Are Non-Profit Nursing Homes Better for the Patient?

Nursing homes come in two flavors - For-profit and Non-profit facilities. At first glance, the public generally believes a non-profit nursing home translates to subsidized or lower quality care. Whereas, because "for-profit" nursing homes can set their prices, the public believes these facilities will be better and have better paid and trained staff. That is not really the case in my experience.

A recent study by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) found that for-profit nursing homes in Canada have a 16% higher death rate for seniors within six months of arrival, and that there is a 33% greater likelihood that they'll end up in hospital."

Some of the research states that it may have to do with the staff-to-senior ratio or understaffing. "A lot of the research finds that for-profit facilities actually hire fewer staff. One can't help but ask [if that is] because more staff affects the bottom line," said Dr. Margaret McGregor, a family physician and researcher at the University of British Columbia.

The thinking goes that in order to make money, the for-profit homes make cuts that negatively impact the quality of care, such as reducing the number of nursing staff or skimping on meals. As a result, patients suffer. In addition, for profit nursing homes often have a confusing corporate setup that makes it difficult to identify who is responsible for poor resident care. So what can you do, as a patient entering into a nursing home, or a care giver that has a loved one heading that direction? Ask about their ratio of patients to staff. Find out what their history of patient death rates are. Make sure any fees paid are going to the care of the patient and not just to overhead.

If you or a loved one has ever suffered from neglect or abuse in a nursing home, you are not powerless. You have legal options. Call Burnett Wilson Law at (402) 810-8611 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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