The nursing home industry, a sector that should be synonymous with care and compassion, has been marred by the greed of private equity firms. This article explores the devastating impact of private equity-associated lenders on the nursing home industry, focusing on the case of Atrium Health and Senior Living.
Atrium Health and Senior Living, once a thriving nursing home facility, was brought to its knees due to mismanagement and the pursuit of profit. The owners allegedly paid themselves more than $37 million, while the facility struggled to pay for essentials like food and medical supplies. This was made possible by a loan from MidCap Financial, an affiliate of private equity giant Apollo Global Management.
The loan allowed Atrium to expand its nursing home empire, but it also enabled the owners to extract money from their business, leading to its eventual downfall. This case is a stark example of how private equity firms and their affiliated lenders are speculating in a way most traditional banks will not, often to the detriment of the very people they are supposed to serve.
The relationship between lender and nursing home operator is symbiotic, with each feasting off of the steady stream of fees from Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers. This leaves vulnerable residents at risk of being displaced when the empires crumble, and state taxpayers are often left to pick up the pieces.
Efforts to increase federal oversight of where the Medicare dollars go have fallen flat. A proposal by the Biden administration to establish minimum staffing standards at nursing homes has sparked a lobbying campaign claiming it would force homes to close. Moves to peel back the veil on the ownership of nursing homes have failed to win bipartisan support in Congress.
The case of Atrium Health and Senior Living is a stark reminder of the need for greater transparency and accountability in the nursing home industry. It is a call to action for us all to ensure that our elderly are cared for with the dignity and respect they deserve, not exploited for profit.
As we continue to advocate for fair and honest elections, let us also remember to advocate for the fair and honest treatment of our most vulnerable citizens. Let us remember that in every moment lies the potential for positive change, and let us strive to inspire others to take action.