Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The 5-Star Rating System has generated plenty of media attention on the local front since it was announced in December 2008. Almost three years ago, the state launched an online report-card system that rates each of the state's 385 nursing homes. By some accounts, experts say it's a better method that paints a more complete and accurate picture of a facility than its new national counterpart unveiled this month by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Under Minnesota's system, according to Darcy Miner of the state health department, each facility gets up to five stars in eight quality measures, including inspection results, staff retention and quality of life for residents. Consumers can search online by the area of the state in which they are seeking a center and the quality measures most important to them. Clicking on the name of a nursing home shows the number of stars for each measure and the state average. Search:. The Minnesota care center report card Web site gets about 1,700 hits every month, said Miner in the report. "We get a lot of positive feedback regarding the information people can get with it," said Deb Holtz, state ombudsman for long-term care. At least 19 other states publish similar report cards for care centers, but the state health department calls Minnesota's the most comprehensive because it includes resident satisfaction and quality of life. Minnesota is one of only three states that uses face-to-face interviews to rate the quality of care in care centers, and about 14,000 residents are interviewed every year, Holtz said.