Changes To The Nursing Home Five-Star Rating System

Today (October 6, 2014) the federal government announced changes to the “five-star” rating system that is widely used to gauge the quality of care provided by nursing homes.  This ratings system has been criticized for many reasons, in part because many feel that the ratings system is unreliable due to self-reported data.  This ratings system and its criticisms, as well as ratings of Chicago area nursing homes, was discussed in the August 24, 2014 post titled “Chicago Nursing Homes And The Star Rating System.”

The changes to the five-star rating system is discussed in the October 6, 2014 New York Times article titled “Medicare Revises Nursing Home Rating System” as well as the press release of October 6, 2014 titled “FACT SHEET:  Administration Announces New Executive Actions to Improve Quality of Care for Medicare Beneficiaries.”

A couple of excerpts from the New York Times article include:

The five-star rating system has become the gold standard for evaluating the nation’s more than 15,000 nursing homes since it was put in place five years ago, even though two of the major criteria used to rate the facilities — staffing levels and quality statistics — are reported by the nursing homes themselves and generally are not audited by the federal government.


Nursing homes will have to begin reporting their staffing levels quarterly using an electronic system that can be verified with payroll data. And officials will initiate a nationwide auditing program aimed at checking whether the so-called quality measures rating — which is based on information collected about every patient — is accurate.

Beginning in January, nursing homes’ ratings will also be based partly on the percentage of its residents being given antipsychotic drugs.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this nursing home ratings issue can be seen in the New York Times and sources mentioned above.


Should you or someone you care for experience Illinois nursing home abuse or neglect – or a nursing home accident – please contact the Elman Joseph Law Group to discuss the situation and to see what legal remedies may exist.

Elman Joseph Law Group is a personal injury law firm based in Chicago, and is known for its courtroom trial capabilities.  This is important for your lawsuit because if an attractive lawsuit settlement is not offered, we have a proven track record of achieving attractive courtroom verdicts.

In fact, because of this court trial capability, many well-known law firms choose to have Elman Joseph Law Group litigate cases. 

To immediately speak directly to Tony Elman, Lead Attorney of the Elman Joseph Law Group, call (773) 392-8182 at any time.  There is no fee for this legal consultation.  

Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC handles Chicago area and other Illinois personal injury lawsuits as well as wrongful death lawsuits.