It may not be a surprise to hear that the business structure of many corporations is getting bigger and more convoluted. Nursing homes are no exception to this trend. But what does it mean for you or a loved one who may need around-the-clock care?
Owners of nursing homes sometimes have competing interests in other industries that may provide products or services, such as medical supplies, linens, etc., that are needed at a nursing home. In such cases, nursing homes often outsource services to a vendor that they have a financial stake in and that they can control operationally. Such business contracts are often non-competitive and charge astronomically higher fees than what another vendor in that industry typically would.
In such a corporate structure, nursing homes are forced by their management to have extremely tight budgets when it comes to staffing needs and training protocols. In the end, it’s the residents who suffer. Kaiser Health News conducted an investigation of American nursing homes and found nearly three-quarters—more than 11,000 nursing homes—have such business dealings, known as “related party transactions.”Some homes even contract out basic functions like management or rent their own building from a sister corporation, saying it is an efficient way of running their businesses and can help minimize taxes.
But nursing home care is worse in facilities with such business ties. Kaiser Health News’ investigation showed:
■ As a group, these homes were 9 percent more likely to have hurt residents or put them in immediate jeopardy of harm, and amassed 53 substantiated complaints for every 1,000 beds, compared with 32 per 1,000 beds at independent homes.
■ Homes with related companies were fined 22 percent more often for serious health violations than independent homes, and penalties averaged $24,441—7 percent higher.
Kaiser Health News’ thorough investigation showed these facilities have fewer nurses and aides per patient, they have higher rates of patient injuries and unsafe practices, and they are the subject of complaints almost twice as often as independent homes. Yet, these types of nursing homes are becoming increasingly common.
As they cut staff and cause their residents injury, when such nursing home facilities are held liable for these injuries, many of them try to avoid responsibility by hiding behind the interconnected corporate structure they have created.
At the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd., our nursing home neglect attorneys are familiar with such tactics. When these nursing homes cause their residents injury, often times it’s a deliberate choice to cut corners and not hire adequate staff to provide care for all residents.
If your loved one was harmed in a nursing home, know that there are options for you. With over 50 years of combined experience and millions of dollars recovered in verdicts and settlements, our nursing home neglect lawyers are here for you. Call us at 1 (312) 384-1920 or 1 (800) 693-1LAW, or reach us by email.