Ownership Transparency

New Jersey passed a law requiring nursing homes to disclose the names of owners and relate entities. Ownership transparency increases accountability and safety.  As a nursing home attorney, this is progress. I hope South Carolina passes similar legislation.

The law requires operators to disclose material information about changes of ownership. This will help find repeat offenders. Prior to transferring ownership of a long-term care facility, operators must now submit the identifications and addresses of current and proposed new owners. The ownership transfer will then be subject to the state for approval.

Operators would need to provide verified documentation including an organizational chart of the new company, a copy of the sale agreement and a list of facilities owned by the new owner within the previous five years must also be submitted to the state.

Lawmakers argued changes in for-profit nursing home ownership “calls into question the intentions of the owners, who may be putting the expectations of shareholders over the needs of elderly, disabled and vulnerable nursing home residents.”

Federal lawmakers have also pushed for greater transparency and oversight of for-profit nursing homes and their ownership. During a Congressional hearing in March, witnesses accused for-profit nursing home chains of manipulating their financial findings and cost reports to hide profits.