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Vantage Point Awarded High 5 Star Rating from Feds

May 16, 2019

Article provided by Elizabeth Janney, Patch Staff | May 15, 2019 11:54 am ET

Two Columbia nursing homes received high marks from the federal government after it released a new, more stringent rating system.

Vantage House received five stars from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

COLUMBIA, MD — One nursing home in Columbia has received a top rating from the federal government, after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services revised the way it assesses thousands of nursing homes nationwide. The overhauled inspection process was rolled out recently, along with improved staffing details and new quality metrics.The changes were aimed at providing more transparent and meaningful information about the quality of care that residents receive.Nursing homes with five stars are considered to have above-average quality while those with one star are considered to have below-average quality.Below are the ratings for the nursing homes in the Columbia area, according to the Nursing Home Compare tool offered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Front sign and entrance to Vantage Point Residences

Vantage House received five stars from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Five stars (much above average)

Vantage House, 5400 Vantage Point Road, Columbia

Four stars (above average)

Lorien Health Systems, 6334 Cedar Lane, Columbia

The Nursing Home Compare site provides detailed information about every Medicare-certified nursing home in America, and the ratings above were released April 24. Notably, the agency is once again providing health inspection ratings, which were recently unfrozen. Now, every long-term care facility has had an opportunity to answer questions using the new survey process, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The threshold for staffing levels is also much more stringent now. Under the previous method, automatic one-star ratings (out of five) would be given to nursing homes that reported having no registered nurse on site for at least seven days in a quarter. That threshold has since been lowered to four days. Nursing homes provide round-the-clock care to people who can’t be cared for at home, and staffing has the “greatest impact” on the quality of care, the federal agency said — more staff, better quality. The updates will hopefully improve quality industry-wide, the agency said, and give consumers more confidence in their decisions.

“CMS is committed to safeguarding the health and safety of nursing home residents by ensuring they are receiving the highest quality of care possible,” agency Administrator Seema Verm said in a news release.The changes appear to have had a wide-ranging effect. There are more than 15,000 Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes in the country, and the CMS doled out one-star ratings to over 1,600 of them, according to Kaiser Health News. Most were reportedly downgraded because payroll records showed no registered nurse hours for at least four days. Other homes reportedly failed to submit payroll documents or couldn’t be verified.
CMS is a federal agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It administers the Medicare program and works with state governments to administer Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and health insurance portability standards.

Patch national staffer Dan Hampton contributed to this report.