Good Nursing Home Care: Educating Consumers and Consumer Advocates in the Face of Sweeping Changes
Empowering Health Care Consumers
January 3, 2017
WebsiteSEE GRANT OUTCOMES
Despite the critical services nursing homes provide for people with both long-term and short-term needs, widespread problems persist. Safe, high-quality, person-centered care that maintains the physical, emotional, and social wellbeing of the frailest New Yorkers has become the exception, rather than the rule.
To address these problems, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued an overhaul of federal nursing home standards and updated Nursing Home Compare, the government-operated nursing home comparison website, to help the public gain better insight into the quality of care provided by facilities in their communities. In 2017, NYHealth awarded Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) a grant to ensure that the new standards and information sources are understood and used by New York’s nursing home residents and their families.
Under this grant, LTCCC raised knowledge and awareness about regulatory changes and Nursing Home Compare among family councils and long-term care ombudsmen and their volunteers. It provided these key stakeholders, who monitor care and help residents across the State address their concerns, with the tools to advocate effectively on behalf of residents. Specifically, LTCCC conducted an outreach campaign to alert family councils and ombudsmen about the changes taking place and the free programs and resources that are available. In addition, LTCCC conducted monthly webinar trainings to engage, educate, and empower these stakeholders and host a half-day training conference for them to learn about and discuss the new regulations. Proceedings from the conference were distributed to additional stakeholders, such as nursing home staff and staff members from the government agencies that monitor and oversee care. Lastly, LTCCC updated its consumer guide on nursing home quality and dignity standards to reflect the new regulations. Equipping family councils and ombudsmen with this information in turn strengthened residents’ (and their families’) abilities to apply new mechanisms and protections for their own health and wellbeing.