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Assuring the Quality of Home Care: The Challenge of Involving the Consumer

The use of home care services, particularly by older persons, has increased dramatically in recent years. This trend has been accompanied by concerns about the quality of the care provided. In this AARP Public Policy Institute issue brief, Barbara Coleman reviews the extensive literature on the roles played by regulators, researchers, and consumers in trying to assure quality of home care. For the public's safety and protection, regulators have relied on licensing and certification standards. Researchers have attempted to define the goals of home care and to evaluate the results or outcomes. Research on the consumer perspective has often been limited to client satisfaction surveys. The issue brief concludes with suggestions for state government actions to educate and involve the consumer in quality-of-care issues. (18 pages)

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