Earlier this month, two Pennsylvania Senators, Pat Toomey (R) and Bob Casey (D), issued a report identifying 478 nursing homes in the nation as having “serious deficiencies.” These facilities in turn were labeled as “special focus facilities” by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This means that the labeled nursing homes have a “documented pattern of poor care” and will be eligible to be improved upon by CMS.
74 of these special focus facilities have guaranteed mortgages provided by a federal agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These mortgages were insured against default, meaning if the nursing home failed to make payments, their mortgage agreement was still intact. Since they were unable to go into default, some facilities and chains racked up serious debt—in some cases, millions of dollars—to HUD. Not only were some HUD-insured facilities unable to pay their mortgages, but as the Senators’ report showed, they were also unable to pay for proper care for their residents.