One of three nursing homes receiving Medicare payments in Virginia (35.3%) scored below average or much below average in the latest Medicare ratings found in the new Care Compare website.
On February 1, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) updated its ratings report for nursing homes in the United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Compared to the ratings before the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia has reduced the number of facilities with the low 1- and 2-star ratings. Still, Virginia nursing homes ranked 40th of 53 for below and much below average overall quality.
Who owns these nursing homes?
A CMS nursing home ownership dataset, processed on October 1, 2020 and downloaded on February 25, provides incomplete data. In many cases, names are listed as having 5% or greater direct ownership interest, but the file says, “No percentage provided.” Some nursing homes show the managing employees, officers or directors, all coded as “Not Applicable” to ownership, but list no owners.
Of those owners who are identifiable, some own multiple facilities including both those rated average and above average for quality standards and those with below-average.
Trusts naming W. Heywood Fralin, sometimes with other trusts, have owned eight below average facilities since December, 2012.
Simcha Hyman and Naftali Zanziper, co-founders of the Portopiccolo Group with Accordius Health as a subsidiary, have owned eight below-average nursing homes since 2019.
ALG LAVIE, LLC, BENCON HOLDCO, LLC, MCP LAVIE, LLC, SALCON HOLDCO, LLC, SAY LA VIE, LLC, SENIOR CARE, LLC, AND TRECON HOLDCO, LLC own thirteen 1 or two 2-star and one unrated nursing home in a special focus facility program for a history of serious quality issues.
Two different smaller combinations of the above LLCs own two more nursing homes. All sixteen below-average nursing homes were acquired on the same day: January 21, 2020.
TRIO HEALTHCARE, LLC owns seven below average nursing homes, all acquired in December, 2019.
WWBV HOLDINGS LLC, CLEARVIEW III HOLDINGS LLC, WILLIAM I WEISBERG FAMILY DYNASTY TRUST, BENJAMIN N VOLPE REVOCABLE TRUST, WIW DYNASTY, LLC, individually or in combination have ownership interests in eleven below-average nursing homes dating to 2019. Whether those interests are direct or indirect is unclear from the report and website, and no percentages are provided.
So, five owners or groups of owners, most of whom are for profit, are responsible for 50 of the 101 nursing homes with below and much below average ratings.
When is the Department of Health going to enforce basic standards, and when are our legislators going to appropriate enough for inspectors to do the job? Until that happens, the residents of those 101 nursing homes are paying the real price of substandard care and conditions.