Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Quality Of Care

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Quality Of Care

We were saddened to see recent full-page ads in this paper placed by a Florida-based law firm targeting nursing homes. It is important that your readers understand that these ads do not present a full picture of the high level of care that Virginia’s nursing homes provide to over 90,000 residents and patients annually.

Under federal and state regulations, there is a rigorous process in place to evaluate the care provided at nursing homes, as well as a process for patients and their families to raise concerns about and have investigated the quality of care they are receiving.

The ads, while citing publicly available data, leave out important information indicating that the issues cited in nearly all instances did not lead to actual patient harm and may have even been corrected immediately while the federal and state inspection team was on-site.

The WWII veterans, retired teachers, farmers, doctors, homemakers, and business people who receive care in Virginia’s nursing centers do not deserve to have their caregivers targeted in this way.

These types of ads make the job of the over 50,000 caregivers in Virginia’s long term care centers more difficult. And to what end? These ads benefit an out-of-state law firm whose primary motive is to scare patients and attempt to make money from frivolous lawsuits. These tactics only serve to further drive up the cost of health care for all Virginians.

I would encourage readers and those who need this important care for their loved ones or themselves to go see what’s happening in their local nursing homes — go visit one, spend time volunteering, and get to know the seniors in your community. See for yourself the exceptional level of care and compassion provided every day by these trusted, caring community partners.

Keith Hare

President and CEO

Virginia Health Care Association-Virginia Center for Assisted Living