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Nursing Home Task Force Says, 'The System Is Broken and Can't Be Fixed'
Date:8/25/2008

stem over until broad systemic change can occur." Immediate changes needed, according to the report, include better public reporting of survey results, joint education of providers and surveyors, and greater overall consistency in the process.

TNAHSA, Tennessee's AAHSA affiliate, works closely with the Department of Health in an ongoing effort to provide updated and accurate information to licensed providers of long-term care services, according to TNAHSA Executive Director Carrie Ermshar.

"Because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services play a significant role in the certification process, the solution must address procedures at the state and federal levels," said Ermshar. "We have encouraged enhanced training for Tennessee Department of Health licensure surveyors and we are seeing tremendous efforts to improve communications between surveyors and facilities. We have a great team of providers, lawmakers and surveyors in Tennessee and we all share the common goal of providing excellent patient care."

To inform its conclusions, the report includes a digest of interviews with survey agency representatives from seven states and a catalog of surveyor job descriptions from numerous states.

Timothy L. Veno, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (KAHSA) and a co-chair of the task force, said that, "The frustration of good providers has reached a boiling point." Veno added, "We have to help shape a better system of consumer protection for residents."

Larry Minnix, AAHSA's president and CEO, said the task force captured the demoralization of providers who feel caught in a vicious circle. "We have to break the cycle of fear that paralyzes us all: consumers fear nursing homes, nursing homes fear the state, states fear the federal government, the federal government fears Congress and Congress fears voters," Minnix said. "This system is broken and can't be fixed. A system based on consistency,
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SOURCE Tennessee Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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