It could happen to any of us… and maybe it’s already happened to someone you love.
When we need constant care – more than our spouses or children can handle – we could end up in a nursing home.
They have pleasant-sounding names and promise to protect our health and dignity.
But the truth is often a VERY different story.
Many of the top nursing homes around are offering care you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
And it’s all because of money and greed.
Here’s how to stay safe… and how to stop the downward spiral before it starts.
Penny-pinching patient care
Nursing homes promise to take the BEST care possible and pay attention around the clock.
But a new exposé from the Washington Post reveals what REALLY happens when one of those places is run by money men… and profits preside over every decision that’s made.
One of the wealthiest group of investors in the world, the Carlyle Group, owned the second-largest nursing home chain in the country from 2007 until it filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
In the five years prior, care quality at HCR ManorCare had gone downhill… FAST.
Patients were reportedly NEGLECTED and health codes were violated REPEATEDLY.
And patients allegedly suffered “actual harm” – including TRAGIC overdoses, falls, and injuries.
The quality and safety standards got EVEN WORSE, as the bankers prepared for bankruptcy court.
They cut costs in an attempt to turn a profit and save the business. For years, HCR ManorCare allegedly operated with NOT ENOUGH qualified nurses.
Certainly FEWER than other comparable homes.
And it was all so that Carlyle could make a profit.
As of December 2018, ManorCare is now owned by a non-profit hospital provider called ProMedica.
But it wasn’t a clean break.
Much of the cash for the deal actually came from an Ohio-based real estate investment trust called Welltower.
What happens when bean-counters invest in a non-profit nursing home?
In the meantime, elder-care facilities and providers continue to consolidate…
And investors continue to salivate over the profit potential of our aging population.
Just a year ago, TWO private equity firms sealed a deal to buy Kindred Healthcare, which provides both long-term and in-home healthcare.
There’s been lots of talk about improving the “business model” of these companies… but maybe everyone should focus on giving patients the dignity they deserve.
If you are healthy and independent now, it’s never been more important to STAY that way.
But if you’re in the market for some extra help… for yourself or someone you love… here are two things you should do.
- Follow the money. If banks are running the business, look for an alternative where the focus will be on PEOPLE, not profits.
- Conduct a “white glove” test. Health code violations are a matter of public record and can usually be found on the internet or at your local county office. But inspections happen irregularly, and the available data can be severely outdated. Go to the facility yourself and see what it looks like when they’re NOT expecting a close look.