The Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, has issued a report on some of the different patient outcomes between private-contractor care facilities for seniors, and facilities operated by a Health Authority. The findings are compelling.
The report explains that there are 293 publicly subsidized care facilities in BC, and that 32% of the beds are in facilities operated directly by a health authority, while 68% of the beds are in facilities operated by contracted care providers under a contractual arrangement with the health authority. Some of the contracted care providers are not-for-profit organizations and about the same number are private, for-profit companies.
The differences are in the number and frequency of transfers from a facility to a hospital emergency department, and in the length of hospital stays. They’re important for both patients and taxpayers. Here’s a breakdown, cribbed directly from the report:
“The results of this research indicates that, all things being equal, if you live in a contracted facility, you are:
“32% more likely to be sent to the emergency department.
“34%more likely to be hospitalized.
“Once admitted, your length of stay is 32% ,longer.
“Your chance of not returning to your nursing home but instead reverting to an alternative level of care (ACL) patient is 47% higher and your average length of stay as ACL is 9% longer.
“The likelihood of dying in hospital is 54% higher if you live in a contracted care facility versus a public care facility.”
The differences for patients in care facilities is clear from these figures, but what about the differences to the taxpayer? The Seniors’ Advocate crunched numbers and came up with some significant potential savings “if contracted residential care facilities achieved the same level of success as the public care facilities in relation to hospitalization of residents.”
Those potential savings to the public purse total over 16 million dollars per year, and the reduction in unnecessary hospitalizations would free up 42 hospital beds per day.
The full report make interesting reading, and is available at https://webmail.telus.net/service/home/~/?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=181778&part=3