Some believe that the five-star facility rating system may not be the best of the best. The system only compares the homes against the peers statewide, instead of against the 15,800 nationwide. The system also automatically assigns five stars, which is the highest possible, to the top 10 percent. Some critics call it grading on a curve. Experts say that the ranking system should only serve as a starting point in a consumer’s assessment of a nursing home. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also warned that the database should not be the only tool family’s use. Additionally there are no official penalties for a low rating. Family members should research nursing homes in order to insure that their loved ones are not the victims of nursing home abuse. To read more about the nursing home rating system, click here.