Industry Still Profitable

The Ensign Group returned another $23 million in federal coronavirus relief funding after achieving another “record quarter.”  In August, the operator announced it had returned about $109 million in relief funds. The move comes as Ensign touted record earnings for the third quarter in a row. Port explained that operations have continued to see an increase in the number of higher acuity patients, which includes COVID-19 patients and increases in managed care patients.

“As we said last quarter, we take the responsibility that comes from receiving revenues, which are largely funded by American taxpayers, very seriously,” CEO Barry Port said during a third-quarter earnings call.

“When we consider our healthy balance sheet and liquidity, which we have taken great care to protect and when we reflect on the financial performance during the pandemic, we decided not to accept any [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security] Act funds,” he added.

Ensign facilities had a total of 207 confirmed COVID-19 patients in-house as of Oct. 14. Eight of its facilities had more than 20 positive cases, 48 facilities had fewer than 20 cases, and 161 facilities had no confirmed cases in-house. The company has a total of 217 skilled nursing operations.

Why does the industry need legal immunity?  This profitable chain was able to minimize the risks and dangers of coronavirus.

At least a third of the more than 305,000 deaths are among residents and caregivers of nursing homes. More than 800,000 staff members and residents have become infected because of poor infection control.