Lori Smetanka talked to senators earlier this week about an alarming type of risk facing U.S. residents who are already sick, disabled or frail enough to live in long-term care (LTC) facilities: the risk that the corporate owners of the facilities could collapse.
Smetanka, executive director of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, testified Tuesday, in Washington, at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on elder justice.
Smetanka and the other hearing witnesses focused mainly on concerns about the quality of care at nursing homes and other LTC facilities.
Smetanka also discussed nursing home owner solvency risk.
For-profit companies now own many U.S. nursing homes, and, in many cases, the true owners of the nursing home companies are private equity investors, Smetanka testified, according to a written version of her testimony posted on the Senate Finance website.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulates each nursing home as a separate entity, but, in many cases, nursing home companies make decisions about matters such as operational budgets and staffing at the corporate level, Smetanka said.