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Low staffing and poor quality of care at nation's for-profit nursing homes
Date:11/29/2011

els and facility deficiencies at the for-profit chains to those at homes run by five other ownership groups to measure quality of care. The 10 largest chains were selected because they are influential in the nursing home industry and are the most successful in terms of growth and market share.

The study found that for-profit homes strive to keep their costs down by reducing staffing, particularly RN staffing.

Recent Medicare cuts in payment rates for nursing home residents by 11 percent in October, 2011 may further jeopardize the health and safety of residents if the chains respond by reducing staffing and wages, Harrington said.

The 10 largest for-profit chains in 2008 were HCR Manor Care, Golden Living, Life Care Centers of America, Kindred Healthcare, Genesis HealthCare Corporation, Sun Health Care Group, Inc., SavaSeniorCare LLC, Extendicare Health Services, Inc., National Health Care Corporation, and Skilled HealthCare, LLC.

From 2003 to 2008, these chains had fewer nurse "staffing hours" than non-profit and government nursing homes when controlling for other factors. Together, these companies had the sickest residents, but their total nursing hours were 30 percent lower than non-profit and government nursing homes. Moreover, the top chains were well below the national average for RN and total nurse staffing, and below the minimum nurse staffing recommended by experts.

The 10 largest for-profit chains were cited for 36 percent more deficiencies and 41 percent more serious deficiencies than the best facilities. Deficiencies include failure to prevent pressure sores, resident weight loss, falls, infections, resident mistreatment, poor sanitary conditions, and other problems that could seriously harm residents.

The study also found that the four largest for-profit nursing home chains purchased by private equity companies between 2003 and 2008 had more deficiencies after being acquired. The study is the fir
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Contact: Elizabeth Fernandez
elizabeth.fernandez@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert  

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