Seniors Housing Weekly Update - Federal Regs and the 5-Star Rating System

August 26, 2014


August 26, 2014. 60 Seconds with Steve Monroe.  The Medicare 5-star rating system for skilled nursing facilities may not be all that it is cracked up to be....

Federal Regs and the 5-Star Rating System

I have always had mixed emotions regarding federal regulations for assisted living. If I had operations in 10 states, it would be easier to comply with one set of rules rather than 10. But if there is something you don’t like, what kind of success rate would you have going up against the feds to get something changed, as opposed to your state legislators? Don’t bother answering. Take Medicare’s 5-star rating program. Although many objected to it at first, most have learned to deal with it and use it for marketing purposes when they receive a 4- or 5-star rating. But in a recent New York Times story about one skilled nursing facility in California with a 5-star rating, perhaps the ratings aren’t all that they are cracked up to be. Yes, it was just one property, but would assisted living communities want to be given a 1-5 star rating by the federal government? Or would they rather have the consumers vote with their feet and their referrals to friends? I received a call two weeks ago from the daughter of a resident in an independent living community, which was transferring their beloved live-in manager to another building. Apparently, 25% of the residents wanted to leave because of the change. How does that show up in a 5-star rating? Don’t answer that either. 



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