Readers agree nursing home survey system needs help

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Sometimes words or gestures capture a collective feeling or sensibility. That happened for long-term care this week when the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging released a report calling for a thorough review of the survey and certification system.

“Broken and Beyond Repair: Recommendations to Reform the Survey and Certification System,” appeals for a panel to re-examine the oversight process for nursing homes. It offers 31 recommendations to improve the system. (See more at

“This system is angry, broken and can’t be fixed,” said Larry Minnix, president and CEO of AAHSA, in a statement about the report.

You almost see readers shaking their heads murmuring, “You tell ‘em, Larry!”

Here at McKnight’s, we knew it was a big story—the biggest of the month, in fact. Our story on the report has so far received more hits than any other McKnight's article over the last 30 days—and several responses from people agreeing with the premise of the report.

That is saying something, namely that the report speaks to you. Long criticized as being unfair, inconsistent and unreliable, the survey system seems to have made more enemies in long-term care than supporters.

It takes will to change the status quo. Judging from the massive interest in this story, it appears that providers have the drive to make this happen. Hopefully they will have cooperative partners.

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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.