I’m always amazed when I get comments from individuals who defend the evil of corporate greed as it exists within the nursing home industry. Corporate greed is truly evil wherever it manifests itself. It is an extreme form of evil when (as it does within the nursing home industry) it jeopardizes, compromises and outright prevents quality care from being provided to nursing home residents. “Care” and “for-profit” don’t belong in the same sentence.

Corporate greed is the culprit behind under-staffing of nursing homes. It is the underlying cause of nursing homes lacking essential supplies to properly care for their residents. It is the reason “corporate bean counters”, instead of nursing professionals, are allowed to determine the quality (or lack thereof) of care given to nursing home residents.

One person who sent me a message a few months ago blew off the problem of corporate greed by claiming if it was a problem in a particular nursing facility that the nursing home would “not be around for long”. Yet anyone who knows anything about how states regulate nursing homes is aware that it can be very difficult for state surveyors (inspectors) to catch even the most serious problems within a facility — let alone document those issues to the point that the nursing home is fined, let alone has it’s license revoked. Nursing home executives are experts at  spinning (e.g., lying) to the state, to their employees, to their residents and their resident’s families…anything to avoid being caught doing the wrong thing. Anything to avoid from being found out to be comprising resident safety and care because the pursuit of financial profit comes before providing quality resident care.

Now an example of something written by a person who really does not understand the harm caused by corporate greed within the nursing home industry. The anonymous comment claimed, “Saying for-profit is bad means you would have to make every for-profit business bad. So don’t eat at any restaurant since every one of them are for-profit.”

My response is that being for-profit in and of itself isn’t the real issue. Corporate greed is the problem. Within the past six months two research reports have been released that prove that a much higher percentage of for-profit nursing homes have lower resident-to-staff ratios than non-profit facilities. Inadequate staffing levels are clearly the number one cause for inadequate care. Non-profit facilities, staffed at higher levels than their for-profit counterpart, consistently provided better quality care than for-profit nursing homes.

I would love it if every nursing home on this planet were non-profit. But until that day comes (and I don’t see it happening ever), then we in the Nursing Home Reform movement must continue to put pressure on state nursing home regulators to do a better job of catching and penalizing nursing homes for providing inadequate care — realizing that is most often corporate greed that creates the crisis of substandard care in the first place.

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