Do Nursing Home Chain Size and Proprietary Status Affect Experiences With Care?

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Abstract

Background:

In 2012, over half of nursing homes were operated by corporate chains. Facilities owned by the largest for-profit chains were reported to have lower quality of care. However, it is unknown how nursing home chain ownerships are related with experiences of care.

Objectives:

To study the relationship between nursing home chain characteristics (chain size and profit status) with patients’ family member reported ratings on experiences with care.

Data Sources and Study Design:

Maryland nursing home care experience reports, the Online Survey, Certification, And Reporting (OSCAR) files, and Area Resource Files are used. Our sample consists of all nongovernmental nursing homes in Maryland from 2007 to 2010. Consumer ratings were reported for: overall care; recommendation of the facility; staff performance; care provided; food and meals; physical environment; and autonomy and personal rights. We identified chain characteristics from OSCAR, and estimated multivariate random effect linear models to test the effects of chain ownership on care experience ratings.

Results:

Independent nonprofit nursing homes have the highest overall rating score of 8.9, followed by 8.6 for facilities in small nonprofit chains, and 8.5 for independent for-profit facilities. Facilities in small, medium, and large for-profit chains have even lower overall ratings of 8.2, 7.9, and 8.0, respectively. We find similar patterns of differences in terms of recommendation rate, and important areas such as staff communication and quality of care.

Conclusions:

Evidence suggests that Maryland nursing homes affiliated with large-for-profit and medium-for-profit chains had lower ratings of family reported experience with care.

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