Nursing Home System: I’m Broken and Can’t Get Up

A national task force from the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) recently released a report that the current survey and certification processes used to evaluate long-term care facilities nationwide is broken and beyond repair. The task force concluded in its final report, “Broken and Beyond Repair: Recommendations to Reform the Survey and Certification System,” that an independent, broad-based national panel of experts should be convened to re-examine the oversight process for nursing homes.

The report’s 31 recommendations address short-term and long-term solutions, including improved communication to surveyors and providers about new requirements and changes to the survey process, standardized job descriptions for surveyors, more efficient use of survey resources, and flexibility to adapt to culture change. The task force’s overarching recommendation is that an independent commission, such as the Institute of Medicine, re-examine the survey and certification process to “create a common vision for how our nation should care for its frailest citizens and to recommend a new oversight model for ensuring that this vision becomes reality in every nursing home today.”

Regulation of state markets in nursing care is reminiscent of state vs. federal regulation of banks, savings and loans and credit unions with divisions amongst the state and federal levels. While reforming the entire system may not be reasonably possible, taking some of the suggestions might be a good place to start.


For the full report, click here.