The Wall Street Journal's Market Watch reported the "astonishing" profits of the nursing home industry. Nursing homes remain highly profitable. Year-end earning statements for publicly traded nursing homes show a thriving enterprise with companies reporting “strong balance sheets” and “better than expected operating results.” One company’s annual revenues spiked nearly 200%.
Brian Lee is the Executive Director of Families for Better Care. Families for Better Care, Inc. is a citizen advocacy organization dedicated to quality resident care in nursing homes and other long-term care settings. Executive Director Brian Lee served as Florida’s State Long-Term Care Ombudsman for most of the past decade.
“The industry’s analysts framed the Medicare adjustment as an eventual doomsday for the nation’s nursing home market. But the industry’s own reports show quite the opposite, revealing surging revenues, strong profits, and expansion through acquisitions,” said Lee. “The industry is wallowing in strong profits while failing to consistently provide quality care.”
“The reason care declines in nursing homes is that executives unnecessarily target labor costs to offset any reimbursement adjustments,” Lee said. “While this obviously maintains a robust bottom line for investors and cushy CEO salaries, the decline in frontline staff puts residents in jeopardy for harm while simultaneously creating dangerous working conditions for employees.”
“Lawmakers must demand greater transparency and disclosure from nursing home companies and their affiliates. This will allow payment systems to be restructured, guaranteeing taxpayer dollars go directly to resident care and safety,” Lee commented.
A recent study by the University of California-San Francisco shows a steady decline in nursing hours for Medicare-licensed facilities and an unacceptably high level of deficiencies.