Portopiccolo Group, an investment firm based in New Jersey, buys nursing homes and tries to make them more profitable. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the investment firm bought over 20 nursing homes, even though these facilities hold the most vulnerable populations when it comes to the coronavirus.
Even though their nursing homes that they owned before the pandemic were struggling to maintain proper care and prevent the spread of the virus, the firm decided to buy more than 20 facilities. These newly acquired nursing homes were located in Maryland, Virginia, and other states and bought between April and July of 2020.
The firm’s other nursing homes were facing fines for infection-control lapses and shortages of staff, which proved to be the same problems that they brought to their recently bought facilities. Their older facilities were having events in April that were prohibited by COVID-19 guidelines, and one was placed on a federal watchlist.
The newly acquired facilities’ staff members faced losses of benefits, insurance changes, and lack of protective equipment after not ordering enough supplies. Some employees even reported being asked to continue to work after testing positive for COVID-19. Many veteran employees quit, and staff members who stayed were responsible for over 12 patients at a time.
Unfortunately, nursing home residents are the most vulnerable population for the coronavirus. All of these problems and oversights are amplified for these residents who could suffer fatal consequences from the spread of the virus through the facility.
John Collins, the spokesperson for Portopiccolo, denied that care suffered in these facilities.