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Consumer Voice and Other Advocates Submit Comments on Proposed Nursing Home Ownership Regulations

April 14, 2023

Today, Consumer Voice, along with other advocates, submitted comments on nursing home ownership regulations recently proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The proposed regulations seek to implement ownership disclosure requirements passed as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 (ACA). Often referred to as Section 6101, the law was designed to increase transparency of who owns, controls, and operates nursing homes. Consumer Voice supports CMS’s efforts to implement regulations that help pull back the veil on nursing home ownership and control. However, we are concerned that the proposed regulations will not realize the transparency envisioned by the original law.  Our comments offer suggestions to strengthen the regulations so that they will achieve the transparency goals passed by Congress over thirteen years ago.

Transparency in nursing home ownership is critical. As our comments note, different types of nursing home ownership result in different care quality for residents. For instance, non-profit homes, generally, provide more staffing and perform better on quality ratings. However, different types of for-profit ownership can result in poorer care as well. For instance, a recent study documented that Medicare residents in nursing homes owned by private equity investment firms, had an increased mortality rate of 10%. In other words, it can be a matter of life and death knowing who owns the nursing you home live in.

Additionally, as Consumer Voice’s recent report “Where Do the Billions of Dollars Go? A Look at Nursing Home Related Party Transactions” documents, billions of dollars are funneled through a tangled web of related party companies, each year. Section 6101 of the ACA was designed to bring transparency to these various companies, so as to increase accountability for how Medicare and Medicaid dollars are spent. Our comments offer suggestions to CMS on how they may implement regulations to achieve this goal.

We are grateful to the Biden Administration for proposing new regulations regarding nursing home ownership. We urge them to consider our recommendations to ensure that nursing home residents, their families, and consumers have access to reliable and thorough ownership information, and that nursing homes are held accountable for how they spend taxpayer dollars.

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