Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Public Policy and Administration

Advisor

Gema Hernandez

Abstract

By 2040, 79.7 million older adults will live in the US, and nearly 40% will need nursing home services that are primarily funded by Medicare and Medicaid. Researchers have underscored the importance of leadership in quality healthcare care delivery, suggesting that nursing home administrator turnover could influence resident quality of life, causing ill-health for the residents and preventable medical costs for taxpayers. In spite of the suggested association, little research has specifically examined the role of administrator turnover on resident quality of life. As such, the purpose and central research questions of this case study were designed specifically to address the relationship between nursing home administrator turnover and resident quality of life. The Donabedian health services quality model was the framework for the study. Data were collected from 14 nursing homes, and included semistructured interview data with 7 nursing home administrators, and a review of other documents related to quality of care including site visit reports and surveys. An iterative process of coding and constant comparison was used to identify themes and categories from the data. The findings indicate that turnover likely caused an adverse impact on the nursing home overall, which was expected. The study also determined, however, that high turnover itself was not perceived to be associated to low resident quality of life. The implication for social change is that nursing home stakeholders may develop processes to retain competent administrators which in turn could reduce absent leadership presence in nursing homes. Consistent leadership presence may lead to improvement in quality of life regulatory compliance and reduction in unnecessary Medicare and Medicaid spending by nursing home residents.