New York Times: Private Investors Put Profits Over People In Nation’s Nursing Homes

According to a September 23, 2007 New York Times article by Charles Duhigg, private investment firms that have purchased nursing homes have decreased staffing and overall budgets placing a premium on profits while slighting the quality of care provided to residents. Privately owned nursing homes acquired before 2006 scored worse in 12 of 14 quality care indicators that regulators use to track ailments of long-term residents, the article indicates. Those ailments include bedsores (pressure sores, decubiti) and infections, as well as the use of restraints. Prior to being acquired by private investors, many of the same nursing homes had scored significantly higher based on the same criteria.

The article also notes that these private investment companies have created very complex corporate structures in attempt to shield the nursing homes from financial liability for any neglect or abuse suffered by residents. Analysis of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data indicates that the number of registered nurses at privately owned nursing homes has decreased significantly from 2000-2006.

Website Resources:

At Many Homes, More Profit and Less Nursing, New York Times, Charles Duhigg, September 23, 2007.

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