Some provider representatives asserted that the Quality Monitors, Gold Seal and Risk Management are programs that have impacted the quality of care in their facilities. Although opinion on the value of the Quality Monitor program was mixed, some provider representatives expressed that they found the visits to be very helpful, describing them as providing objective non-punitive advice. Providers also appreciate the Quality Monitors sharing information on best practices, recommending educational materials and offering interpretation and clarification of state and Federal rules and regulations.
The Gold Seal program was seen by some as a good marketing device that potentially can decrease the cost of liability insurance and drive up revenues. Consumer advocates praised the fact that it requires a financial audit. Participants reported that the Risk Management requirement had forced them to investigate incidents and accidents in greater detail, examine their facility processes for flawed practices, and make changes with the goal to prevent future problems.
Educational training programs including the Teaching Nursing Homes and Alzheimer Training were described as useful by several of the provider representatives with whom we spoke. Providers felt that the Alzheimer Training was most useful for non-nursing staff and for facilities that did not have a designated ADRD unit. The approval process for trainers and curricula for the Alzheimer Training program is considered innovative. Each submitted curricula is reviewed by a doctoral-level staff member at the Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging at the University of South Florida. Many of the curricula as initially submitted, contained incorrect or out-of-date information and had to be returned to facilities for correction and resubmission. Although providers were aware of the compact disc developed for LPNs on Alzheimer's disease as part of the Teaching Nursing Homes program, and were pleased that it would be web disseminated, most indicated that they had not personally reviewed it.
Some discussion participants approved of the state's web-based Nursing Home Guide, particularly the star assessment system. FAHA staff and providers expressed that the star system does a reasonable job with some expressing the opinion that it does a better job of evaluating quality than the CMS Nursing Home Compare site.
Discussants also commented on the mandated staffing increases, noting that the gradual mandated nursing assistant staffing increases were seen as more reasonable than one large increase. Advocates were pleased that SB1202 created language to link facilities in large chains so that a staffing problem in one facility of a chain is viewed by the State as non-compliance across all the homes in the chain.