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 SNF Advocates Cite Dramatically Improved Care in Response to House Hearing

Following a congressional hearing on Nov. 14 on the difficulties in caring for aging Americans and finding reasonably priced long term care for seniors and their caregivers, the head of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) said the long term and post-acute care profession has improved quality of care significantly in recent years and stands ready to explore new ways to make care even better.

The hearing, titled “Caring for Aging Americans” took place in the House Ways and Means Committee, with groups like the Alzheimer’s Association testifying. Areas such as the use of antipsychotics, home care, hospice, and the economics of long term care were also on the agenda.

After the hearing, Mark Parkinson, president and chief executive officer of AHCA issued a statement on the state of the care being provided to the nation’s elderly and disabled.
“We appreciate the robust discussion about ensuring access to quality, affordable long term care,” he said. “Over the last seven years, the quality of care provided in our nation’s skilled nursing centers has improved dramatically. Today, fewer than one in seven nursing home residents are receiving antipsychotic medications, a significant decline from one out of four in 2011.”

On the issue of abuse and neglect in nursing centers, Parkinson said, “without question, abuse and neglect have no place in a nursing home or in any health care setting. One instance of abuse or neglect is one too many, but the facts show that such instances are rare and the vast majority of nursing home staff provide high-quality resident care.”
Looking forward, he noted that the association has made several recommendations to Congress for measures that can continue to improve care and prevent abuse and neglect.

“We look forward to continuing our work with lawmakers, regulators, and other stakeholders to advance these recommendations, including policies that help facilities retain more high-quality staff, bring more clarity and transparency to abuse and neglect reporting, and provide consumers additional information to help them make informed decisions,” Parkinson said.

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