Opinion — Editor's desk: 'AdvEx' – it's time for yet another high quality effort

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Let's be honest. I wasn't the only one rolling my eyes or smirking upon hearing there was yet another nursing home "quality" push on its way.

Couldn't get it right the first three or four times, so let's distract observers with another grand campaign, eh? Surely the thought passed through more than one skeptical mind.
After all, "quality" became the profession's buzzword about five years ago. Wasn't it stunning that the provider-sponsored "Quality First" campaign popped up virtually at the same time the federal government unveiled the publicly scrutinized Nursing Home Quality Initiative?
And, look, then the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care came stepping out of the shadows.
No time to take a breath. Newt Gingrich may want to run for president some day and former Sen. Bob Kerrey, well, he doesn't want to be left out of the limelight, so they decide to co-chair the newly created National Commission for – what else? – Quality Long-Term Care.
Apologies to the other "quality" groups not mentioned here. We know you're out there.
That's why word of the Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes campaign first bemused and then confused so many of us, grassroots providers included.
It turns out, however, this may not be an extended game of provider dodgeball after all.
What the Advancing Excellence campaign – let's call it "AdvEx" for short – represents is another step toward extracting better performance out of you. In essence, you – or at least your profession's leaders – are putting it on the line more than ever before. And they're pulling you into something with timed goals.
The historic coalition driving it includes some of your most vocal critics, such as the National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, AARP and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That means expectations of nursing operators' accountability are going to be greater than ever before. If provider performance is below desired goals, you don't really think consumer or government groups are going to accept blame, do you?
That means it's up to you to put up, or be shut up.
Incidentally, the Nursing Home Quality Initiative and Quality First programs continue as originally planned. AdvEx is viewed as a refined set of goals derived from them. Providers apparently are going with the "live, learn, lead" concept. Nice to see it.

James M. Berklan, editor, McKnight's Long-Term Care News
jim.berklan@mltcn.com