For Profit Nursing Homes

  1. http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/75107/

    Should Nursing Homes Be for Profit?

    "The problem is, in the nursing home industry, making money means cutting care," says Julie Eisenhardt, a spokeswoman for Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents employees at about 15 Manor Care homes and which spearheaded a campaign to raise awareness about the buyout.
    "They're not there to invest in the care for the residents, they're there to make money," says Charlene Harrington, a professor of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, and author of the 18-month study. "The way these chains have made money is by cutting the staff to the bare bones and pocketing the profits."
    Harrington, who is part of a team that has researched nursing homes for 25 years, says the privatization of chains allows companies to shirk regulatory scrutiny because they are not required to file financial documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or state regulatory agencies.
    "These chains have had so many quality problems that they have wanted to go private in order to keep from having the litigation they have," she said.
    "I think the size of the transaction, the nature of the business of the proposed buyer and the effects that could be felt by our most frail and vulnerable populations require us to give the proposal extra scrutiny," said State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) at a December hearing before the Illinois Department of Public Health, which regulates the state's nursing facilities.

    In December, financial news service Bloomberg reported that the Manor Care purchase was the eighteenth sale of a nursing home operator in the United States in four years. Experts say investment firms' interest in nursing facilities is partially an effort to cash in on the aging of baby boomers into the system.
    "As boomers get older, taking care of them is going to be big business," says Eisenhardt of SEIU. "The question is: Do we as a society think it's right that people are trying to make money off taking care of our most vulnerable population?"
    What do you think, should "for profits" be prohibited ? Any Boomer's thoughts?
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Feb 14, '08
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    My personal opinion is that there should be no private-for-profit operations allowed in healthcare, period.
  4. by   nightmare
    The NHS promised care "from the cradle to the grave" when it first started.That just doesn't happen in the case of elderly care
  5. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from nightmare
    The NHS promised care "from the cradle to the grave" when it first started.That just doesn't happen in the case of elderly care
    Nursing Home care is not included in your health care plan?
  6. by   nightmare
    So much of their care is paid but they still have to contribute as well.If they are in a Home for a long time this eats away all their funds,houses are sold etc.
  7. by   happydays352
    I work at a private adult foster home. We are for profit, however our staff are all nursing students and our owner is an RN. I think this is best place for our elderly to live. They are still in a home setting, surrounded by people who truly love them and care for them. While costs are a concern I've never felt that my care has been impacted by understaffing. I can only hope my parents will find somewhere as wonderful as this to spend their last years.

    On the other side I've worked in an ALF with a memory care wing. We had two caregivers and two med aids for the whole facility which had at least 80 people and around 50 meds passes. I know call lights went unanswered, med mistakes occured, and the documentation...or lack there of would make you shudder. This place wasn't even one of the bad ones. Yes it was understaffed, and some of the staff didn't care one bit about the people they cared for.

    So I guess I see both sides to this, I am a strong advocate for the foster home approach however it is too expensive for most elders.
    Though I am against large companies getting into the business of caring for one of our most vulnerable populations. The greed and disregard they show for human life is beyond words.

    One of my pt's said it best " Thank god I'm not in that brick concentration camp anymore."
  8. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from nightmare
    So much of their care is paid but they still have to contribute as well.If they are in a Home for a long time this eats away all their funds,houses are sold etc.
    This has been happening in the US for a long time, a patient cannot get Medicaid until all their own personal funds have been depleted.I believe the spouse can live in the house and upon the death of that spouse, the house gets sold and half the profits get paid back to Medicaid. If the spouse moves out of the house and into the nursing home also, they must sell the house and use the profits from their share to pay for their nursing home stay, until that money runs out and any other monies in accounts, annuties , etc. all must be depleted before Medicaid will pay . I believe the elderly parents can gift some of their savings to their children, but it must be done within a certain amount of years, before they can apply for Medicaid.I may have some of my facts wrong, if anyone can correct them , feel free.
  9. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from happydays352
    I work at a private adult foster home. We are for profit, however our staff are all nursing students and our owner is an RN. I think this is best place for our elderly to live. They are still in a home setting, surrounded by people who truly love them and care for them. While costs are a concern I've never felt that my care has been impacted by understaffing. I can only hope my parents will find somewhere as wonderful as this to spend their last years.

    On the other side I've worked in an ALF with a memory care wing. We had two caregivers and two med aids for the whole facility which had at least 80 people and around 50 meds passes. I know call lights went unanswered, med mistakes occured, and the documentation...or lack there of would make you shudder. This place wasn't even one of the bad ones. Yes it was understaffed, and some of the staff didn't care one bit about the people they cared for.

    So I guess I see both sides to this, I am a strong advocate for the foster home approach however it is too expensive for most elders.
    Though I am against large companies getting into the business of caring for one of our most vulnerable populations. The greed and disregard they show for human life is beyond words.

    One of my pt's said it best " Thank god I'm not in that brick concentration camp anymore."
    Adult foster home, interesting concept. How many people live in one house? What is the level of care , is it skilled care?
  10. by   CapeCodMermaid
    All the facilities I've worked at throughout the course of my career have been for profit. Some were better than others but there was no short staffing to make a quick buck. The man who owns the company I work for now paid more than 1 million dollars last year just for the utility bills. He is not evil...he is not money grubbing. It is his business and he has to make enough to pay all the bills. Do you really think it'd be any better not for profit? How many things has the government already screwed up? Do you really want them to screw this up too?
  11. by   elkpark
    Quote from CapeCodMermaid
    All the facilities I've worked at throughout the course of my career have been for profit. Some were better than others but there was no short staffing to make a quick buck. The man who owns the company I work for now paid more than 1 million dollars last year just for the utility bills. He is not evil...he is not money grubbing. It is his business and he has to make enough to pay all the bills. Do you really think it'd be any better not for profit? How many things has the government already screwed up? Do you really want them to screw this up too?
    Not-for-profit does not mean government-run. It just means that money is not being siphoned out of the operation off the top to pay dividends to shareholders.
  12. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from elkpark
    Not-for-profit does not mean government-run.
    Exactly!! My own facility is a locally owned and operated not-for-profit, and while the wages and benefits leave something to be desired, that's not all there is to the job. It's wonderful to NOT deal with "corporate", to have to do everything in lockstep fashion and be under the thumb of some bigwig who doesn't know the first thing about nurses or nursing.. I wouldn't go back to that for $10,000 a year more in salary and the greatest bennies in the business.

    JMHO.
  13. by   jjjoy
    Quote from elkpark
    My personal opinion is that there should be no private-for-profit operations allowed in healthcare, period.
    I agree with this for the most part. In today's business climate, if you have shareholders, the emphasis is on continued growth, not on low, stable returns. There is constant pressure to reduce costs quarter after quarter in order to improve returns. When it comes to services like health care, we often don't haven't the luxury of shopping around for the best deal and quality, thus market forces don't work in the same way there as for other optional services. In other services, if quality goes down enough, people will take their business elsewhere. But if you're sick and elderly in a nursing home, it's not so easy.
  14. by   happydays352
    We have five pts and one wife who lives with her husband. One cat and our two crazy dogs . We were a level three home, now we are a level two though we obtain exemptions for any level three pts, we currently have one who has lived there for twelve years. We provide end of life care and all of our pts die at home with us and their families.

    Can you tell that I like were I work :P

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