF3707C69FE/0/ltcoDistricts.htm.