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Meaningful Progress Made in Improving Ohio Nursing Home Quality

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AARP Ohio and its volunteer advocates have worked tirelessly to improve the quality of care for our state’s nursing home residents, keeping the issue to the forefront of our legislative efforts.

Ohio ranks 39th in nursing-home quality, 46th for staffing levels, and 43rd on health inspections, according to recent data from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. As recently as May 2023, 28.6% of Ohio nursing homes reported shortages of nurses and aides, according to a joint Miami University-AARP database.

This past year has brought significant successes in our grassroots efforts to achieve our goal of improving nursing home quality.

Ohio Governor’s Nursing Home Quality & Accountability Task Force

AARP Ohio State Director Holly Holtzen last year was appointed to Gov. Mike DeWine’s Nursing Home Quality & Accountability Task Force The task force, led by Ursel J. McElroy, director of the Ohio Department of Aging, invited Ohioans to share their nursing home experiences at listening sessions across the state last spring to hear from nursing home residents, family members, caregivers and others. AARP Ohio promoted these listening sessions and hosted Director McElroy for two live AARP Town Hall discussions with its members. By late May, the task force issued its recommendations report.

Progress on Task Force Recommendations

  • Ohio Department of Aging Launches Nursing Home Quality Navigator
    As part of the biennial budget to improve quality and develop consumer resources, the Ohio Department of Aging announced the launch of the online Ohio Nursing Home Quality Navigator in February 2024. This new tool on the ODA website will provide users detailed information about nursing homes across the state on the ODA website.
  • Ohio to Invest in Ombudsman Program
    Also in February 2024, the Ohio Department of Aging announced it provided $2.3 million to strengthen support of regional ombudsman programs across the state. Funding will be used by these programs to recruit and hire additional resident advocates, while supporting employee retention efforts.

Budget Wins

With support from our advocates, the 2024-2025 budget contains 10 meaningful measures directed at full transparency and accountability by nursing home operators. Those measures will help improve the quality and consumer experience in Ohio’s nursing homes, including funding to expand state ombudsman and to develop quality control and consumer information resources, among other requirements.

Be sure to keep an eye on this page for ongoing updates to our efforts to improve the quality of nursing home care for Ohio’s most vulnerable residents.

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