CMS created the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily and to help identify areas about which you may want to ask questions.
The Nursing Home Compare Web site features a quality rating system that gives each nursing home a rating of between 1 and 5 stars. Nursing homes with 5 stars are considered to have much above average quality and nursing homes with 1 star are considered to have quality much below average. There is one Overall 5-star rating for each nursing home, and a separate rating for each of the following three sources of information:
Caution: No rating system can address all of the important consideration that go into a decision about which nursing home may be best for a particular person. Examples include the extent to which specialty care is provided (such as specialized rehabilitation or dementia care) or how easy it will be for family members to visit the nursing home resident. As such visits can improve both the residents’ quality of life and quality of care, it may often be better to select a nursing home that is very close over one that may be, compared to a higher rated nursing home that would be far away. Consumers should therefore use the Web site only together with other sources of information for the nursing homes (including a visit to the nursing home) and State or local organizations (such as local advocacy groups and the State Ombudsman program).
In the Downloads section below, the Five-Star Quality Rating System Technical Users’ Guide provides in-depth descriptions of the ratings and the methods used to calculate them. Beginning with the March 2009 version, the Technical Users’ Guide consists of two documents: the Five-Star Quality Rating System Technical Users’ Guide and the Five Star Quality Rating System State-Level Cut Point Tables. In addition, beginning with March 2009 we have posted a data file that contains reported, expected, and adjusted staffing time values for all nursing homes on Nursing Home Compare – Updated March 2018.