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Alliance formed to improve LTC consumers' quality of life

February 1, 2010
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Washington, D.C.-Twenty-nine of the nation's leading health, consumer, and aging advocates have formed an alliance with the sole aim of fostering person-centered quality measures in long-term care settings.

The Long-Term Quality Alliance (LTQA)-composed of some of the industry's most well-known names from the biggest associations-hopes to enhance the quality of life for long-term care consumers while reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and decreasing costs, the group said in a release.

“The way we currently measure the quality of long-term care in this country focuses too much on clinical services delivered in nursing homes. The perspectives of consumers and their family caregivers have largely been ignored,” says LTQA Chair Mary Naylor, PhD, RN. “In this rapidly changing long-term care environment, we need to advance a set of measures that reflect what is important to consumers and apply those across all settings. Providers also need access to best practices that will improve the quality of their services.”

LTQA will focus initially on improving care coordination or transitions in care as well as finding methods to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions among frail and chronically ill people. Naylor says that these two areas offer the greatest promise for improving quality, consumer experiences, and efficiency, as well as reducing costs.

According to the release, LTQA's key priorities will include:

  • Identifying which performance measures and evidence-based practices offer the most promise for assessing and improving quality of care and quality of life for people receiving long-term care;

  • recommending ways to apply available measurement and performance improvement strategies in high-priority areas such as care coordination more consistently and appropriately in a wider range of clinical and community settings;

  • proposing ways to build on, reinforce, and create momentum for other quality initiatives currently underway; and

  • achieving tangible improvements in care through pilots, demonstrations, technical collaboration and other efforts.

LTQA formed in response to the national increase in demand for long-term care and the expanding field of providers, including home- and community-based settings.

Notable LTQA Board Members

Carolyn M. Clancy, MD

Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Mary Jane Koren, MD, MPH

Assistant Vice President, Picker/Commonwealth Quality of Care for Frail Elder Care Program

Robert G. Kramer

Founder and President, National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC)

Sandy Markwood

CEO, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Paul McGann, MD

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ex-officio

Larry Minnix

President and CEO, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA)

Alan G. Rosenbloom

President, Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care

Bruce Yarwood

President and CEO, American Health Care Association (AHCA) &

National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL)

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