Long-Term Care Facilities

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The Senate is apparently investigating long-term care facilities as reported in today’s NY Times.  I haves some questions about such institutions. First, why are these chronically and terminally individuals there?  Why do not their families giving palliative care supervised by Hospice with the main goal being providing comfort to these patients? Most of these patients will not leave these hospitals. They are there because they are  too sick to stay in a nursing home and are not improving in traditional hospitals. The companies that run these facilities earn large profits for the shareholders and owners of the institutions. One owner of such a group of facilities boasts a personal profit of $400 million since 1996.  And they make between 16 and 19 % for their shareholders. The money is made by providing minimal care and overcharging Medicaid and Medicare.

Everyone is at fault: The facility for providing poor but expensive care. The families who seem to want to get rid of the patient (out of sight) and the government that provides no oversight of the facilities and the fees they charge.  The patient him/herself may also (actually does) have some responsibility here. He/She needs to make wishes known as to how to spend their last days (years).

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