The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services added data to its website highlighting nursing home ownership changes in an effort to increase transparency. However, the information is missing the true owners who use shell companies for sales and purchases. The information is now available on data.cms.gov.
This is the first time CMS has attempted transparency for ownership and related entities. Information on leveraged mergers, acquisitions, consolidations and changes in ownership will help with transparency. HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra said in a statement:
“Today, for the first time, we are releasing data on the impact of hospital and nursing home consolidation for people across our nation. By improving the quality of reporting by hospitals and nursing homes on ownership and consolidation, we also advance President Biden’s agenda to promote competition, lower healthcare costs for American families and protect patients.”
CMS encouraged its use by “researchers, enforcers and the public (to) analyze trends and issues” in the profitable industry. The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation also released a related analysis of the new CMS data examining trends in changes of ownership over the past six years.
- Changes of ownership are more common in nursing homes than hospitals over the past six years. There were more than 3,000 changes in ownership among nursing homes. Just 347 for hospitals. The statistics show ownership change for more than 20% of nursing homes. Less than 6% of hospitals.
- A majority (62.3%) of skilled nursing facilities that were purchased have a single organizational owner, 6.9% have multiple organizations as owners, 18.2% have only individual owners and 12.7% have both types of owners.
Legal experts and government officials need to understand private equity investment in the nursing home industry. Unreasonable siphoning of funds plays a pivotal role in capital and quality improvements.