A head-spinning peek into the future.If long-term care facility long-term care facility
See skilled nursing facility. owners and operators are feeling a little dizzy these days, I can see why. I really can see why because, recently, I climbed the end-of-the-year fence to peer into the murky future proffered by 2007. I nearly fell off and had to regain my balance.
I saw a topsy-turvy world of battling initiatives, of contradictory impulses, of clashing visions--a whirl of forces trying to pull people out of institutions and, at the same time, support them. I saw strange creatures called Money Follows the Person, Cash and Counseling, Home-and Community-Based Services, and Consumer Choice all tugging at potential residents to keep them out of nursing homes. I saw quality initiatives--so many quality initiatives--with such names as Quality First, the Nursing Home Quality Initiative, Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes, all beckoning alluringly, even while the state survey process whirlpool grew ever larger. I saw creatures called DRA DRA Delta Regional Authority
DRA Developmental Reading Assessment (educational test)
DRA Division of Ratepayer Advocates (California)
DRA Data Research Associates
DRA Directory and Resource Administrator and PACE advancing upon LTC LTC
lieutenant colonel operators and changing their world. And I saw one of the scariest creatures of all, Managed Care, lurking about as an alternative for Medicaid-financed LTC.
In the land of assisted living as·sist·ed living
A living arrangement in which people with special needs, especially older people with disabilities, reside in a facility that provides help with everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing, and taking medication. , which once prided itself on being consumer-based and anti-regulatory, I saw it being ravaged rav·age
v. rav·aged, rav·ag·ing, rav·ages
1. To bring heavy destruction on; devastate: A tornado ravaged the town.
2. by a creature known as CBS News, while a white knight White Knight
falls off his horse every time it stops. [Br. Lit.: Lewis Carroll Through the Looking-Glass]
See : Awkwardness
invents clever objects that never work. [Br. Lit. known as NCCNHR--well known to nursing homes--prepared to administer a regulatory knockout blow.
Yet, turning about, I saw a sunny side: states flush with cash starting to look kindly again on nursing homes (if only for a little while) as the only safe venue for very sick elderly. I saw long-term care insurance finally evolving into a stable, serviceable product, and middle-aged individuals taking notice and beginning to plan for their future care needs. Also on the bright side I saw entrepreneurial owners and operators moving to take advantage of the new long-term care trends, master the various creatures lurking about, and create new and flourishing businesses in the age-old profession of caring.
This was heartwarming heart·warm·ing or heart-warm·ing
1. Causing gladness and pleasure.
2. Eliciting sympathy and tender feelings: a heartwarming tale.
Adj. 1. but, having seen all this, I felt that I had to get down from the fence. I needed to take a breath and rest a bit. Yes, I am ready to move ahead--it is December, after all. It's just that I'll take my sweet time finding the gate.
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BY RICHARD L. PECK, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF