Volume XXXI, Number 4
April 2016

Five-Star: What You Need to Know and Do to Prepare Now

On March 3, CMS announced the addition of new quality measures (QMs) to Nursing Home Compare (NHC) and the Five-Star Quality Rating System. The new measures are a part of the agency’s effort to track and encourage improvements in skilled nursing care centers for short-stay and long-stay patients and residents. These new additions also build on what CMS announced in February of 2015.

There are six new measures: four short-stay and two long-stay. The new short-stay measures are discharge back to the community, emergency room use, rehospitalizations, and improvement in function. Three of the four are aligned with the AHCA Quality Initiative. The new long-stay measures are decline in mobility and the use of hypnotics/anxiolytics.

What does this mean for AHCA member centers? By the end of April, all six of the new measures will be added to NHC and accessible to the public. And in July, all but one measure – hypnotics/anxiolytics – will be added to Five-Star. CMS has not yet announced how the new QMs will impact the overall star rating.

AHCA hosted a webinar for members on March 4 that walked through these new updates in greater detail. The recorded presentation, along with more specifics on the new measures, are available only to members on the Five-Star ahcancalED page.

What can members do over the next few weeks to prepare for the addition of the new measures in April and in July?

  1. Register for free to access members-only Five-Star resources on ahcancalED. Current resources include the March 4th AHCA webinar, the questions and answers from that webinar, and specifics on the new measurements. To access the resources on the site, you must

    1. log in using your AHCA username and password and
    1. register to download the Five-Star materials. Contact educate@ahca.org if you need any assistance. 
  2. Watch AHCA’s webinar from March 4 if you have not already done so. Consider holding an all-staff meeting to watch the webinar together.
  3. Be sure your MDS coordinator is aware of the new updates. She/he will be able to access the QIES System one week before the new measures are added to NHC in April to preview the new data.
  4. Start counting and tracking the number of residents and patients who are experiencing each of the QMs (e.g., discharge back to the community, emergency room use, rehospitalizations) by using Advancing Excellence’s free tracking tools.
  5. Review and familiarize yourself with the specifics of the new measures. And don’t forget to include your staff in this process.
  6. Go to AHCA’s LTC Trend Tracker(SM), a free, members-only online tool, to run your Discharge to Community and Hospitalization Rate reports. Once you have your report, look to see if you are above or below the national average to get a sense of how you are doing. Based on what you learn, set a goal to perform at least two-three points better than the average. Contact help@ltctrendtracker.com if you need any assistance.
  7. Visit the AHCA Quality Initiative website to access additional resources to improve your discharges back to the community and reduce hospital readmissions.
  8. Stay tuned. AHCA will inform members of any new updates over the next few weeks.

President’s Report

 Legislative Update

Commitment to Care


If you have any questions about the THCA Commitment to Care Initiative or would like to share your facilities successes please contact Gloria Bean-Williams by email or call (512) 458-1257.

State / THCA News

National / AHCA News

  • Five-Star: What You Need to Know and Do to Prepare Now

Announcements & Recognition


?’s About THCAPAC…Contact Us

Ron Payne,

Mark McKenzie,

Gina Muniz,

Scot Kibbe,

Region News



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