Poor Quality of Care at For-Profit Nursing Homes
A study by a professor at University of California - San Fransisco has proven what many of us have long suspected: For-profit nursing homes tend to provide poorer care by having insufficient staff. By definition, the primary goal of for-profit nursing homes is to maximize profit for investors. As the number one cost in operating a nursing home is staff, for-profit nursing homes tend to provide less staff to care for patients.
According to the author Charlene Harrington, RN, PhD, "poor quality is endemic in many nursing homes, but we found that the most serious problems occur in the largest for-profit chains." Low Staffing and Poor Quality of Care at Nation's For-Profit Nursing Homes.
The article lists the 10 largest for-profit chains as:
- HCR ManorCare
- Golden Living
- Life Care Centers of America
- Kindred Healthcare
- Genesis Healthcare Corporation
- Sun Health Care Group, Inc.
- SavaSeniorCare, LLC
- Extendicare Health Services, Inc.
- National Health Care Corporation
- Skilled Healthcare, LLC
From 2003 to 2008, the study found that these chains had fewer staffing hours and tended to have the sickest residents. While you would expect a health care provider with sicker residents to increase staffing to meet the residents' higher care needs, they provided 30% fewer nursing hours than non-profit or government nursing homes.
Another interesting, albeit not surprising statistic in the article is that these homes were cited for 36% more violations than non-profits or government run nursing homes.
This study supports what we have been saying for a long time. Filing legal actions against nursing homes that provide bad care should improve the quality of care in the long term, because it ultimately makes it expensive to provide bad care.