Educated Consumers Will Drive Nursing Home Reform

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<p>When it comes time to place a loved one in a nursing home, or to select a facility for their own care, many Americans find themselves in unfamiliar territory. In a <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=23680&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Faboutus%2Faboutus%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D392798%26%23doc392798">new commentary,</a> Fund assistant vice president Mary Jane Koren, M.D., reviews a <em>Consumer Reports</em> investigative piece, "Nursing Homes: Business As Usual," which is likely to make this process of selecting a nursing home less stressful.<br><br>The <em>Consumer Reports</em> article also serves as a wake-up call for the 12 nursing homes in the nation that have been cited for poor care by the magazine five years in a row, as well as for the state agencies responsible for monitoring quality of care in these facilities.<br><br>Koren writes that these poorly performing homes are evidence that legislation alone will not drive the change toward resident-centered care. Consumers must also help push industry to provide the kind of care America's elders deserve.<br><br>Koren concludes that "by becoming consumer-savvy and demanding good, resident-centered care, nursing home residents and their families will help create demand for facilities that not only properly care for residents, but also make them as comfortable and independent as possible."</p>