In a continued effort to separate the good from the bad CMS plans to add a five star rating system to its Nursing Home Compare site. They will decide how many stars each nursing home gets by using data from the past three years of inspections, several measures of quality that include the percentage of residents who have bedsores, and staffing information and will consider "other consistent, accurate, reliable data sources."
I would not advice to just gaze at the stars on this one. A one star facility actually might be a five star facility when it comes to the resident experience and employee satisfaction. Using just clinical indicators is not enough and satisfaction data does not go far enough either. The problem with inspections is that the data on the web site may well be old data and not updated with the latest inspection report. Inspections in some states are spotty and inconsistent so again you could be working off old data.
As we have been writing this is just one more thing in a comprehensive set of to do's that you need to undertake when having to consider where to place a loved one. Use every available resource.