Dollars and Dignity
Weill Cornell Medical College researchers analyzed ownership and clinical indicators. Researchers found nursing homes owned and operated by private equity firms are more likely to cause residents to visit ambulatory care-sensitive emergency department visits (i.e. traumatic falls) and hospitalizations. The researchers wrote in JAMA Health Forum wrote:
“This cohort study suggests that [private equity] firm–owned nursing homes provided somewhat lower-quality long-term care than other for-profit homes based on two widely used quality measures and were associated with higher total per-beneficiary Medicare costs.”
Studies show the surge of private equity investment in the industry has coincided with worse health outcomes. Not a coincidence though.
A new report from Public Citizen finds the CMS database to disclose nursing home ownership has unreliable information. The inaccurate information hides whether a private equity firm controls the nursing home or its management company.
Ownership matters. Corporate decisions on policies, staffing and training affect care and morale. Leadership and culture affects quality of care. Private equity ownership is bad for residents. Capitalist vultures who place dollars ahead of resident’s dignity should get out of the industry.