Nursing Home Bill that Threatens to Decrease Competition in the Industry Moves to Full Senate

Recently, a bill was introduced to the Health and Provider Services Subcommittee of the Indiana Senate that would place a 5-year moratorium on the addition of new beds in nursing home facilities across Indiana. According to an article by the Journal Gazette, last week the subcommittee voted 8-4 to send the bill to a full Senate vote where, if it passes, it will move one step closer to becoming law.

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Senator Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis, filed the bill because nursing home occupancy rates were at 74%, a number she says is too low. She cites that there are approximately 13,000 empty nursing home beds across Indiana and claims that by preventing the addition of new beds, the nursing home industry will stabilize and become more efficient.

However, by preventing nursing homes from expanding the number of available beds, the law also threatens to decrease competition in the industry because there will be no incentive to fill all the beds. This could result in a decrease in the quality of overall care provided to residents of nursing homes across the State of Indiana.

Indiana Nursing Home Facilities
While it may be true that there are a large number of excess beds in nursing homes across Indiana, perhaps that is for good reason. A nursing home, like any other business, operates at the convenience of its customers. Therefore, in theory, a nursing home that provides high-quality services to its residents will fill up and a nursing home that provides poor services will have empty beds. By preventing the addition of new beds, the new law may discourage those “lesser” nursing homes from making any changes because, once the better homes fill up, they know that there will be no other option.

Of course, we’d all like to hope that, due to the seriousness of their business, nursing homes would not engage in this type of behavior. However, nursing homes are businesses and operate to increase their bottom line. To the extent that a nursing home is able to spend less money and provide less care and still maintain a favorable bottom line, it’s not inconceivable that a nursing home’s management would choose to “do less” and “make more.”

Do You Have Loved Ones in an Indiana Nursing Home?

If you have a loved one in an Indiana nursing home, they may be at risk of being neglected or mistreated. If you suspect that an Indiana nursing home is providing or has provided inadequate care to your loved one, contact an experienced Indiana nursing home attorney as soon as possible. It may be that, due to the negligent care or abuse committed by the nursing home, you or your loved one are eligible to recover a monetary award. The Indiana personal injury law firm of Parr Richey Obremskey Frandsen & Patterson has the experience and dedication needed to bring an effective case against nursing homes. To speak to an attorney and discuss your situation in more detail, call 888-532-7766, or contact the firm online.

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