By Steve Moran
I debated publishing this article because it could be construed as going political. That is not my intent. I am broken-hearted daily as I see both my conservative friends and my liberal friends, in effect, bash those who have political views different than their own.
Are for-profit nursing home operators (and by extension assisted living operators) the enemy?
Andrew Cuomo recently held a news conference where he said this:
His proposition is that the goal of making a profit and serving a public interest are diametrically opposed. He is 100% wrong. Here is what I want to know:
DOES HE HAVE ANY IDEA WHO IS ACTUALLY TAKING CARE OF POOR NURSING HOME RESIDENTS?
I think not.
Not-for-profits have little interest in providing care to the indigent. It’s not because they are uncaring, but they’ve figured out that it is near impossible to provide great nursing care to residents on the money paid for the poorest of the poor nursing home residents. In most states, the amount of money allocated to indigent nursing home residents is obscenely inadequate. We as a nation should be ashamed of how we care for our poor older people.
Here is one more hard truth — even not-for-profits need to make a margin. They cannot run nursing homes at a loss without putting their own financial health in jeopardy.
Bad for Everyone
The system we have today is a ridiculous joke. The government doles out just enough money for barely adequate care . . . most of the time. Then politicians and nursing activists demand more regulation believing that more regulation is the way to “force” the nursing home industry to provide better care. It accomplishes just the opposite.
Better care takes money and it requires a reasonable, cooperative regulatory environment. Impossible to meet regulations means more lawsuits, more regulations, and fines. Where does the money for increased insurance premiums and fines come from?
This is something out of the Crazy Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. When we let politicians like Andrew Cuomo get away with saying stupid things like this, it just makes the problem worse, not better.
If you are a not-for-profit, you might be cheering on this kind of statement — but you shouldn’t. This governor already forced infection-free nursing homes to take infected residents, clearly adding to the nursing home Covid disaster.
He could just as easily make a decision that starting next month you will be forced to take a certain percentage of Medicaid residents. What would happen to your operations, your cash flow if you had a 50% Medicaid population? I bet it makes you shudder to think about.
We must demand better of our politicians on both sides of the aisle.