CMS created the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers compare skilled nursing facilities when choosing care providers.  Has it worked? I think the results speak for themselves.  

SNF with 4 and 5 star ratings have:

  • A favorable payer and patient mix
  • Higher occupancy
  • Better financial performance and results

When consumers have a choice, they choose 4 and 5 star rated facilities. Star ratings matter. But use of the Five-Star Rating System has expanded beyond the consumer. Regulators, insurers, lenders and investors, and other providers use star ratings to determine incentive payments, build referral networks, and evaluate financial risks. 

Achieving a better than average 5-star rating has never been more important to skilled nursing facilities. 

Are you using the system to understand your performance, and improve? The star rating system is more than just stars – it also includes data that can help you understand your ratings and gain insight in how to improve in each of the three domains. At Quantified Mechanix, we have collected and organized the CMS Nursing Home Care dataset so that you can use it to improve. 


Overall. You can see your overall score at a glance and understand how each of the component scores was determined and how it contributes to the overall score. You can see your scores over time and similar views for the competitors in your market.

Inspections. See and understand your inspection and complaint scores across all of the inspection cycles, and historically. Drill through to detail to connect specific issues to patterns and overall results.

  • Understand your inspection scores and when they will change
  • Insight into inspections in your state, anticipate priority issues for inspectors
  • Identify the issues with the biggest impact to identify training and procedure priorities

Staffing. Clearly understand how your staffing score breaks down, how close or far you are from key thresholds, your staff mix and the impact of your case mix adjustment.

  • Understand your labor scores and their impact to star ratings
  • Compare your staffing mix to local, State, and national peers
  • Improve staff retention with benchmark staff mix and level.

Quality.  Clearly understand how your quality scores in aggregate and for each measure. See how close or far you are from key thresholds, and understand the impact of each measure.

  • Understand your quality scores and their impact on your overall score 
  • Use artificial intelligence to find the connection between labor, inspections and quality 
  • Identify issues with the biggest impact to identify training and procedure priorities

With better data and market intelligence you can improve your performance, earn better scores, grow your referral network and achieve a preferred position in your market. However, the dataset contains more than star ratings. It also contains census, and details for your competition. You can use this data to understand capacity, and occupancy in your local market and understand your position in the market. 

  • How does your occupancy rate compare to your local peers? 
  • How does your staff mix and acuity compare?
  • How has market capacity and your market share fluctuated over time?

Measure your impact and Improve market share.

  • Improve your ratings and use them to differentiate, and attract new patients
  • Compare your performance to peers and to build referral relationships
  • Analyze your market to identify drivers of occupancy and market share.
    • Are patients choosing based on overall ratings? Staffing? Quality? 

Benefits of using the CMS Nursing Home Compare Dataset

  • Improve Star Ratings in each of the domains and overall.
  • Maximize efficiency with the right staffing mix based on benchmark peers
  • Prioritize actions that maximize impact on your ratings.
  • Attract more patients and referrals, grow census and improve care.
  • Improve occupancy and market share.

If you are interested in learning more about this data set and how you can get access, send me a note. I will be glad to give you a demo. We also have a case study that helps show the impact of a sustained focus on analytics in skilled nursing.

  • Eric Lealos