Recent investigative reports in The New York Times and The Washington Post uncovered significant concerns that seniors and their families are, too often, victimized financially by hidden fees and personally by inadequate care and monitoring.
The hearing included testimony from LTCCC Executive Director Richard Mollot. Mollot spoke about how the absence of any federal quality or safety standards, coupled with the virtual absence of reliable public information on the quality, safety, and costs of assisted living, have made assisted living a sector ripe for investment by sophisticated private enterprises.
Only 38 percent of nursing home residents have received their latest COVID vaccination, according to the CDC. The low vaccination rates are contributing to the vulnerability of at-risk populations as evidenced by the reported 500-plus resident deaths from COVID in the first two weeks of 2024.
GET THE FACTS
Contrary to the nursing home industry’s public complaints about low Medicaid margins and threats of closures – both of which are unsubstantiated – an industry publication reports that “the growth outlook has improved” for nursing homes.
“All this means that operators are navigating through current challenges well, and the sector appears poised for growth and opportunities,” according to experts cited in the article, which predicts that Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) loans will increase, and that these favorable economic indicators for nursing homes will lead to greater M&A (mergers and acquisitions) activities.
Why is this important? HUD loans are essentially a means by which the American public underwrites for-profit nursing homes. Shouldn’t we expect that, at a minimum, they consistently meet minimum safety standards?
ASSISTED LIVING BY THE NUMBERS*
Assisted living residents are actually older, on average, than those in nursing homes.
Approximately 40 – 70% of residents have Alzheimer’s Disease or some other cognitive impairment.
Over 50% have hypertension.
One-third or more have heart disease or depression.
About half need help with dressing and/or walking.