Nursing home patient satisfaction scores? CMS says it could happen

Patient satisfaction scores for nursing homes could eventually be included in Five Star Quality Ratings and on the Nursing Home Compare website, CMS told McKnight's Long-term Care News. 

Following CMS' efforts to increase transparency for consumers — including the website's new alert icon next to nursing homes cited for abuse — long-term care advocates are calling for publicly reported patient satisfaction scores. 

"CMS is interested in evaluating how resident or patient satisfaction scores could be added to the Nursing Home Compare website and Five Star Quality Rating System," a CMS spokesperson told McKnight's. 

However, a data-gathering trial proved to be too costly in some cases. 

"Several factors would affect implementation of satisfaction scores, including funding, the data collection process and regulatory construct," the CMS spokesperson said. "These factors pose substantial challenges and may take some time to resolve." 

Another challenge arises when factoring in information from residents with dementia. Face-to-face data collection is often required, which a few states have tried but found to be too expensive and unsustainable, according to David Gifford, MD, the American Health Care Association's vice president for quality affairs.

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