Despite inviting signs perched in front of many nursing homes indicating the name of the facility, knowing who the real owner of the nursing home is likely a mystery to most patients in the facility as well as their families.
Situations involving distant, corporate ownership of nursing homes is becoming increasingly common as many investment conglomerates seek to cash-in on an expanding elderly population.
For example, families selecting a facility may be interested in knowing the ownership of a facility due to the fact that studies repeatedly demonstrate that corporate, for-profit facilities continually provide inferior care when compared to their peers.
Similarly, in situations where a problem may arise with care, it can be important for families to know just where to send their complaint.
Between 1998 and 2008, 1,876 nursing homes were aquired by private investment companies with 10 firms accounting for 89% of the acquisitions.
A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled, “Complexity of Private Investment Purchases Demonstrates Need For CMS to Improve the Usability and Completeness of Ownership Date” requested by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health Chairman Pete Stark (D- CA) call far easier ways of ascertaining who the real owner of a nursing home is.
This report provides further evidence of what we already knew — that the federal government needs to do a better job giving nursing home residents — including Medicare beneficiaries — complete, accurate and timely information so they can make the right choices when choosing a nursing home. I’ll continue my vigorous oversight to hold the system accountable. We owe that to the nursing home residents. Said Chuck Grassley
As as nursing home lawyer, I strongly support all efforts that make ascertaining nursing home ownership easier. No longer will large corporations be able to shield their identities from the consumer. In the end, this pushing this issue will hopefully prompt better patient care as corporate owners will no longer be able to distance themselves from poorly run facilities.
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