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CMS Nursing Home Rating Systems Gone Wrong

Can we really trust ratings? According to the New York Times article “Maggots, Rape, and Yet Five Stars: How U.S. Ratings of Nursing Homes Mislead the Public,” they may be more misleading than we think. The Times unmasked the implications of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) omnipresent “star systems,” which are intended to act as tools for those facing the heart-wrenching decisions of where to send their loved ones for care. 

Sadly, many families who thought their loved ones were receiving care in a 5-star nursing home likely consumed digitally altered images of the quality of care provided by our nation’s nursing homes. The CMS system led several long-term care facilities to falsify their data and manipulate the public. 

The Times Finds Significant Gaps in CMS Rating Systems 

The CMS rating system consists of an overall score based on in-person inspection, staffing ratio, and quality care. Following backlash of over unaudited data, a lead spokesperson for CMS said that they take “reports of fraud seriously” and “deploy enforcement and accountability measures swiftly if fraud is detected.” 

To determine the star-ranking system’s credibility, the Times performed a comprehensive analysis using various informational records, including state inspection reports, financial statements, and self-reported data. Here’s a list of the study’s key findings

  • A large portion of data sent to CMS is misrepresented
  • A substantial portion of the misrepresented data is associated with staffing levels
  • Data shows that inspections were no “surprise” to some nursing homes
  • Bad inspection results rarely hurt nursing home ratings
  • Nursing home ratings were not accurately portrayed during COVID-19, specifically about which homes had high infection rates and outbreaks

Aggressive Representation for Nursing Home Residents in NYC

Far too many families and their loved ones have fallen victim to this so-called rating system. Such unethical practices are utterly demoralizing to residents, and they’ve gone on for too long. The nursing home abuse lawyers at Dalli & Marino strive to raise the standards of care for our clients and our communities by holding each and every person behind these issues accountable. We know that change needs to happen sooner than later. That’s why our firm makes solving these sensitive matters our priority.

Retain our legal team’s help by calling (888) 465-8790 or completing our contact form as soon as possible. Share your story with us, and we can guide you in a direction closer to the justice you deserve.