Quality measures derived from the MDS assessments have been posted on Nursing Home Compare since 2003 and used by the Federal government since 2007 to determine the Five-Star rating for each nursing home that participates in Medicare or Medicaid.
Recent legislation, such as the IMPACT Act of 2014, have mandated that nursing homes and other post-acute and long-term care providers will need to phase in reporting of clinical information via a unified set of items on their respective assessment tools (for example, the MDS for SNFs and NFs and the OASIS for home health). Additionally, quality measures derived from these tools will be “aligned” so that outcomes of residents and patients can be tracked across the care continuum. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also recently announced that new quality measures, based on Medicare administrative claims data were be posted on the Nursing Home Compare and used in the Five-Star rating as well, beginning in April 2016.
Changes to the nursing home data reporting requirements as well as the information that is publically displayed and used in the Five Star have been frequent. Nursing home operators without analytic teams at their disposal have been forced to react to drops in ratings, rather than proactively drive their performance on these metrics. Integrated data products and advanced computing techniques to forecast ratings and drops in care quality have become essential in a data-driven market.