November 10, 2020
Private facilities face lack of PPE

Equity-owned operations are struggling with PPE shortage

A breakdown of the headline and its hidden meaning

 

A new study from JAMA examines the comparative performance of private equity-owned nursing homes with other for-profit, nonprofit, and government-owned facilities during the coronavirus pandemic. While private operators experienced greater shortages of personal protective equipment, other issues and outcomes were statistically similar.

The news comes as a sigh of relief for countless private equity firms who have come under fire in recent months. Many have been accused of slashing staff and limiting supplies in order to cut costs during this difficult time. But in reality, the data paints a very hopeful picture for nursing homes that, despite being short on PPE, are still performing well.
 

The long wait for long-term care

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A positive outcome

 
On the surface, the data suggests private facilities are dealing with seriously depleted stockpiles, thereby placing residents and employees in danger. However, those same facilities’ staffing levels remained on par with their competitors. In fact, the comparison reveals that government nursing homes were 7% more likely to have a nurse staffing shortage in the early months of the pandemic compared to PE facilities.

“It is possible that private equity-owned homes [are] attempting to control costs by keeping the minimum level of supplies that they anticipated would be necessary,” reads the study. Still, “PE-owned homes did not have significantly higher rates of COVID-19 deaths or of deaths from any cause.”

Clearly, we’re doing something right.

While there may be a correlation between facility type and PPE shortages, operators still have the coronavirus situation under control. With no significant link between equity ownership and instances of COVID-19, the severity of spread, or rate of death, there is much to celebrate. Regardless of resources, we continue to deliver the highest level of care.

 

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