Privatizing Public Nursing Homes: Examining the Effects on Quality and Access

Source: Anna Amirkhanyan, Public Administration Review, Volume 68 Issue 4, July/August 2008
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From the abstract:
This study examines the effects of local government divestment on quality and access to care for Medicaid recipients in privatized nursing homes. The central hypotheses are concerned with the impact of new ownership on both aspects of organizational performance. The analysis indicates that privatization of nursing homes involves a complex set of trade-offs. Changing organizational ownership to for-profit increases the number of regulatory violations, decreases residents’ quality of life, but does not influence Medicaid admissions. While no decline in quality is found among divested nonprofit facilities, access to care declines in the comparison groups of nonprofit homes. The author concludes that as counties minimize their roles as service producers, federal, state and local governments should enhance their regulatory capacity by improving quality assurance mechanisms and providing adequate reimbursement for low-income clients.

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