Based on, Care Suffers as Profits Rise answer the following questions: This is discussion 1
- What problem within the nursing home industry is the article discussing?
- What is the benefit to nursing home providers?
- How is the consumer affected?
- This is discussion 2
- Based on Gaps Found in Scrutiny of Assisted Living Homes what problem does the article address? What facts does it use to support the argument?
Based on, The American Health Care Association. National Center for Assisted Living Quality Initiative (Links to an external site.), what are the “Assisted Living Goals” as described on the website? Why was the initiative taken? link is copied
Based on, 2019 Assisted Living NY State Regulatory Review discuss the “Admissions and Retention” policy in NY State.
Please reference in Apa style
Based on, Care Suffers as Profits Rise answer the following questions: This is discussion 1 What problem within the nursing home industry is the article discussing?What is the benefit to nursing home
Care Suffers as Profits Rise: [Money and Business/Financial Desk] Rau, Jordan. New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]07 Jan 2018: BU.1. MEMPHIS — When one of Martha Jane Pierce’s sons peeled back the white sock that had been covering his 82-year-old mother’s right foot for a month, he discovered rotting flesh. “It looked like a piece of black charcoal” and smelled “like death,” her daughter Cindy Hatfield later testified. After Mrs. Pierce, a patient at a nursing home in Memphis, was transferred to a hospital, a surgeon had to amputate much of her leg. 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. In what has become an increasingly common business arrangement, owners of nursing homes outsource a wide variety of goods and services to companies in which they have a financial interest or that they control. Nearly three-quarters of nursing homes in the United States — more than 11,000 — have such business dealings, known as related party transactions, according to an analysis of nursing home financial records by Kaiser Health News. 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. Contracts with related companies accounted for $11 billion of nursing home spending in 2015 — a tenth of their costs — according to financial disclosures the homes submitted to Medicare. These arrangements offer an additional advantage: Owners can arrange highly favorable contracts in which their nursing homes pay more than they might in a competitive market. Owners then siphon off higher profits, which are not recorded on the nursing home’s accounts. The two Long Island men, Donald Denz and Norbert Bennett, and their families’ trusts collected distributions totaling $40 million from their chain’s $145 million in revenue over eight years — a 28 percent margin, legal documents show. In 2014 alone, Mr. Denz earned $13 million and Mr. Bennett made $12 million, principally from their nursing home companies, according to personal income tax filings. Typical nursing home profits are “in the 3 to 4 percent range,” said Bill Ulrich, a nursing home financial consultant. In California, the state auditor is examining related party transactions at another nursing home chain, Brius Healthcare Services, regarding reimbursements from the state’s Medicaid program. Rental prices to real estate companies related to the chain of homes were a third higher than rates paid by other for-profit nursing homes in the same counties, according to an analysis by the National Union of Healthcare Workers. Dr. Michael Wasserman, the head of the management company for the Brius nursing homes, called the subject of corporate structures a “nonissue” and said, “What matters at the end of the day is what the care being delivered is about.” Such corporate webs bring owners a legal benefit, too: When a nursing home is sued, injured residents and their families have a much harder time collecting money from the related companies — the ones with the full coffers. Courts set a high bar for plaintiffs to bring these ancillary companies into their cases. After the Pierce family won a rare verdict against the nursing home owners, Mr. Denz and Mr. Bennett appealed, and their lawyer, Craig Conley, said they would not discuss the case or their business while the appeal was pending. “For more than a decade, Allenbrooke’s caregivers have promoted the health, safety and welfare of their residents,” Mr. Conley wrote in an email. Networks of jointly owned limited liability corporations are fully legal and widely used in other businesses, such as restaurants and retailers. Nonprofit nursing homes sometimes use them as well. Owners can have more control over operations — and better allocate resources — if they own all the companies. In many cases, industry consultants say, a related company will charge a nursing home lower fees than an independent contractor might, leaving the chain with more resources. “You don’t want to pay for someone else to make money off of you,” Mr. Ulrich, the consultant, said. “You want to retain that within your organization.” But a Kaiser Health News analysis of inspection and quality records reveals that nursing homes that outsource to related organizations tend to have significant shortcomings: They 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. “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.” Early Signs of Trouble Martha Jane Pierce moved to Allenbrooke in 2008 in the early stages of dementia. According to testimony in the family’s lawsuit, when her children visited they often discovered her unwashed, with an uneaten, cold meal sitting beside her bed. Mrs. Hatfield said in court that she had frequently found her mother’s bed soaked in urine. The front desk was sometimes vacant, her brother Glenn Pierce testified. “If you went in on the weekend, you’d be lucky to find one nurse there,” he said in an interview. After a stroke, Mrs. Pierce became partly paralyzed and nonverbal, but the nursing home did not increase the attention she received, said Carey Acerra, one of Mrs. Pierce’s lawyers. When Mrs. Pierce’s children visited, they rarely saw aides reposition her in bed every two hours, the standard practice to prevent bedsores. “Not having enough staffing, we can’t — we weren’t actually able to go and do that,” one nurse, Cheryl Gatlin-Andrews, said in a deposition. Kaiser Health News’s analysis of inspection, staffing and financial records nationwide found shortcomings at other homes with similar corporate structures: Homes that did business with sister companies employed, on average, 8 percent fewer nurses and aides. 