January 3, 2018, Kimberly Marselas, McKnight's Long-Term Care News - It's no secret that nursing homes outsource a wide variety of goods and services — often management, facilities maintenance, staffing and so forth — to companies in which they have a financial interest or even a controlling stake.
But a new, highly critical analysis finds that nearly three-quarters of U.S. nursing homes are involved in “related party transactions,” often funneling money to sister companies while claiming to be cash-strapped to worried employees and patients.
A Kaiser Health News review of federal inspection and quality records shows nursing homes that outsource to related organizations often have fewer nurses and aides per patient, higher patient injury rates and almost twice the number of complaints as independent facilities.
Behind the scenes, the related owners can create lucrative contracts with facilities for their services and record those higher profits away from nursing home accounts, Kaiser reported.
“Almost every single one of these chains is doing the same thing,” said Charlene Harrington, a professor emeritus of the School of Nursing at the University of California-San Francisco. “They're just pulling money away from staffing.”
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