Nursing home ownership and transparency are directly related. As we continue to address some of the key issues within the nursing home industry, we must note correlations between ownership and quality of care. Over the past few years, the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released a number of reports investigating nursing home ownership and how it directly impacts the care received by residents. With all of this in mind, CMS recently released their Final Rule on Disclosures of Ownership and Additional Disclosable Parties Information for Skilled Nursing Facilities and Nursing Facilities. It’s a long title, shortened to just the Final Rule, so here are some key points to note.
Why Ownership & Transparency Matters
Nursing home ownership matters because it ultimately determines the rules and policies at both the general care and administrative levels. We’ve also discussed before that privately owned nursing homes can often bury information, specifically financial information. When nursing home owners are allowed to hide, the quality of care drastically drops, leading to dangerous living situations and poor work environments for staff.
The Final Rule
The official summary of the rule states:
“This final rule will implement portions of section 6101 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act), which require the disclosure of certain ownership, managerial, and other information regarding Medicare skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and Medicaid nursing facilities. It will also finalize definitions of private equity company and real estate investment trust for Medicare provider enrollment purposes.”
Expanding on the laws and policies already on the books means that private equity companies (PECs) and real estate investment trusts (REITs), among other ownership entities, must now be identified on Medicare and Medicaid applications (Form CMS-855A enrollment applications).
Additionally, the Final Rule states that the following information must be disclosed to CMS:
- Each member of the facility’s governing body, including the name, title, and period of service of each member.
- Each person or entity who is an officer, director, member, partner, trustee, or managing employee of the facility, including the name, title, and period of service of each such person or entity.
- Each person or entity who is an additional disclosable party of the facility.
- The organizational structure of each additional disclosable party of the facility and a description of the relationship of each such additional disclosable party to the facility and to one another.
While this may seem like a cumbersome addition to nursing home reports, these disclosures could help ensure that the appropriate parties are held accountable for abuses, neglect, and other obfuscations of law and policies. No party can hide their involvement in a facility that is not providing the best possible care for its residents.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call Gharibian Law (877-460-1187) today for a FREE consultation and the best legal representation.