Staffing still troubles nursing homes after 20 years

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Staffing and quality remain serious issues for the nursing home industry two decades after the passage of the landmark Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, panelists noted at a recent briefing.

The question of setting minimum standards continues to perplex the industry, said Christine Williams and Ruth Katz, who worked in Congress when the 1987 act was passed. Other panelists at the Alliance for Health Reform briefing last Friday in Washington included representatives from nursing homes and the consumer side of the industry. The Kaiser Family Foundation held the forum along with the Alliance for Health Reform.

In conjunction with the briefing, Kaiser released a study that found consumers also believe staffing is a problem at nursing homes. Sixty percent of respondents said they thought staff are poorly trained and 75% believed that facilities are not adequately staffed.

See more about the briefing at http://www.allhealth.org/event_reg.asp?bi=117. For more on the survey, go to http://www.kff.org/obra87reforms.cfm.