After an investment firm bought St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged, in Richmond, Virginia, the company reduced staff, removed amenities, and set the stage for a deadly outbreak of COVID-19.
The aquarium on the second floor disappeared. So, too, did the aviary. Residents’ crafts were removed from the gift shop. No longer did the kitchen serve an eclectic variety of main dishes: turkey tetrazzini, salmon with lobster sauce, or Reuben sandwiches. Now residents were commonly given an option of ground beef. Some days, the kitchen was so short-staffed that the dining hall wasn’t set up, and residents took meals alone in their rooms.
The attentiveness of the nursing staff plummeted.
A resident who suffered from a severe lung disease told me that, one evening, her oxygen tube slipped out, and it took an hour and a half and a call to 911 to get it plugged back in. Several family members told me they called the nursing station to express concerns but that no one picked up. On morning shifts, the home’s nurse aides now changed briefs so saturated with urine they’d turned brown.
Since the turn of the century, private-equity investment in nursing homes has grown from five billion to a hundred billion dollars. The purpose of such investments—their so-called value proposition—is to increase efficiency. Management and administrative services can be centralized, and excess costs and staffing trimmed. In the autumn of 2019, Atul Gupta, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, set out with a team of researchers to measure how these changes affected nursing-home residents. They sifted through more than a hundred private-equity deals that took place between 2004 and 2015, and linked each deal to categories of resident outcomes, such as mobility and self-reported pain intensity. The data revealed a troubling trend: when private-equity firms acquired nursing homes, deaths among residents increased by an average of ten per cent.
Cutting staff & frivolous amenities I expect resulted in a boost in the bottom line however. And likely a bonus for the CEO.
The new owner: https://theportopiccologroup.com/
Simcha Hyman is the CEO.
A new class-action lawsuit brought against the Citadel Salisbury nursing home claims that chronic understaffing endangered the health and safety of its residents. The Citadel Salisbury was the site of the largest COVID-19 outbreak in a North Carolina congregant care facility early in the pandemic.
New owners started running the Citadel Salisbury on Feb. 1, 2020. The lawsuit says that the owners failed to correct existing problems at the facility when they bought it, and some services got worse. Limited liability corporations that hold the license for and operate the nursing home are named as defendants in the federal suit, as are Simcha Hyman and Naftali Zanziper, the LLC’s owners.
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of residents and family members who said residents were not given their medicines, had to cope with ignored calls for assistance and “terrible food” – far from the “five-star” service residents and family members were promised by Accordius Health. Zanziper and Hyman control Accordius Health, a limited liability company that manages the nursing home.
Notice a pattern here?