Nursing Home Care May Get Worse Under Private Ownership

Conventional wisdom was that a part of the problem with nursing homes is that too many were mom and pop shops without structure, organization, and accountability.

Make sense? It seems logical. Reality may provide a different picture. The sale of Habana Health Care Center, a Tampa nursing home, by a private investment firm hopefully meant better care for residents. It meant big profits for investors of this nursing home and thousands of nursing homes across the country that large investment companies have purchased in the last five years.

Yet since the nursing home was sold in 2002, 15 residents have died and their survivors have blamed negligent care as the reason for their deaths. You can read more about this story in the New York Times, which did a lengthy article yesterday on the privatization of nursing homes. The fear now is that the mom and pop nursing homes had the upside of at least a personal connection to the homes and the residents. Maybe Nursing Home 2.0, the for-profit version, is even more deadly.