Rockville, Md. – A new study can help families who are evaluating nursing homes and worried about COVID-19. As of January 10, 2021, almost 94 percent of nursing homes had reported at least one case of COVID-19 among their residents and almost 77 percent had reported at least one resident death. A paper from Abt Associates and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that higher nursing home quality ratings from the Five-Star Quality Rating System reported on Nursing Home Care Compare are associated with lower COVID-19 incidence and mortality.
Nursing Home Care Compare is a CMS Five-Star Quality Rating System developed with Abt’s assistance that is intended to help consumers and their families make informed choices for long-term care based on the best data available. The findings of this paper indicate that the data and methodology used in Nursing Home Care Compare’s star ratings capture important aspects of quality related to infection control, and that health officials and policymakers can use those star ratings, along with information such as county infection rates to identify nursing homes more at risk of COVID-19 or potentially other infectious outbreaks.
“Nursing Home Care Compare was designed primarily to help residents and their families find long-term care that meets their needs, while also helping to provide benchmarks for industry best practices,” says Abt Principal Associate Alan White, Ph.D. “That those same benchmarks can help us identify facilities that are more and less at risk for COVID-19 outbreaks isn’t necessarily surprising, but it is gratifying.”
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About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that uses data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people's lives. From combatting infectious disease and conducting rigorous program evaluations, to ensuring safe drinking water and promoting access to affordable housing - and more - we partner with clients and communities to tackle their most complex challenges. http://www.abtassociates.com