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National for profit chains provide less staff and deficient care

Published on August 18th, 2008

Newsday ran a story from the Hartford Courant about how states relying on nursing home chains raise concerns about quality of care provided to the residents.

The article states that large, for-profit chains nursing home chains dominate Connecticut’s market, according to an analysis of federal data released Sunday by the Hartford Courant. Such facilities have lower staffing levels and higher rates of serious patient-care violations than small chains and independently owned homes, according to the newspaper’s review.

"Ownership is certainly a factor in quality of care," Toby Edelman, senior policy attorney with the nonprofit Center for Medicare Advocacy, told the Courant.

 

He said many of the larger chains have complex organizational structures with multiple layers of management. "They send a lot of money to their corporate offices," he said. "There can be a lot of distance between the owners and the facilities themselves. They’re not on the ground."

The Courant looked at two years of inspection and ownership data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the more than 240 licensed nursing homes in Connecticut.  Adjusted for size, homes owned by large chains provided, on average, 16 percent fewer registered and licensed nurses than small-chain and independent nursing facilities, according to the data.

The state’s large-chain homes had a 30 percent higher rate of causing patients harm or putting them in immediate jeopardy, the Courant determined. For the five large chains in Connecticut, which control about one third of the state’s nursing home beds, such serious deficiencies occurred at a 42 percent higher rate than at homes not controlled by large chains.

Information from: The Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com
 

Joe Pioletti
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