Privatization Part I: Nursing Homes

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The first step in running a business is planning how to minimize cost while maximizing profit, both of which seem morally negligent when it concerns the care and well-being of senior citizens.  By privatizing nursing homes for profitable gain sacrifices are made for a good bottom-line, and our aging population is suffering as a result. The framework for the discussion revolving around the Chautauqua County Home, Avi Rothner, and “for-profit” care has already been laid by Loren.  To squeeze every nickel possible from a service that provides care to ailing senior citizens is contemptible.  There are obvious reasons why nursing homes need to remain strictly non-for-profit organizations.


Aging is a natural event that every person on this planet endures, and many of us will reach a plateau where we can no longer take care of ourselves.  Now that the BabyBoomer Generation has reached a critical age, our country is burdened with the responsibility of finding reliable means to care for the growing percentage of senior citizens.  Nursing homes are not a profitable business, and studies show that when profit becomes the primary motive for operating a home the conditions and care decline.  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released information in 2011 that uncovered some of the shortcomings of the “for-profit” privatized homes.  Not only do privatized homes staff fewer nurses than not-for-profit facilities, they also have more total deficiencies as a whole.  When the end goal of a privately owned nursing home is to provide the necessary care to ailing seniors in their final days, and to make a profit; corners are cut that result in below average care.


LeadingAge New York represents the not-for-profit nursing facilities in New York State and aims to provide sufficient protection against less than adequate care.  They recently procured information that led them to believe that “7,000 residents [in privately owned homes] with pressure sores would not have them” if they were in a nonprofit home.  LeadingAge also reported that patients in a not-for-profit would receive approximately 500,000 more hours of care than in a privately run nursing homes.  We have a moral responsibility as a nation to protect ALL citizens, and that responsibility seems to have taken a backseat to greed.


We cannot control the fact that our population is growing older, but we can control and dictate the levels of care necessary from nursing facilities.  People like Avi Rothner, among others, should not be attempting back-alley deals with local politicians to gain a foothold in a facility that would likely provide below average care to our fellow citizens.  I am a concerned tax paying citizen trying to expose the obvious faults of operating a nursing home as a business.  Some things are not meant to make money, and seniors deserve appropriate care without corporate bigwigs worrying about staining the budget with red ink.



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