Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney
Birmingham & Throughout Alabama

For-Profit Nursing Homes Raise Alarms

Elderly nursing home patient in a wheelchair waiting in a facility hallway, alone.

Our elders deserve the best care, but with an influx of private equity firms and increasingly complex ownership, the nursing home industry too often falls well short of that standard.

Too many facilities put profits ahead of resident safety

CBS News reported that about 70 percent of U.S. nursing homes are now operated by for-profit companies. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for-profit nursing homes tend to have lower quality ratings, fewer registered nurses on staff, and more safety violations.

When nursing facilities put profits ahead of residents, it’s our elders and their families who pay the price. We’ve seen the consequences of nursing home neglect and abuse over and over again, and we are proud to stand up for Alabama families to demand accountability.

How for-profit ownership can increase the risk of nursing home negligence

Many of the issues in for-profit nursing homes are driven by staffing. Private investors have a financial incentive to keep their costs as low as possible, which means hiring fewer staff members and paying them lower wages. Direct care is labor-intensive work, and without enough hands, the risk of dangerous incidents like falls and choking increases.

In addition, when private equity gets involved in nursing homes, facilities tend to have absentee management. It’s no longer the on-site director calling the shots but someone in a corporate office miles away. Requests for more staff and resources can fall on deaf ears. In an environment where staff are not closely supervised, poor training, lackluster care, and even abusive behavior can fester.

For-profit nursing homes may also cut corners on the physical upkeep of the facility. This can lead to dim lighting, cluttered hallways, and other safety hazards.

Complicated ownership allows facilities to dodge scrutiny

An in-depth report by The Conversation revealed that these problems are most acute in the “midsize” portion of the industry: chains that operate between 11 and 100 nursing homes. These chains are particularly dangerous because they are still small enough to fly under the radar of public scrutiny.

Facilities in this sector also tend to change hands quickly: between 2016 and 2021, over one-fifth of nursing facilities in the United States changed ownership. Since fixing the problems in a poorly run nursing home can take years of steady management, this constant churn of ownership tends to exacerbate the problem. Rather than investing in sustained, high-quality care, some nursing home investors are more interested in making a quick profit than closing down or moving on.

Our law firm is proud to hold nursing homes accountable

None of this is to say that all for-profit nursing homes are dangerous (or that non-profit nursing homes are all safe, for that matter). There are good and bad facilities in every sector. However, because the consequences of nursing home abuse and neglect can be so severe, it’s important for families to make informed decisions about where to place their loved ones, and the changing, confusing ownership structure of nursing homes can make doing your due diligence harder.

The only way to reverse this dangerous trend is to hold facilities accountable when they let residents get hurt. Pursuing compensation for nursing home abuse and neglect isn’t just about justice for your family. It also sends a strong message to other facilities that putting our elders at risk won’t be tolerated. That’s why you need an attorney with a winning track record of results in high-stakes nursing home litigation, including a $1.2 million verdict for the family of a resident who died.

If your loved one was neglected or abused in an Alabama nursing home, we would be honored to listen to your story and explain your legal rights and options. Give us a call or contact us online today for a free, confidential consultation with Shuttlesworth Law Firm, P.C.

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