Home > Uncategorized > The Private Sector’s Track Record in Nursing Homes SHOULD Give Reform Advocates Pause… IF Improving Schools and not Profits is their goal

The Private Sector’s Track Record in Nursing Homes SHOULD Give Reform Advocates Pause… IF Improving Schools and not Profits is their goal

Today’s NYTimes has an article today by Justin Rau that describes the shoddy care privatized nursing homes provide and the lackluster services provided by outsourced businesses. The privately operated nursing home defended it’s shoddy services and understaffing to a lack of funding. But there’s one problem with that:

One explanation for Mrs. Pierce’s lackluster care in 2009, according to financial records and testimony in a lawsuit brought by the Pierce family, is that the nursing home, Allenbrooke Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, appeared to have been severely underfunded at the time, with a $2 million deficit on its books and a scarcity of nurses and aides. “Sometimes we’d be short of diapers, sheets, linens,” one nurse testified.

That same year, $2.8 million of the facility’s $12 million in operating expenses went to a constellation of corporations controlled by two Long Island accountants who, court records show, owned Allenbrooke and 32 other nursing homes. The homes paid the men’s other companies to provide physical therapy, management, drugs and other services, from which the owners reaped profits.

As soon as profits are put into the equation, customers can be certain corners will be cut and personal services will be limited. If the so-called magic-of-the-market played out the way laissez faire capitalists insist it will, patients like the ones described in this article could find another place to go. But in their race-to-the-bottom to cuts costs, the privatized nursing homes have driven out all of the reasonably priced competition and left those in the lowest 80% with a limited choice. This will happen if public schools are privatized and funded with vouchers. Those who can afford $500,000 homes, first class tickets on airlines, and SUVs with costs over $50,000 will be OK… the rest of us will have to muddle through with the privatized charter chains who will ultimately take the place of today’s public schools.

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