For-Profit Nursing Homes = Poor Quality Care
Serving Alabama, Mississippi & Florida including Mobile, Pascagoula, Gulfport, Biloxi & Pensacola
After handling hundreds of nursing home cases over the past 15 or so years I was well aware that the care provided to residents in for-profit nursing homes was generally bad. Not all of them gave bad care, but certainly most of them. And if the nursing home was one owned by a corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange, forget it. I've never seen one of those that didn't care more about their share price, than they did about the resident. So it was interesting to note in today's news that my feelings have been confirmed.
A study focused solely on staffing and quality at the 10 largest for-profit nursing home chains was just completed at the University of California, San Francisco. It's the first ever study to have undertaken this task and it is about to be published in Health Services Research. These 10 chains operate about 2,000 nursing homes in the United States.
Low nurse staffing levels are considered to be the strongest predictor of poor nursing home quality. The staffing levels at the for-profit chains were compared to those of five other ownership groups. It was determined through the study that the for-profit homes keep costs down by lowering staffing, primarily Registered Nurse staffing.
From 2003-2008 the for-profit chains had 30 percent lower nursing hours than the non-profit and government nursing homes. They were cited for 36 percent more deficiencies and 41 percent more serious deficiencies than the best facilities. These deficiencies included pressure sores, weight loss, infections, falls and other problems that could result in serious injury to residents.
The 10 largest for-profit chains in 2008 were HCR Manor Care, Golden Living, Life Care Centers of America, Kindred Healthcare, Genesis HealthCare Corporation, Sun Health Care Group, Inc., SavaSeniorCare LLC, Extendicare Health Services, Inc., National Health Care Corporation, and Skilled HealthCare, LLC.
Choose wisely, my friends.