Five Star Rating System

Nursing Home Compare (NHC) is a tool that has detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country. Before you get started, you or your family member may have other long-term care choices like community-based services, home care, or assisted living depending on your needs and resources. For more information, see Alternatives to Nursing Homes. Otherwise, follow these steps when you are looking for information to help support your choice of a nursing home:

  • Step 1: Find Nursing Homes in your area. Search by name, city, county, state, or ZIP code.

  • Step 2: Compare the quality of the nursing Homes you're considering using the Five-Star Quality Ratings, health inspection results, nursing home staff data, quality measures, and fire safety inspection results.

  • Step 3: Visit the nursing homes you're considering or have someone visit for you. Use the Nursing Home Checklist and other resources under “Additional information ” on the bottom of the main web page.

  • Step 4: Choose the nursing home that best meets your needs. Talk to your doctor or other healthcare practitioner, your family, friends, or others about your nursing home choices. You can also contact the Maine Long-Term Ombudsman or the Maine State Survey Agency before you make a decision.

On February 13th, 2015, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new changes to the Nursing Home Compare – Five Star Rating System.   CMS is setting higher standards for better performance and outcomes.  The new Nursing Home Compare 3.0 – Five Star Rating System has been expanded and strengthened to include new quality initiatives for Antipsychotic medication use, adjusted staffing algorithms, and special focused surveys.  

CMS indicates that these important changes are necessary to help facilities improve and strengthen their quality measures and improve their quality of care. It will also help the consumer to distinguish between nursing homes and their level of performance. The Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) and the Advancing Excellence Campaign will continue to assist nursing homes with these quality improvement efforts.  CMS will continue to be invested in improving nursing home care and will make more improvements to the Nursing Home Compare and the Five Star Rating System in the future.