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For-profit nursing homes are cutting corners on safety and draining resources with financial shenanigans − especially at midsize chains that dodge public scrutiny

March 22, 2024
The Conversation
Summary
The for-profit nursing home sector, catering to a large segment of the nation's nearly 14,900 facilities, is prioritizing profit over patient care, resulting in widespread neglect and mistreatment of residents. Investigations by The Conversation reveal a concerning landscape where cost-cutting measures and financial maneuvers, including complex networks of related corporations, significantly compromise the quality of care provided to residents. Penalties and fines, often viewed as a cost of doing business, fail to deter the ongoing neglect as federal regulations remain inadequately enforced, allowing owners to profit through financial schemes at the expense of resident well-being. The model is particularly prevalent among midsize chains, which strike a balance between avoiding public scrutiny and maximizing profit by operating in a regulatory environment that struggles to hold them accountable. The pandemic underscored these issues, highlighting how for-profit homes, especially those with lower staffing levels and a history of health violations, were ill-prepared to manage the crisis, leading to further suffering and loss among the nation's most vulnerable populations.
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