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. For-profit nursing homes utilize related corporations more frequently than nonprofits do, and have fared worse than independent for-profit homes in fines, complaints and staffing, the analysis found. Their fines averaged $25,345, which was 10 percent higher than fines for independent for-profits, and the homes received 24 percent more substantiated complaints from residents. Overall staffing was 4 percent lower than at independent for-profits. Ernest Tosh, a plaintiffs’ lawyer in Texas who helps other lawyers untangle nursing company finances, said owners often exerted control by setting tight budgets that restricted the number of nurses the homes could employ. Meanwhile, “money is siphoned out to these related parties,” he said. “The cash flow gets really obscured through the related party transactions.” The American Health Care Association, which represents nursing homes, disputed any link between related businesses and poor care. “Our members strive to provide quality care at an affordable cost to every resident,” the group said in a statement. “There will always be examples of exceptions, but those few do not represent the majority of our profession.” ‘Piercing the Corporate Veil’ The model of placing nursing homes and related businesses in separate limited liability corporations and partnerships has gained popularity as the industry has consolidated through purchases by publicly traded companies, private investors and private equity firms. A 2003 article in the Journal of Health Law encouraged owners to separate their nursing home business into detached entities to protect themselves if the government tried to recoup overpayments or if juries levied large negligence judgments. “Holding the real estate in a separate real-property entity that leases the nursing home to the operating entity protects the assets by making the real estate unavailable for collection by judgment creditors of the operating entity,” the authors wrote. Such restructuring, they added, was probably not worth it just for “administrative simplicity.” In 2009, Harvard Medical School researchers found the practice had flourished among nursing homes in Texas, which they studied because of the availability of state data. Owners had also inserted additional corporations between themselves and their nursing homes, with many separated by three layers. To bring related companies into a lawsuit, attorneys must persuade judges that all the companies were essentially acting as one entity and that the nursing home could not make its own decisions. Often that requires getting access to internal company documents and emails. Even harder is holding owners personally responsible for the actions of a corporation — known as “piercing the corporate veil.” At a conference for executives in the long-term health care industry in Nashville in 2012, a presentation slide from nursing home attorneys titled “Pros of Complex Corporate Structure” said, “Many plaintiffs’ attorneys will never conduct corporate structure discovery because it’s too expensive and time consuming.” The presentation noted another advantage: “Financial statement in punitive damages phase shows less income and assets.” A lawyer in Alabama, Barry Walker, is still fighting an 11-year-old case against another nursing home then owned by Mr. Denz and Mr. Bennett. Mr. Walker traced the ownership of Fairfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center back to the men, but he said the judge had allowed him to introduce the information only after the Alabama Supreme Court ordered the judge to do so. That trial ended with a hung jury, and Mr. Walker said a subsequent judge had not let him present all the information to two other juries, and he dropped the men from the lawsuit. The home closed a few years ago but the case is still ongoing, after two mistrials. “The former trial judge and the current trial judge quite frankly don’t seem to understand piercing the corporate veil,” he said. “My firm invested more in the case than we can ever hope to recover. Sometimes it’s a matter of principle.” The complexity of the ownership in Mrs. Pierce’s case was a major reason it took six years to get to a trial, said Ken Connor, one of the lawyers for her family. “It requires a lot of digging to unearth what’s really going on,” he said. “Most lawyers can’t afford to do that.” The research paid off in a rare result: In 2016, the jury issued a $30 million verdict for negligence, of which Mr. Denz and Mr. Bennett were personally liable for $20 million. The men’s own tax returns had bolstered the case against them. They claimed during trial they delegated daily responsibilities for residents to the home’s administrators, but they reported on their tax returns that they “actively” participated in the management. The jury did not find the nursing home responsible for her death later in 2009. The appeal brought by Mr. Denz and Mr. Bennett challenges both the verdict and their inclusion. They argue that Tennessee courts should not have jurisdiction over them since they spent little time in the state and neither was involved in the daily operations of the home or in setting staffing levels. Their lawyers said jurors should never have heard from nurses who hadn’t cared directly for Mrs. Pierce. “No way did I oversee resident care issues,” Mr. Bennett said in a deposition. Deficient in the End Whoever was responsible for Mrs. Pierce’s care, her family had no doubt it had been inadequate. Her son Bill Pierce was so horrified when he finally saw the wound on his mother’s foot, he immediately insisted that she go to the hospital. Mrs. Hatfield said the surgeon had told the family that “he had never seen anything like it.” “He amputated 60 percent of the leg, above the knee,” she said. After the amputation, Mrs. Pierce returned to the nursing home because her family did not want to separate her from her husband, who was also there. At the trial, the nursing home’s lawyers argued that Mrs. Pierce’s leg had deteriorated not because of the infection but because her blood vessels had become damaged from a decline in circulation. The jury was unpersuaded after nurses and aides testified about how Allenbrooke would add staffing for state inspections while the rest of the time their pleas for more support went unheeded. Workers also testified that supervisors had told them to fill in blanks in medical records regardless of accuracy. One example: Allenbrooke’s records indicated that Mrs. Pierce had eaten a full meal the day after she died. AuthorAffiliation JORDAN RAU This article was produced in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. The author is a reporter for Kaiser Health News. Credit: JORDAN RAU; Elizabeth Lucas contributed research. Copyright New York Times Company Jan 7, 2018
