Experts and other advocates are wondering if now is the time to restructure the nursing home industry. Residents are now more likely to be evicted to boardinghouses or homeless shelters to make room for those with higher Medicare payments. Meanwhile, industry lobbyists seek legal immunity while asking for billions in bailouts. Resist oversights and regulations that increase the health, safety, and well-being of the residents.
“Even before the pandemic hit, nursing homes seemed like an odd, collective compromise. Most American adults, in a survey …, said they wouldn’t want to leave their homes or communities as they aged—and most also didn’t envision that they’d ever end up doing so.”
Adapt is an organization calling for the elimination of most long-term nursing facilities. Disability advocate Alice Wong recently wrote, “freedom to live in the community is a human right.” Advocates argue that residents often end up there not because they want to, but because they have no other viable or safe options. Adapt hopes that Congress will pass the Disability Integration Act which protects the right to live in the community.
HOW TO RESTRUCTURE
“According to the CDC there were 15,600 facilities in 2016, about two-thirds of which were for-profit. According to one market research firm, the global long-term care business will be worth $1.7 trillion in 2027.”
David Grabowski is a well-known expert and professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. He proposes a restructuring of the nursing-homes industry. This will increase safety while being cheaper in the long run. The Money Follows the Person program has demonstrated that their overall Medicare and Medicaid expenditures drop by 20 percent. Home-based care is cheaper than nursing homes.
“We have been underinvesting in nursing homes for many years,” he says. “This pandemic has just brought this underinvestment into broader view.”
“Instead of housing people in congregate settings, Adapt and other activists argue that better outcomes can be achieved by supporting people in small group homes of two to four people or, even better, by supporting them in place.”