Report: “Unsustainable” Nursing Home Care in the U.S.

Time and again, especially since the start of the pandemic, we have come back to the subject of nursing home care, facility cleanliness, management practices, and the often untenable circumstances that surround the care our loved ones receive in nursing home facilities. And now we have further research to support the unfortunate experiences many have had. 

“The way in which the United States finances, delivers, and regulates care in nursing home settings is ineffective, inefficient, fragmented, and unsustainable.”

Committee Chairwoman Betty Ferrell, Committee on the Quality of Care in Nursing Homes 

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released a ground-breaking report that honed in on the chronic underfunding that many care facilities suffer from, as well as complex staffing, ownership, and financial transparency issues. In the 605-page report, researchers stressed the need for changes, reforms, and stricter regulations to ensure that the places the majority of the elderly in the U.S. call home are sufficient, efficient, and provide comprehensive care in all areas. 

We’ve talked before about the new reforms proposed by the Biden administration, and this report only stresses the need for these reforms. Luckily, the report not only shed light on the issues, but offered a series of solutions that can be enacted by practitioners, investors, and policy makers on the federal, state, and local level.

“What’s promising about the report is how comprehensive and detailed it is in laying out the actions needed and by whom.”

Terry Fulmer, Ph.D., president of study sponsor John A. Hartford Foundation. McKnight’s Long-Term Care News

Some Solutions to the Problem

The National Academies report utilized retrospective studies of dozens and dozens of care facilities and their stakeholders to root out the core issues of the broken and often ineffectual nursing home industry and offer up specific solutions in a timeline with both short-term and long-term goals.

Some areas where improvement is urgently needed:

– Staffing: not only does there need to be a standard in the number of staff members to residents, but they need to be offered competitive wages.

– A reconfiguration of care facilities and how they function, including creating smaller areas of care, smaller facilities, or more focused care.

– An enforced and completely transparent system of communicating financials and allocation of funds.

– A collaborative and dedicated effort on behalf of policy makers, practitioners, investors, stakeholders, and others to enact meaningful changes.

– More in-depth research into the issues uncovered in the National Academies research to better understand the nuances and shortcoming of the nursing home industry. 

Read the article from McKnight’s Long Term Care News here, and more about the Biden administration’s proposed reforms here

Write to your local, state, and federal representatives to encourage them to look at this report and take the much needed changes seriously as we continue to fight for the best care for our loved ones.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of nursing home abuse, neglect, or medical malpractice, call Gharibian Law (877-875-1119) today for a free consultation and the best in legal representation.