Others’ opinion: Assisted living report card would be valuable

Published 5:14 am Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Free Press, Mankato

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

The more information we have as consumers about major purchases we make, the better off we are.

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That applies to choosing an assisted living facility, potentially one of the most expensive decisions many people will ever make.

Minnesota is now considering a new report card system that rates assisted living facilities across key metrics, similar to what has been done for nursing homes for more than a decade.

The effort comes as part of legislative action last session to enact more regulations and oversight over the care industry.

Such a reporting system is long overdue. Creating an assisted living report card was proposed more than two years ago under a Department of Human Services proposal. Assisted living options, which have soared in popularity across the state, need the same scrutiny as nursing homes — and the sooner, the better.

The state will be gathering feedback and direction by surveying people and then building a report card from that, according to Minnesota Public Radio News. The University of Minnesota is executing the survey (https://umn.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9GBskhCOSLeXAQ5).

The public needs to weigh in on what they’re looking for and would find valuable in an assisted living facility report card. The survey deadline is Nov. 30.

Making an online report card available to the public will not only give consumers a chance to compare and contrast the numerous assisted living options available, it will give providers incentives to provide quality service as they compete for customers. Shoppers have Consumer Reports, the Better Business Bureau and public reviews for guidance in buying many goods and services; it makes sense that people looking for assisted living options have access to good information.

We should have just as much information about where we may live for the rest of our lives as we do when we buy a car.