Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added six new quality measures to its consumer-based Nursing Home Compare website (https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html). Three of these six new quality measures are based on Medicare-claims data submitted by hospitals, which is significant because this is the first time CMS is including quality measures that are not based solely on data that are self-reported by nursing homes. These three quality measures measure the rate of rehospitalization, emergency room use, and community discharge among nursing home residents. They include:

  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 (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)

“These new quality measures broaden the set of quality measures already on the site so that patients, their family members, and caregivers have more meaningful information when they consider facilities,” said CMS Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer Patrick Conway, M.D., MSc.

With today’s quality measure updates, CMS is nearly doubling the number of short-stay measures, which reflect care provided to residents who are in the nursing home for 100 days or less, on Nursing Home Compare. CMS is also providing information about key short-stay outcomes, including the percentage of residents who are successfully discharged and the rate of activities of daily life (ADL) improvement among short-stay residents.

Beginning in July 2016, CMS will incorporate all of these measures, except for the antianxiety/hypnotic medication measure, into the calculation of the Nursing Home Five-Star Quality Ratings. CMS is not incorporating the antianxiety/hypnotic medication measure because it has been difficult to determine appropriate nursing home benchmarks for the acceptable use of these medications.

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