This weekend, the New York Times published an article about the profitability of nursing homes. The article points out that while profits are rising, quality of care is falling. This may come as a surprise to the nursing home industry who, as a general rule, seems to constantly repeat their litany about how they aren’t making any money. I couldn’t be happier to see the New York Times say the same thing that we already know . . . someone’s making money in the nursing home business. So this is not new news to me. And I’m sure its not new news to many lawyers across the country. However, it is good news to see the press pick up on this and put it front page on Sunday morning.
And, once again, the industry focuses not on the care they provide but the trouble they have with lawsuits . . . and their response is “we made the companies smaller and poorer, and the lawsuits have diminished.” The industry takes no responsibility for lack of quality care that results from making the companies smaller and poorer. To be fair, the previous quote was taken from an executive with a company called Formation properties – a company who owns the Habana Health Care nursing home which the article focuses on. However, I’m comfortable that the nursing home industry as a whole would stand behind this quote. There are no comments in the article defending the qualtiy of care that residents receive.
One day, we may all be facing the decision of whether or not to put a loved one in a nursing home, if we haven’t already. And one day, we may all be facing the decision of whether or not we will need nursing home care ourselves. I can only hope that some of the executives that have put this grand money making scheme into practice will have to look into the face of their family members or into their own mirrors and decide if that nursing home, the one they have swept money away from, is somewhere they would feel comfortable placing their mothers, fathers, wives, or husbands in. Or even better yet, is that nursing home a place they would want to live out their final days . . . Ultimately, justice can come in many forms.