Nursing homes have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These facilities provide care to some of the nation’s most at-risk patients, including individuals receiving post-acute care and long-stay residents requiring 24-hour custodial care, most of whom are older adults. Although there are only 1.3 million patients in U.S. nursing homes representing less than 0.4% of the country’s population, 43% of all COVID-19 deaths have been attributed to these facilities.
For more than 2 decades, private equity (PE) firms have been acquiring nursing homes. This trend has raised concerns among policymakers regarding the quality of care provided by facilities owned by these firms. The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on nursing homes has amplified these concerns. In a study published in JAMA, Private Equity owned nursing homes performed comparably on staffing levels, resident cases, and deaths with nursing homes with other types of ownership, although their shortages of PPE may warrant monitoring.
At the end of the day, does ownership really have any bearing on how the vulnerable adults in our communities are cared for? All of us are in this together, you do what you do because you care and hopefully our residents benefit from your commitment and resiliency over the past year! Continue to do what you do and remember why you are here!
Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up and stay tuned!