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Profits instead of hiring staff

Published on May 18th, 2010

Here is another article (from The Orange county Register) about how nursing homes used increased funding to pad their bottom line instead of increasing staffing.  Nursing homes were supposed to use the increased funding to hire more staff and increase the hours per patient.  One again, greed and profits take precedence over the care provided to nursing home residents.

Covenant Care’s facilities are among hundreds of California skilled-care centers that received $880 million in additional compensation from the state since 2004 to increase staffing and wages at homes that serve Medi-Cal patients. An analysis by the non-profit newsroom California Watch found that 232 of those homes statewide slashed staff and let nursing ratios fall below the state minimum despite receiving the additional funds.

St. Edna and 12 other homes run by the Aliso Viejo-based Coventant chain were among those that stood out: They accepted $15 million in additional compensation from the state but still cut caregivers, California Watch found. Meanwhile, Covenant Care rewarded facility leaders with bonuses based, in part, on new profits.

The company’s marketing promises the "highest quality of care" and a staff that treats consumers as "family." But St. Edna’s overall service is rated "much below average" on the California Department of Public Health website – the lowest rating given. Staffing at the facility fell 5 percent between 2004 and 2008, settling below the state minimum of 3.2 hours per patient.

St. Edna received 119 citations and warnings over the past three years, compared with a state average of 54.

 

 

 

 

Joe Pioletti
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