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Residents More Likely to Suffer from Inferior Care at Nursing Homes with Large Corporate Structures

January 10, 2018

If your loved one lives in a nursing home that outsources many of its services to companies that are part of its corporate network, there is a greater risk these residents will suffer from substandard care.

Nursing homes that engage in this practice were found to have fewer nurses and aides per residents, higher rates of injuries and unsafe practices and close to twice as many complaints as independent care facilities, according to a recent New York Times article that was based on an analysis of inspection and quality records performed by Kaiser Health News.

The study found that almost 75% of nursing homes in the United States outsource a variety of services to companies they control or have a financial interest in. While these kinds of business arrangements, known as “related party transactions,” can offer significant financial and administrative advantages to the nursing homes. Outsourced functions include contracting for management services or renting a building that is owned by a related company. Researchers found that, in some cases, the owners arranged favorable contracts in which their nursing homes paid higher rates for these services, allowing the owners to skim the profits without recorded them more than they might in a competitive market. Owners then siphon off higher profits without recording them on the nursing home’s ledgers. Unfortunately, these benefits often prove detrimental to the residents.

There can be a legal benefit to these corporate structures as well. According to the research by Kaiser Health News, when a resident or family member files a lawsuit for neglect or substandard care, it has proven harder for residents and families to collect from these ancillary companies, even when negligence has occurred.

Other findings of the Kaiser Health News analysis included:

– An average of 8% few nurses and aides were employed by nursing homes that did business with related companies.

– These homes have a 9% higher likelihood of injuring residents or putting them in them in immediate danger of being harmed.

– Residents or family members registered 53 substantiated complaints about every 1,000 beds in these nursing homes compared with 32 substantiated complaints about every 1,000 beds at independent homes.

– Homes that did business with related companies were fined 22% more often for serious health violations than independent homes, with penalties that averaged 7% higher than those levied in independent homes.

Similar results were found to be true regarding for-profit nursing homes doing business with related companies. Their fines and substantiated complaints were higher than those at independent for-profit homes, while staffing rates were 4% lower.

“It is reprehensible for nursing homes and related companies to hide behind corporate walls at the expense of these vulnerable residents,” said Mark Bernstein of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm.

Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms; including bedsores, malnutrition, poorly lit hallways, lack of bed rails and other safety measures, insufficient supervision of residents and many more.

Abuse and neglect can be evidenced by signs such as unexplained bruises, dehydration, weight loss, depression, fearfulness, anxiety, unsanitary conditions and deficient personal hygiene, among others.

If you suspect a loved one is being abused or neglected or receiving substandard care, call us immediately for a free consultation. The experienced and compassionate nursing home abuse lawyers at The Sam Bernstein Law Firm are ready to help protect your loved one and obtain the compensation you and your family deserve.

“We will fight to protect elderly residents from being abused or taken advantage of by corporate conglomerates who put profits ahead of proper care for this vulnerable population,” said Bernstein. “Call us today to see how we can help your family.”

 

Source: https://khn.org/news/care-suffers-as-more-nursing-homes-feed-money-into-corporate-webs/