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Med Care Res Rev. 2019 Aug;76(4):425-443. doi: 10.1177/1077558717725165. Epub 2017 Aug 11.

Nursing Home Response to Nursing Home Compare: The Provider Perspective.

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1 University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
2 University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


Nursing Home Compare (NHC) publishes composite quality ratings of nursing homes based on a five-star rating system, a system that has been subject to controversy about its validity. Using in-depth interviews, we assess the views of nursing home administrators and staff on NHC and unearth strategies used to improve ratings. Respondents revealed conflicting goals and strategies. Although nursing home managers monitor the ratings and expend effort to improve scores, competing goals of revenue maximization and avoidance of litigation often overshadow desire to score well on NHC. Some of the improvement strategies simply involve coding changes that have no effect on resident outcomes. Many respondents doubted the validity of the self-reported staffing data and stated that lack of risk adjustment biases ratings. Policy makers should consider nursing home incentives when refining the system, aiming to improve the validity of the self-reported domains to provide incentives for broader quality improvement.


nursing home; nursing home compare; public reporting; quality ratings


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