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CMS website provides nursing home ratings on care, staffing and quality

cms care compare website.jpg
Joe Byrnes
The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services website called Care Compare provides ratings and information on nursing homes.

The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services gives facilities an overall star rating along with details on health care, staffing and quality at its Care Compare website.

The federal agency that runs Medicaid and Medicare is taking steps to bolster its consumer-focused ratings of nursing homes.

You'll want to use the Care Compare website if you're ever looking for a nursing home.

That's where the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services gives an overall star rating along with details on health care, staffing and quality.

"The Care Compare tool is an absolute necessity for anyone who is wanting to look into whether or not a nursing home meets a five-star rating criteria, if there are any infractions or any kind of violations that have occurred within their facility," said AARP Florida director of advocacy Zayne Smith.

Recently, CMS announced it will audit nursing homes for the misuse of antipsychotic drugs. Violators will see their ratings plummet.

That's been a problem for decades, Smith said. "What we're seeing is the very intentional move by CMS to say we know this is still an issue even though there are safeguards in place, like Medicare and Medicaid banning the use of these types of chemical restraints without a schizophrenia diagnosis."

Care Compare also posts inspections based on complaints, but those don't show up while nursing homes challenge the findings. Beginning next week, that's going to change -- quarterly updates will include those citations.

Care compare can be found online at medicare.gov/care-compare.

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