60 Seconds with Lorainne Tarnove, Executive Director, American Medical Directors Association

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Q: What's notable about the new Long Term Care Professional Leadership Council? A: The professionals haven't always been at the table. Without talking about the clinical issues, we didn't think it was possible to move the ball forward. We've all been trying to do it individually, but all of us are fairly small, with few resources.

Q: How will things be different?

A: Every conversation we have will start from the focus of patient care, regardless of whether policy, financial, turf or workforces issues are at play. The clinical just doesn't get into the mix and then people wonder why the solutions don't work.

Q: So what's happened previously?

A: They've looked at the structure and pieces of the process and how they get paid. Historically, there's been a "lobbyist" approach to things.

Q: But isn't that forgetting healthcare is still business?

A: The professions can really help them with the bottom line – just through consistent application of good care, such as with medication management. Doctors understand they have to be part of the team and understand cost savings.

Q: What will be the first tangible sign of the new council's accomplishments?

A: We'll all work on the clinical practice guidelines together. There are 20, and as with everything else, people don't always use them.