For families faced with the difficult decision of placing a loved one in a nursing home, a government rating system is often the only source of information to determine which facilities are the best.

However, a new study of nursing homes in California, the nation’s largest system, by faculty at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Connecticut, found that some nursing homes inflate their self-assessment reporting to improve their score in the Five-Star Quality Rating System employed by Medicare to help consumers.

“We were able to empirically demonstrate that inflation does exist in the current system,” said Xu Han, assistant professor in the Department of Information Technology & Operations Management within FAU’s College of Business, who co-authored the study with Niam Yaraghi and Ram Gopal from UConn’s School of Business.

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