The Boston Globe continues their focus on the issues surrounding the nursing home industry. A recent article discusses the national for-profit chain Genesis and their expansion into Massachusetts. Genesis HealthCare, a Pennsylvania company that has grown in the past four years, more than doubling in size, to become the largest owner of nursing homes in Massachusetts and nationwide. Genesis is partly owned by a private equity firm, and counts nearly 500 nursing homes in its portfolio.
However, a recent report indicates this massive expanasion has decreased the quality of care provided to the vulnerable residents. Here are excerpts discussing certain facilities.
Twin Oaks Center–the nursing home’s linen room reeked of urine and residents’ rooms were so grimy, a state inspector’s shoe came off when it stuck to the floor.
Maplewood Center–administrators admitted to inspectors that they were so short staffed that an activities director and an admissions executive were used to help feed patients.
Meadow View Center–agreed to pay a $56,000 federal fine after a resident with a high fever, “delirious, and talking about monsters,” died from massive inflammation following an untreated urinary tract infection, according to a state report.
Federal and state data prove that the quality of care has declined and serious health and safety problems have increased. Nearly half of the nursing homes owned by Genesis have seen their ratings by federal regulators decline since 2010, a Globe analysis shows. And most of those whose ratings remained the same were ranked as below average in quality.
A Globe analysis of quality indicators found that Genesis homes had strikingly worse scores than the state as a whole. The analysis suggests that problems at Genesis facilities worsened over time, and by early this year, the score for Genesis homes was twice as bad as the statewide number.
“The Genesis experience underscores the growing turbulence in an industry that cares for some of the nation’s most frail residents. Across the country, nursing homes are being bought and sold at a rapid pace, analysts say, as companies vie for facilities that attract more higher-paying patients.”
Staffing shortages in nursing homes are typical especially for national for-profit chains but the Boston Globe found more pronounced gaps in nurse staffing levels in Genesis homes in Massachusetts compared with median levels statewide.
Federal data for this year show registered nurses at Genesis homes spend roughly 19 percent less time caring for patients than federal regulators expected, based on the severity of patient illnesses. Nursing assistants spent 14 percent less time.
Genesis was the nation’s fifth-largest nursing home company in 2007 when two private equity companies, Formation Capital and JER Partners, acquired it in a $2 billion deal. The sale was one of a number of private takeovers of nursing home companies that began more than a decade ago, and the trend continues to fuel concern from patient advocates about quality taking a back seat to profit. Genesis reported losing millions of dollars last year, but also reported paying more than $6 million in compensation to its top seven executives.