For-profit nursing homes are cutting corners on safety and draining resources

April 25, 2024

Commonwealth Journal: For-profit nursing homes are cutting corners on safety and draining resources

image shows the hands of an elderly woman putting her hand on her knee

An investigation by The Conversation into nursing homes found disturbing trends among owners of nursing homes. The industry is increasingly led by owners that appear to be focused on profits over patient safety, and ownership can be difficult to trace. The Conversation cited Good Jobs First’s recent report on the topic:

“The investigation revealed an industry that places a premium on cost cutting and big profits, with low staffing and poor quality, often to the detriment of patient well-being. Operating under weak and poorly enforced regulations with financially insignificant penalties, the for-profit sector fosters an environment where corners are frequently cut, compromising the quality of care and endangering patient health. Meanwhile, owners make the facilities look less profitable by siphoning money from the homes through byzantine networks of interconnected corporations. Federal regulators have neglected the problem as each year likely billions of dollars are funneled out of nursing homes through related parties and into owners’ pockets.

“With few impediments, private investors who own the midsize chains have quietly swooped in to purchase underperforming homes, expanding their holdings even further as larger chains divest and close facilities. As a result of the industry’s churn of facility ownership, over one fifth of the country’s nursing facilities changed ownership between 2016 and 2021, four times more changes than hospitals.

A 2023 report by Good Jobs First, a nonprofit watchdog, noted that a dozen of these chains in the midsize range have doubled or tripled in size while racking up fines averaging over $100,000 per facility since 2018. But unlike the large, multistate chains with easily recognizable names, the midsize networks slip through without the same level of public scrutiny, The Conversation’s investigations unit found.”

Read the full story in the Commonwealth Journal.

Read our report, “Care At Risk: Upheaval in the Nursing Home Industry.”