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Ed Dudensing speaks with LA Times about the Biden Administration’s new nursing home staffing requirements

May 13, 2024
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In the wake of new nursing home staffing requirements announced by the Biden Administration in April, many healthcare organizations are voicing concerns about a lack of necessary funding. Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL which represents 14,000 nursing homes, went as far as to claim that the mandate will ultimately lead to widespread nursing center shutdowns and resident displacement.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Dudensing explained that the cries of poverty from the nursing home industry are easily debunked by the fact that “private equity money, venture capital” and other investments “are still flowing into these facilities at record rates… and balance sheets are very easy to manipulate.”

Earlier this year, KFF Health News reported that “for-profit groups own about 72% of the roughly 15,000 nursing homes in the United States, which serve more than 1.3 million residents.”

While representing Sam Rios, a former Sacramento State professor who died due to complications from pressure sores after residing in a nursing home, Dudensing went beyond suing just the nursing home, also naming its partner companies as defendants. He proved that this highly profitable conglomerate, including a private equity firm, paid high salaries to its top executives while the nursing homes it owned suffered from understaffing and low quality of care for its residents. In March 2024, the suit ended with a jury verdict of $5.9 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages.

With these new mandates in place, Dudensing has emphasized that it is crucial that the state of California identifies understaffed, high-risk facilities and ensures that the requirements are met. With some of the most vulnerable groups of society at risk of abuse, fraud, and injury, large for-profit groups must be held accountable in maintaining adequate staff numbers and pay in their facilities.

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