Nursing home profits soar in Q1 2012, yet many facilities provide “lousy” care

Nursing home earnings skyrocketed in Q1 2012, especially for large, publicly traded companies. Last year’s industry’s strategy shuffling in the wake of Medicare adjustments and this year’s 2 percent increase in Medicaid reimbursement have both contributed to increased profits, explains Brian Lee, executive director of Families for Better Care, a non-profit advocacy group based in Tallahassee, Fla. 

Yet according to nursing home comparison data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 35 percent of nursing homes scored “below average” or “much below average” overall.

While facility profits and per-bed prices continue to rise, nursing homes also face reports of patient neglect, improper medication administration and other patient care failings, Lee noted in a statement. “Facing a one in three chance of being admitted into a lousy facility is a daunting proposition for consumers,” he said.

Advocacy groups are still pushing for revamped payment structures and better care accountability, Lee added. “There is a way to balance profitability and quality of care and that is through 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.”

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