Today’s news:

St. Barnabas Nursing Home receives 5-star rating

St. Barnabas Nursing Home, 2175 Quarry Road, has received a 5-star rating (out of five stars) from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) in its new rating system of nursing homes nationwide. St. Barnabas is among approximately 12 percent of all certified nursing homes to receive the CMS’s highest rating.

“We are very proud of this designation, one which I believe is indicative of our quality as a nursing home,” said Alan Rosenblut, administrator at the St. Barnabas Nursing Home. “This system gives families an excellent vehicle for them to compare nursing homes in making important decisions.”

CMS first launched its Nursing Home Compare website in 1998 to help consumers choose a nursing home, as part of its initiative to improve nursing home quality of care. The 1- to 5-star rating system was added in December 2008 to increase the usefulness of the website to the public and provide a more user-friendly way for consumers to compare nursing homes within a state or community.

While a 5-star rating means that a facility ranks “much above average,” a 3-star ranking indicates “about average,” and a 1-star rating is “much below average.” The quality of care rating is derived from three data sources: health inspections, staffing, and quality measures.

Health inspection surveys provide a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home including its administration, environment, kitchen/food services, and resident rights and quality of life. It uses the three most recent standard health inspections in addition to looking at all complaint health inspections conducted in the last three years.

Quality measures depict the care provided in the nursing home. This includes 10 quality measures that come from resident assessment data collected by the nursing home.

In determining the levels of staffing, CMS collects data at nursing homes at the time of their standard health inspection for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nurse aides.

On its website, CMS states that the public should view the ratings system as “a starting point—not an ending point.” It encourages consumers to review all data in the process of gathering information about a nursing home, which includes visiting the facility and asking questions of its administrators and staff before making any decisions.

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