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There’s got to be a better way…

There’s got to be a better way… August 25, 2014Leave a comment

Marketing, research and business development consultant in healthcare, human services and senior living.

An article in the New York Times points out the weaknesses in the CMS star rating system for nursing centers, and uses one group of nursing centers to suggest that the limitations of the system are being exploited to the detriment of residents and patients. While no apologist for CMS or the five star system, I am sure that my colleagues in the sector would join me in stating that the current level of transparency is greater than it’s ever been, and we are well on our way to more reliable information. We really do need a better way to select care for vulnerable populations, and perhaps this article, by drawing attention to the concerns about the star rating system will hasten their remediation. What is unfortunate, in my considered opinion, is the apparent requirement for sensationalism in order to make the front page of the New York Times.

So not only do we need a better way to find nursing centers for those who require care, but the long-term care profession and the news media need to find better ways to engage and inform the public. In Alain de Botton’s  recent book, The News: A User’s Manual, he suggests that news outlets have an obligation to put the information in context, and to help readers frame the issues. Drilling deeply into the New York Times article one finds that the dramatic points are repeated and those which do not support the author’s position are deemphasized or not reported it all.

There’s got to be a better way…

Marketing, research and business development consultant in healthcare, human services and senior living.

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