Directives not in good order

Providers: need better process of getting and filing advance directives.
Providers: need better process of getting and filing advance directives.

Many nursing home providers are missing chances to cut costs and reduce unnecessary care by not having residents' advance directives on file, or orderly, a recent study found.

A research team from the University of Missouri analyzed 1,800 resident records at facilities in the state and found only 50% had an advance directive. In many of those cases, the directives were hard to find due to inconsistent record keeping.

The study's results, which appear in Health and Social Work, signal a need for providers to make sure residents have an advance directive and have it properly filed, researchers said.