Providers react to poor perception of nursing homes in national survey

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Only 35% of Americans like the quality of care in nursing homes, according to a new survey. Providers responded to the Kaiser Family Foundation Long-Term Care poll Thursday.

"The beliefs reflected in the poll illustrate exactly why we created the Quality First initiative, whose aims are to achieve excellence in aging services and earn the public trust," Larry Minnix of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aged said in a statement.

Just 35% of people say that nursing homes are doing a "good job" serving consumers, the survey said. That compares to nurses (84%), doctors (69%) and hospitals (64%). Nursing homes rank below pharmaceutical companies (43%) but above health insurance companies (34%) and HMOs (30%). The survey was conducted last month among a national random sample of 1,202 adults.

Also, three in 10 adults expect private insurance will be the main source of funds nursing home care if they or their family needed it, the survey said. That despite the fact that private insurance now pays for only 8% of nursing home expenses. Medicaid pays nearly two-thirds of these costs.