Nursing Home Quality & Accountability Task Force launched

Press Staff Writer

        Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Feb. 24 signed Executive Order 2023-06D, officially creating the Ohio Governor’s Nursing Home Quality and Accountability Task Force.
        During his 2023 State of the State Address, DeWine announced his plan to form the task force to study issues surrounding quality of life and quality of care in Ohio’s nursing homes. He also announced during his address that the group would be tasked with completing their work on an expedited timeline. In keeping with this directive, the task force is traveling to communities across the state between now and May to hear directly from nursing home residents and their loved ones about their experiences and issue a report of their findings.
        “I promised that this task force would move quickly because we can’t afford to wait,” DeWine said. “While many of our state’s nursing homes are very good, others are not meeting the standards we expect for those caring for our older loved ones. All too often, we hear of preventable tragedies occurring – medication errors, failure to provide care, poor infection prevention and control, and sometimes even elder abuse.”
        Ohio ranked 39th in the most recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services overall Quality Star Ratings, which scores all Medicare/Medicaid-funded nursing facilities between one (much below average) and five (much above average) stars on a variety of categories, including overall quality. Ohio’s average overall nursing home quality currently ranks in the bottom quartile of all states.
        Additionally, many of the state’s nursing facilities are inconsistent in their compliance with standards of care, being forced to correct the same deficiencies repeatedly.
        “This is not acceptable in Ohio,” DeWine added. “We need to take action.”
        Ursel J. McElroy, director of the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) is chairing the task force.
        “It is my honor to be chosen by Gov. DeWine to lead this effort. He has made it crystal clear that excellence needs to be the expectation for all of Ohio’s nursing facilities. And so, this task force will work quickly and collaboratively toward accomplishing this goal,” McElroy said. “We are going to put people first in everything we do. Nursing home residents, their caregivers, family members and friends will be at the forefront of this conversation from day one, because no voices are more valuable in this discussion than those of the people living it every day.”
        Joining the task force will be a wide range of individuals representing the expansive voices of this community, including representatives of those with lived experience, family caregivers, nursing home administrators, and state regulators.
        In addition to the community listening sessions, the task force will hold regular meetings to discuss public input and formulate recommendations on how to improve quality of care and quality of life in all Ohio nursing homes.
        Locally, a listening session will be held Tuesday, March 28 from 2-4 p.m. at the Wood County Senior Center, 140 S. Grove St., Bowling Green. Register at
        The full schedule of events is available online at Ohioans who are not able to attend the in-person events but who would still like to make their voices heard will be able to provide their insights on the task force webpage.
        “We want to provide every avenue possible for Ohioans to share their stories, because the more that people participate, the more of an impact we will be able to make,” McElroy said. “Gaining a full picture of what residents are experiencing will enable us to deliver a comprehensive report to the Governor with actionable steps we can take to improve the quality of our nursing homes, as we work to achieve our overarching vision of making Ohio the best place to age in the nation.”


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