Nursing homes that violate the rights and basic care standards of patients should always be held accountable. One way government regulators seek to do this is by issuing poor ratings to nursing homes that fail the grade. Fines are levied in some cases, but the other benefit is potential residents and family members can easily access the information and decide whether to patronize such a facility.
Now, a recently-released report by the non-profit journalism Center for Public Integrity indicates many of these poorly-rated nursing homes are receiving huge taxpayer-backed benefits in the form of low-interest loans offered under an antiquated system that existed before Medicaid.
The center found 240 facilities with a one-star rating had collectively received some $2 billion in federally-backed mortgages and other loans in recent years. It's part of the National Housing Act of 1959. This was six years before Medicaid offered a steady, guaranteed stream of income for facilities providing a valuable service by caring for infirm, elderly adults. Prior to that, the nursing home industry was seen as risky business, which meant many facilities had trouble securing loans for acquisition, construction, refinancing and improvements.