Senator Casey Continues to Ask GAO for Five-Star Assessment

Senator Casey

Senator Casey

Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) continues to call on the government to investigate Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Five-Star Quality Rating System.

In a letter on August 6, Senator Casey asked for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an assessment. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) joined Casey's push for closer scrutiny. The Five-Star system is part of the CMS' Nursing Home Compare web tool.

“While we acknowledge recent CMS steps to update the Five-Star ratings and improve nursing home quality on a broader scale, media reports continue to raise questions about the system's integrity,” Casey wrote in a letter to the GAO.

Casey asked for the agency to examine the steps CMS takes to ensure the data used in Five-Star is reliable and timely, whether  there are meaningful differences between star levels and how the number and types of complaints a nursing home receives align with the rating system. He also asked for insights into how people use the Nursing Home Compare tool.

“We owe our families the peace of mind in knowing that the rating system they’re using to make a critical decision about the future of their loved ones is accurate,” Senator Casey said. “The Five Star rating system has the potential to make a substantial difference in the lives of vulnerable seniors but the Administration has to make sure the rating system is working. A GAO review will put the Five Star Rating program on a stronger footing.”

The Five-Star system was rebased earlier this year.