Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

Ombudsmen to Help Consumers regarding Nursing Home Quality. (Recent Health Care Developments)

Academic journal article Health Care Financing Review

Ombudsmen to Help Consumers regarding Nursing Home Quality. (Recent Health Care Developments)

Article excerpt

Under a new Federal initiative, the expertise of volunteer ombudsmen will be tapped to help consumers use new comparative quality information about nursing homes and to further promote quality care in nursing homes.

Under the new initiative, HHS' Administration on Aging (AoA) and CMS will work with ombudsmen to help consumers take advantage of new quality measures for nursing homes developed under HHS' Nursing Home Quality Initiative.

AoA's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program involves 1,000 paid staff and 8,000 volunteers who are trained to handle complaints about nursing homes. Ombudsmen serve as advocates for nursing home residents, often helping families choose an appropriate nursing home and resolve concerns about quality of care in specific facilities. In 2000, ombudsmen provided information to 245,000 people and responded to about 232,000 complaints from the public.

HHS recently released new quality data on Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes in Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington, and expects to expand the initiative nationally later this year. …

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