Long Term Care & Senior Living Blog

Five Star Quality Rating: Strategies For Long-Term Care Providers

Peter Corless

ahca-ltctt-5-star-report.jpgMany of you may be aware that I have the distinct privilege and honor to serve on the Board of Governors of the American Healthcare Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL).  AHCA has one position on its Board for an Associate Business Member which is filled with a representative from the Vendor Partner community. My peers from the Vendor Partner community who are members of AHCA voted me in to that position to represent their interests to the board and to provide feedback to them on AHCA’s policy initiatives. Many of OnShift’s customers are members of AHCA/NCAL and OnShift is proud to be a strong supporter of the Post-Acute sector. 

I want to make you aware that AHCA announced at their convention this past October, that as a member benefit, they would begin to e-mail a report from Long Term Care Trend Tracker (LTCTT) to member skilled nursing facilities on a quarterly basis. This report, titled, “Your Top Line” contains important information pulled from CMS about a facility’s 5 Star Survey rating, Staffing Rating, Quality Measure Rating and Overall Score.  It provides valuable information that you can use to understand your facilities history, current status and most importantly, how to improve these measures moving forward.

With respect to the Staffing Rating, facilities can maintain, gain or lose an Overall 5 Star Rating depending on what their Staffing rating is at the time of the facilities annual CMS Survey. At some point in the future, staffing information submitted through the electronic Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) will determine the Star Staffing Rating, but at this point in time, it is still determine by the information provided on forms 671/672 at the time of survey that matter. 

There is also technology that can help take this information from AHCA and turn it into actionable data to monitor and impact their Star Staffing Rating on a daily basis. OnShift Insight uses information from CMS and the facilities daily staffing thru OnShift Schedule to compute that day's Star Staffing rating. By monitoring staffing hours per patient day (HPPD) for direct care nursing staff that are included in the staffing calculation, OnShift Insight predicts what your Star Staffing Rating will be at any point in time. In addition, the system allows you to model different approaches to increasing or decreasing staffing to move up or drop down in your staffing rating and calculates the approximate cost or savings associated with doing so. The software allows you to model different approaches such as increasing or decreasing RN, LPN and CNA hours to see the relative cost, depending on how you want to achieve a specific star rating. Any customer can add the Insight module to gain this valuable information. OnShift Insight also includes a more powerful labor analytics capability that provides detailed information about how well a facility is utilizing its current staff and suggests hiring needs based on current employee workforce information and the current schedule to help ensure you achieve your Five Star Staffing Rating goals

OnShift Insight is another way OnShift can help you to maximize the utilization of your current labor to meet your quality outcomes and customer satisfaction goals.  We would be happy to provide you with a demonstration at any time - just ask!


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Peter Corless

Peter Corless is Executive Vice President of Enterprise Development for OnShift. Peter is a recognized HR leader in post-acute care and is well-known for his achievements at some of the country’s largest post-acute care organizations, including Kindred Healthcare and Genesis HealthCare. As an experienced, international chief administrative and human resources officer within these organizations, he developed strategies that reduced turnover, improved recruiting and hiring strategies, and reduced...


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