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AHCA Emphasizes Quality Improvement in America's Nursing Homes
Date:6/18/2008

CMS "Five-Star" Should Include More Components to Fully Measure Quality

WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Health Care Association (AHCA) today commended the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for their commitment to quality nursing home care through the newly introduced "five-star" rating system, but urged caution, stating that although they support a quality index, any system that relies heavily on survey data can not accurately assess quality in any one facility.

"Every one of our nation's nursing home residents deserves the highest quality nursing home care, and although we applaud the longstanding work of CMS, we do not believe that an index which relies upon a broken survey system is an accurate way to measure quality," stated Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA. "Quality improvement is a dynamic ongoing process -- and its quantification must reflect the many variants that go into the delivery of care."

As CMS further develops the "five-star" rating system, Yarwood urged the agency to, "Incorporate consumer and staff satisfaction, which are two critical components of quality care."

In releasing this new program, CMS praises the work of the Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes campaign. As a founding member, AHCA has been working with CMS and other stakeholders to enhance quality care and improve consumer information in our nation's nursing facilities.

Yarwood emphasized that one of the keys to improving the collaborative process between providers and regulatory authorities -- and a key to helping facilities in need of improvement -- is expanding the concept of transparency beyond just facilities to include the survey and enforcement process itself. "Our profession has helped lead the nation's healthcare sector in terms of quality improvement, and we are committed to continuing our relationship with CMS to advance a transparent survey process that recognizes quali
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SOURCE American Health Care Association
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