Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nonprofit vs. for-profit nursing: Is there a difference?


By CROY CANYON RANCH DIRECTORS

Does it matter whether senior care in Blaine County is offered by a nonprofit or for-profit organization? Studies by three major organizations and a recent article in The New York Times indicate that it does.

The discussion is critical, as several for-profit providers have expressed interest in providing some level of care for our senior residents in Blaine County.

The Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation, a local 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization, believes there is a difference in the quality of care provided in a nonprofit senior care community versus a for-profit facility.

In a nonprofit organization, there is no pressure to increase the bottom line for owners, investors or shareholders. A nonprofit can pursue philanthropy in the form of charitable donations to help offset the difference in the actual cost of quality care over the government reimbursement for that care, and to help cover the expenses of amenities and advanced equipment to assure a level of care not otherwise affordable. Quality care becomes the mission, ultimately benefiting the residents.

But if reducing cost is the main mission in facilities, those effects will be felt by patients in the reduction of staff, services, supplies and overall quality. Research obtained by the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (www.aahsa.org) points to the differences in quality between a nonprofit and a for-profit in four important areas: nonprofits have higher nursing-home staffing levels, significantly fewer total and serious deficiencies, better quality outcomes with quicker discharge rates, and fewer liability claims and expenses than for-profit facilities.

For example, Nursing Home Compare (www.Medicare.gov), an online Medicare resource, rates Blaine Manor, our local county-operated nursing home in Hailey, as a five-star skilled-nursing home. Safe Haven in Pocatello is rated as a two-star nursing home. Safe Haven is owned and operated by Safe Haven Health Care, a Division of Care Fix Inc., which also owns and operates Safe Haven Assisted Living in Bellevue.

In the 2011 standard health inspections conducted by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Blaine Manor had seven deficiencies, while Safe Haven in Pocatello had 23. The average number of health deficiencies in Idaho is 12. The following areas are surveyed and failures reported: mistreatment, quality care, resident assessment, resident rights, pharmacy services, nutrition and dietary, environmental and administrative. Blaine Manor had no mistreatment deficiencies, Safe Haven had four. Blaine Manor had two environmental deficiencies, Safe Haven had five. Blaine Manor had no administrative deficiencies, Safe Haven had three.

A January 2012 article in The New York Times titled "Happier Staffers at Non-Profit Nursing Homes," (www.newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com) states that researchers have reported that ownership status is one of the factors related to quality care. Researchers discovered that registered nurses were significantly more satisfied with their jobs and cited supportive managers and adequate resources, such as enough staff, to get the job done. There are fewer employee turnovers in a nonprofit nursing home.

Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation is committed to providing quality care. Our board and campaign cabinet members are dedicated volunteers who understand the needs of our community. The Croy Canyon Ranch continuing-care community will be governed by a local, nonprofit board.

Quality care matters. Compassionate, knowledgeable staff overseeing the needs of our loved ones matter. An organization driven by a mission to provide excellent care differs greatly from an organization driven by the bottom line.

The Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation is raising money to build a senior-care facility west of Hailey. The board of directors includes: Jeanne Cassell, Carey Dondero, Patsy Nickum, Greg Peterson, Greg Cappel, Kathleen Eder, Bill Bozzuto, William Cassell, John Chapman, Dr. Brack Davis, Georgie Fenton, Jed Gray, Jim McLaughlin, Vonnie Olson and Janet Wygle.




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