Virtually all skilled nursing facilities accept taxpayer dollars via Medicare. As a condition of being able to get paid Medicare dollars, Medicare has regulations that set minimum standards for the quality of nursing care provided in nursing homes. The purpose of these regulations is in part to ensure proper care is given in order to avoid neglect, injury, and even death to nursing home patients. These regulations, 42 CFR 483.25, address some of the more common types of problems we see in nursing home cases, problems that can lead to injury, or even death.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created the five-star quality rating system as a resource to help individuals, families, and caregivers find out more information about nursing homes (skilled nursing facilities) that participate in Medicare or Medicaid. The rating system helps to provide an easy-to-understand summary of three aspects of nursing home quality: health inspection results, staffing data, and quality measure data. Using this information, along with further research, can help individuals and families differentiate between high-performing and low-performing nursing homes.