Cascadia Courts Assisted Living, LLC - Silver Spring, MD

Cascadia Courts Assisted Living, LLC - Silver Spring, MD

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Standardizing Quality Improvement Measures for Assisted Living

Posted on July 24, 2011 at 10:37 AM
 
By - Franka Tirado, MS, LHRM
 
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) determined that hospitals and nursing homes should be transparent so the public could obtain critical information on how they perform in various areas.  The Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI), the Agency for Health Care Research (AHRQ), and National Quality Forum (NQF) all report that the standardization of quality improvement measures for various health care procedures focuses practitioners on improvement.  The evidence-based measures that are proposed by these organizations have lead to marked improvements for the hospitals and nursing homes that have implemented them. Organizations are rated and those needing improvement are easily highlighted and targeted by CMS and State surveyors along with other monitoring and accrediting bodies.  The same approach may now be needed for the assised living industry as it continues to expand byond the boundaries of local surveyors.  For example, in Maryland the Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) under the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) readily admits that it is challenged in establishing  an improved model for determining the quality of assisted living facilites due to limited resources.  Local providers are outraged by the State's attempt at transparency - which consists of a list of deficiencies against your facility and no note of the facility's improvement.  Furthermore, providers images are tarnished by this and consumers are unable to correctly interpret this information.  
 
Recommendations:1.  Establish quality improvement standards for the assisted living industry in the State of Maryland. 2.  Ensure that the standards are fairly applied according to the facility's bed-size. 3.  Weigh the facility's performance and apply a hard score that helps the public accurately interpret how the facility performed on individual measures as well as overall. 4.   Create categories of performance such as; Administration, Clinical Care and Environmental measures. 
 
ConclusionMy rationale for the standardization of quality improvement measures for assisted living is that facilities accepting Medicaid waiver - funding derived from CMS, should be monitored and/or measured in accordance with CMS' approach to other health care environments.  More importantly, it is the government's expressed goal to ensure optimal care for those beneficiaries of medicare and/or medicaid funding - and this include medicaid waivered residents in assisted living facilities as well.

Categories: Assisted Living

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