Nursing facilities continue to serve a vital role within the long-term care system, even as they struggle to deal with a number of issues ranging from delivering quality care to adequate reimbursement. The frenetic pace of change is driven by the dynamic environment in which they operate, which seems destined to continue to bring more and more uncertainty to the role they will play in the long-term care system in the future. The recent Nursing Home Initiative by CMS has helped to continue focusing attention on addressing nursing-home quality and on minimum staffing ratios. Whatever the future holds for nursing facilities, one thing seems certain: if they are to survive and prosper, they will have to continue to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of the residents they serve and to find funding mechanisms to adequately support the services they provide.
THOMAS J. FAIRCHILD JANICE A. KNEBL
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