California Nursing Homes Required To Display Federal Quality Ratings
A state law in effect January 1, 2011, requires California nursing homes to publicly display their federal quality-of-care star ratings.
Nursing homes also must post information explaining the ratings and how to get information about the facilities’ state licensing records. Nursing homes that fail to post the information may be fined.
Federal Nursing Home Ratings
The federal ratings are issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. After investigation, nursing homes receive up to five stars representing the quality of care they provide. The quality-of-care determination is based on three areas of evaluation:
- Health inspections and complaints
- The number of staffing hours provided to nursing home residents
- How well the staff cares for the residents
The top 10 percent of federally-rated nursing homes receive five stars, reflecting “much above average quality;” the bottom 20 percent receive one star, indicating “quality much below average.”
California Nursing Home Ratings
California is the first state to require nursing homes to post their ratings like restaurants display their letter grade for health and safety compliance.
Michael Antonovich, a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors said the law provides incentives for nursing home operators to establish and maintain high-quality care. In addition, it gives information that will assist families in making informed decisions about nursing-home care for their loved ones, he stated.
Also, the law exposes facilities where nursing home abuse has occurred and helps to avoid wrongful death in nursing homes by ensuring patients and their families are aware of the federal evaluations.
California has 1,235 federally-rated nursing homes, which is more than any other state. In the initial ratings, 195 California nursing homes received one star and 187 nursing homes received five stars.