April 20, 2023 Washington, DC – A statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes, on today’s announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding an increase in transparency of home health and hospice agency ownership:
“This action is in line with numerous White House initiatives around transparency and accountability. The federal government again shows its commitment to take meaningful steps to ensure America’s older adults and families can receive quality care, which includes owners and operators of our nation’s home health and hospice agencies. LeadingAge and our nonprofit, mission-driven home health and hospice agency members support this.
LeadingAge members are transparent in their ownership structure and board governance, and are held accountable to their local communities and government at all levels. Nonprofit providers have always disclosed ownership information as required by federal tax law on Form 990s that are open to public inspection.
We value these transparency and accountability obligations because they promote home health and hospice excellence—and because they strengthen our organizations and the communities that we serve. The corporate structures of LeadingAge members promote longevity of ownership through governance by community boards of directors, and are financially sustained through public bond offerings and donations from philanthropists and foundations—though government support is often needed to cover the rising costs of caring for older adults.
We agree with the administration that ownership and financing of home health and hospice agencies should be transparent to help ensure that owners or associated businesses do not profit at the cost of quality care.”
EXCERPT from our CY2023 comments from 08.16.2022 (page 18): We ask CMS to make data on mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, and changes of ownership public for Medicare certified home health agencies.
EXCERPT from our Hospice Benefit Reform Integrity Ideas submitted to CMS January 2023 (point 9): If the company is not publicly traded, require disclosure of ownership and control, major investors over a certain threshold.