Based on, Care Suffers as Profits Rise answer the following questions: This is discussion 1 What problem within the nursing home industry is the article discussing?What is the benefit to nursing home
Gaps Found in Scrutiny of Assisted Living Homes: [National Desk] Pear, Robert. New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]04 Feb 2018: A.17. WASHINGTON — Federal investigators say they have found huge gaps in the regulation of assisted living facilities, a shortfall that they say has potentially jeopardized the care of hundreds of thousands of people served by the booming industry. The federal government lacks even basic information about the quality of assisted living services provided to low-income people on Medicaid, the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, says in a report to be issued on Sunday. Billions of dollars in government spending is flowing to the industry even as it operates under a patchwork of vague standards and limited supervision by federal and state authorities. States reported spending more than $10 billion a year in federal and state funds for assisted living services for more than 330,000 Medicaid beneficiaries, an average of more than $30,000 a person, the Government Accountability Office found in a survey of states. States are supposed to keep track of cases involving the abuse, neglect, exploitation or unexplained death of Medicaid beneficiaries in assisted living facilities. But, the report said, more than half of the states were unable to provide information on the number or nature of such cases. Just 22 states were able to provide data on “critical incidents — cases of potential or actual harm.” In one year, those states reported a total of more than 22,900 incidents, including the physical, emotional or sexual abuse of residents. Many of those people are “particularly vulnerable,” the report said, like older adults and people with physical or intellectual disabilities. More than a third of residents are believed to have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. The report provides the most detailed look to date at the role of assisted living in Medicaid, one of the nation’s largest health care programs. Titled “Improved Federal Oversight of Beneficiary Health and Welfare Is Needed,” it grew out of a two-year study requested by a bipartisan group of four senators. Assisted living communities are intended to be a bridge between living at home and living in a nursing home. Residents can live in apartments or houses, with a high degree of independence, but can still receive help managing their medications and performing daily activities like bathing, dressing and eating. Nothing in the report disputes the fact that some assisted living facilities provide high-quality, compassionate care. The National Center for Assisted Living, a trade group for providers, said states already had “a robust oversight system” to ensure proper care for residents. In the last two years, it said, several states, including California, Oregon, Rhode Island and Virginia, have adopted laws to enhance licensing requirements and penalties for poor performance. But the new report casts a harsh light on federal oversight, concluding that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has provided “unclear guidance” to states and done little to monitor their use of federal money for assisted living. As a result, it said, the federal health care agency “cannot ensure states are meeting their commitments to protect the health and welfare of Medicaid beneficiaries receiving assisted living services, potentially jeopardizing their care.” Congress has not established standards for assisted living facilities comparable to those for nursing homes. In 1987, Congress adopted a law that strengthened the protection of nursing home residents’ rights, imposed dozens of new requirements on homes and specified the services they must provide. But assisted living facilities have largely escaped such scrutiny even though the Government Accountability Office says the demand for their services is likely to increase because of the aging of the population and increased life expectancy. That potential has attracted investors. “Don’t miss out on the largest market growth in a generation!” says the website of an Arizona company, which adds that “residential assisted living is the explosive investment opportunity for the next 25 years.” Carolyn Matthews, a spokeswoman for the company, the Residential Assisted Living Academy, said: “Unfortunately, there has been elderly abuse in this business. We are trying to change the industry so the elderly have better quality care and we are not warehousing them.” The government report was requested by Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican who is the chairwoman of the Special Committee on Aging; Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, a Republican who is the chairman of the Finance Committee; and two Democratic senators, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The Trump administration agreed with the auditors’ recommendation that federal officials should clarify the requirement for states to report on the abuse or neglect of people in assisted living facilities. The administration said it was studying whether additional reporting requirements might be needed. “Although the federal government has comprehensive information on nursing homes providing Medicaid services, not much is known about Medicaid beneficiaries in assisted living facilities,” the report said. Assisted living was not part of the original Medicaid program, but many states now cover it under waivers intended to encourage “home and community-based services” as an alternative to nursing homes and other institutions. The report said that assisted living could potentially save money for Medicaid because it generally cost less than nursing home care. Under the most common type of waiver, Medicaid covers assisted living only for people who would be eligible for “an institutional level of care,” in a nursing home or hospital. Word count: 879 Copyright New York Times Company Feb 4, 2018 Top of Form