AAHSA leaders push Quality First movement, cite record meeting numbers

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More providers must sign onto the Quality First covenant to give themselves and the nursing home community more credibility. That is one of the key messages leaders are emphasizing at the annual meeting of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging this week in Nashville.

Just 35% of AAHSA members have signed on to uphold tenets of the quality pledge, AAHSA CEO Larry Minnix said today. The provider-written covenant was launched two years ago. The country's other major nursing home association has a similar enrollment rate.

"In five years, Quality First will be standard," Minnix told the crowd attending this morning's general session at the Opryland Hotel and Convention Center. "The public will expect it. Quality First will produce two kinds of providers over the next five years: the excellent and the non-existent."

Total attendance at the meeting and exposition, which ends today, is 6,836 -- the highest number since the 1999 event was held in Chicago. That breaks down to 4,625 attendees and faculty members, and more than 2,200 people attending on behalf of a record high 500-plus exhibitors, according to organizers.