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SNF care quality caught in the buy-sell swirl

May 6, 2016
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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The whopping number of long-term care mergers and acquisitions and other market consolidations in the past 10 years isn’t helping care quality at nursing homes, say researchers from Harvard and the University of Michigan.

Senior care communities that saw a “for sale” sign usually had problems already, but quality care issues often persisted long after the transaction, according to the study published in Health Affairs. “[T]hose nursing homes that underwent chain-related transactions had more deficiency citations in the years preceding and following a transaction than those nursing homes that maintained common ownership,” the study stated.

Researchers suggest new data-gathering efforts to learn more about skilled nursing facility transactions. “Given the high frequency of nursing home chain transactions, policy makers will need to continue to invest in tracking, reporting, and overseeing these transactions,” the report concludes. “One important step would be to report more detailed data on chain ownership, transactions, and aggregate chain quality on the Nursing Home Compare website, the federal government’s online report card for nursing homes.”

In the past decade, thousands of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) have changed hands, primarily among chain-based owners.