Brookings briefing addresses long-term care survey process, job training

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Redesigning the regulatory survey of nursing homes would help determine how far current resources can be stretched to improve quality, according to a panelist who participated in a long-term care reform conference held on Friday.

Speaking at the event, hosted by the Brookings Institution, Mary Jane Koren of The Commonwealth Fund, Susan Reinhard of AARP and John Schnelle of Vanderbilt University discussed improving quality and efficiency in the nation's long-term care sector. Providers do not view the current regulatory survey of nursing homes as consistent, fair or objective, and the system doesn't make it clear whether or not quality improvements can be made using available resources, Schnelle said.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) proposed including job-training programs in healthcare reform as a way to ensure healthcare workers are prepared to deal with any emerging long-term care needs. Rep. Jim McCrery (R-LA) suggested a tax benefit for family members who take care of elderly relatives at home, suggesting that that may be a way to fill some of the gap in the healthcare workforce.

For more information about this healthcare conference, visit: http://www.brookings.edu/events/2008/0711_care_reform.aspx.
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