Hughes Health Maintains 5-Star Rating Despite Tougher Federal Standards 

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. Submitted photo

The West Hartford facility received the rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. Submitted photo

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. Submitted photo


Hughes Health & Rehabilitation has again been credited with the highest Overall Five-Star Quality Rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Hughes Health’s latest accomplishment comes after the government’s February 20 announcement that it was toughening the standards by which quality awards were given.

Hughes Health has received the government’s highest Overall Five-Star Quality Rating every year since 2010.

Hughes Health was one of just seven facilities in Connecticut to receive Five-Star Quality ratings in all areas measured by CMS in their latest report in March.  The areas of measurement that make up the government’s overall quality rating designation are health inspections, staffing and quality measures.

According to the American Health Care Association’s newsletter Notes, the federal government has toughened rating standards, including:

  • Altering how three- and four-star staffing ratings are determined;
  • Rescaling the cut points for each star level of the quality measures, making it immediately harder to achieve or retain higher ratings;
  • Adding quality measures for antipsychotic drug use among short- and long-stay residents.

The Five-Star Quality Rating System was created by CMS to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily and to help identify areas which may be questionable.

CMS’s areas of measurement, as explained on its website, www.cms.gov, are presented below in italics, and then are followed by some of the government’s findings of Hughes Health’s performance.

Health Inspections – The health inspection rating contains information from the last 3 years of onsite inspections, including both standard surveys and any complaint surveys.  This information is gathered by trained, objective inspectors who go onsite to the nursing home and follow a specific process to determine the extent to which a nursing home has met Medicaid and Medicare’s minimum quality requirements.  The most recent survey findings are weighted more than the prior two years.

  • Hughes Health received zero health deficiencies. In comparison, the average number of health deficiencies in Connecticut nursing homes was 7.8 and nationally 6.8.
  • Health deficiencies were measured in many categories, including Quality Care, Residents Rights, Nutrition & Dietary and Pharmacy Services.
  • Hughes Health achieved a Five-Star Quality Rating in all aspects of this Health Inspections category.

Staffing – The staffing rating has information about the number of hours of care provided on average to each resident each day by nursing staff.  This rating considers differences in the levels of residents’ care need in each nursing home.  For example, a nursing home with residents who had more severe needs would be expected to have more nursing staff than a nursing home where the resident needs were not as high.

  • At Hughes Health, the total number of licensed nursing staff hours per resident per day was 2 hours and 1 minute, more than the Connecticut nursing home average of 1 hour and 39 minutes, and the national average of 1 hour and 40 minutes.
  • Hughes Health’s registered nursing hours per resident per day was 1 hour and 5 minutes, compared to 55 minutes average in Connecticut nursing homes and 50 minutes average nationally.
  • Hughes Health’s’ certified nursing assistant hours per resident per day were 3 hours and 11 minutes, as opposed to 2 hours and 2 minutes average in Connecticut and 2 hours and 28 minutes nationally.

Quality Measures (QMs) – The quality measure rating has information on 11 different physical and clinical measures for nursing home residents.  The rating now includes information about nursing homes’ use of antipsychotic medications in both long-stay and short-stay residents.  This information is collected by the nursing home for all residents.  The QMs offer information about how well nursing homes are caring for their residents’ physical and clinical needs.  More than 12 million assessments of the conditions of nursing home residents are used in the Five-Star rating system.

  • The percentage of short-stay residents assessed and given the seasonal influenza vaccine was 99.4 percent at Hughes Health, as compared to 82.8% average in Connecticut nursing homes and 84.1% average nationally.
  • The percentage of short-stay residents assessed and given the pneumococcal vaccine was 98.9 percent at Hughes Health, better than the 81.2% average in Connecticut nursing homes and 82.6% average nationally.
  •  The percentage of short-stay residents who newly received an antipsychotic medication(lower percentages are better) was 0.5% at Hughes Health, compared to 2.0% average in Connecticut and 2.4% average nationally.

“The fact that Hughes Health exceeded the state and national average in every measurement used in the national government‘s new, tougher rating system is a testament to the dedication, professionalism and indefatigable spirit of our entire staff,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation.  “I am grateful to our employees for their hard work they perform every day for the benefit of our residents and their families.”

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation, a family-owned and operated health care center for more than 50 years, provides quality care for those with chronic illness, as well as those needing convalescence and rehabilitation.  Excellent healthcare, coupled with a genuine caring attitude are the hallmarks of Hughes Health.  Hughes Health has been accredited for its quality as a nursing care center by The Joint Commission, and named as one of the best nursing homes in the United States for five consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report and seven consecutive years by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.  Hughes Health has been named a 2014 Women’s Choice Award recipient as an America’s Best for Extended Care, has received the Silver Achievement in Quality award by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and National Center for Assisted Living, and has been recognized by the AHCA for achievement in its Quality Initiative Recognition Program.  For more information about Hughes Health & Rehabilitation, visit www.HughesHealth.com.

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