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Could Private Ownership of Nursing Homes Improve Conditions and Care?

Person putting hand on older person's hands

Many nursing homes have been bought into the private sector since 2009. The big question that this presents is whether or not private ownership of nursing homes has a positive effect on the residents and their health. Since resident health should be at the forefront of a facility’s priorities, it’s an important question to ask when we see the ownership trending toward private equity.

If your loved one has been abused or neglected in their nursing home, whether it was privately or publicly owned, they deserve justice for the injuries and other damages that they suffered. With the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer from Shrager, Sachs, & Blanco, you’ll be able to defend the rights of your loved one and ensure the negligent party is held responsible for the harm they caused your older relative in their care.

The Difference in Privatized Care

In short, data shows that private equity owned nursing homes are less likely to put patient care at the forefront of their concerns, and instead focus on profits. So no, private ownership of nursing homes most likely would not improve conditions and care of the residents and would in fact harm the health of residents and even the staff.

A study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) gathered data that showed private equity investment in healthcare doesn’t benefit patients. In fact, many patients in privately owned nursing homes have a higher mortality rate for shorter stays. The problem is that private facilities prioritize their profits over their residents’ health.

Many times, when private companies buy out nursing homes, they focus on rebranding and quickly trying to change their reputations which don’t actually help their residents. These only make it look like they’re helping their patients. The private owners will likely have less money available for care because they just bought the facility, they’ll cut costs to improve profits, and they’ll prioritize short-term profits rather than fixing the problems in the facility that would allow long-term profits.

Let’s take a look at the results of the study that were discovered that illustrate why privately owned nursing homes are worse for patient care.

Findings in Privately Owned Facilities

The study mentioned above found that the mortality for patients increased even when they required lower levels of care and were not complex patients. The ratings of the facilities based on care and staffing declined over time when they were bought by private entities, which shows that both the care was less effective, and the perceived level of care also declined.

Even though these facilities showed that they were able to take better care of younger patients with more complex issues, the majority of patients were not handled the same way. The quality of care could be tied in with staff availability, which showed to decline as a way to cut costs for the facility.

The facilities have less cash on hand after a private equity buys them out. This makes it harder for the facilities to buy emergency equipment, like personal protective equipment in the event of a global pandemic. As we saw from the effects of COVID, nursing homes weren’t prepared for the pandemic for many reasons, including that they already had trouble stopping the spread of diseases in the facilities and they didn’t have the funds to buy the proper PPE.

The study concluded that when a nursing home is owned by a private company, it is less productive and has a lower quality of care. This isn’t to say that public nursing homes are stellar in their care. But comparatively, privately owned facilities have shown that they have more problems and are less helpful for residents, who should always be the main focus.

Shrager, Sachs, & Blanco Can Help Your Loved One

If your loved one was in a long-term care facility and experienced abuse or neglect of any kind, then they could use the help of an attorney to get them the justice they deserve. A Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer from Shrager, Sachs, & Blanco is here to help your loved one recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries and other damages.

With us on your side, you can rest assured that we will fight to protect your loved one’s rights and hold the responsible party or parties accountable for their actions. Reach out to our firm today so we can get started working for your family as soon as possible.

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