Nobody lives in a nursing home because they really want to. When a particular home is chosen for temporary or permanent residence, that is a choice made because of failing health. No matter how homey a nursing home tries to appear, it is still an institution. In all probability, the nursing home is part of a chain, run by a for-profit corporation for the ultimate benefit of investors. Every element of care is included on a profit-and-loss statement.
The Nursing Home Industry
The average yearly cost of a nursing home in New Jersey is over $116,000. For years there has been a trend for corporations and private equity firms to buy and operate nursing homes. It seems profitable.
Governments regulate this industry – which is what it is. There are both federal and state laws regulating nursing homes and detailing the rights of nursing home residents. New Jersey passed strict laws because New Jersey nursing home neglect is a serious problem that required additional state oversight.
Which are Better – Non-Profit or For-Profit Nursing Homes?
One factor that is not always considered is the choice between a for-profit and non-profit nursing home. Is there really a difference in the quality of care? Ultimately, you have to carefully examine a particular nursing home on its own merits, but non-profits overall provide better care.
Many studies have looked at the difference between non-profit and for-profit nursing homes.
- In 2009, the GAO looked at Special Focus Facilities. These are nursing facilities under increased scrutiny because of more serious deficiencies. These were more likely to be part of for-profit chains and had 24% fewer nurses
- A New York Times investigative report stated that nursing homes owned by private equity firms were 41% more profitable, primarily because of massive cutbacks in registered nurses and supplies, resulting in poorer care
- An analysis of 82 studies comparing care found that non-profits had higher quality care, higher staffing levels and fewer pressure sores (a good indicator of care quality)
Overall, it was estimated that if all nursing homes were non-profit:
- Residents would receive 500,000 additional hours of daily care
- 7,000 fewer residents would suffer from pressure sores
Do you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect? Call Gartenberg Howard LLP immediately to take action. Federal and state laws take time your loved one may not have. Visit the website to contact an experienced attorney.