B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix listens as Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie speaks about her ongoing work to improve services. (B.C. government)

For-profit senior care homes spend less on staff, B.C. advocate says

Isobel Mackenzie and Adrian Dix focus on private and public care

For-profit senior care facilities in B.C. spend 49 per cent of revenues on direct care, compared to 59 per cent for non-profit care homes contracted to the provincial health ministry, B.C.’s Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie says in a new report.

The performance audit is the first formal examination of contracted care since NDP MLA Adrian Dix was appointed health minister in 2017 and tackled the sector’s labour relations and care delivery standards.

Mackenzie found that with $1.3 billion in contracts in place with B.C. health regions, there is insufficient reporting to compare “management fees, head office allocation and some administrative costs.”

Reporting of direct care hours depends on “self-reported unaudited expense reports prepared by the care home operators, with no ability to verify the reported worked hours,” Mackenzie said as she released the report, entitled A Billion Reasons to Care, Tuesday.

Despite the reporting gaps, Mackenzie was able to calculate that not-for-profit homes spend an average of $10,000 or 24 per cent more per year on care for each resident. For-profit care homes “failed to deliver 207,000 funded direct care home hours” during the survey period, while not-for-profit operators “exceeded direct care hour targets by delivering an additional 80,000 hours of direct care beyond what they were publicly funded to deliver,” the report finds.

The report says the difference in spending is partly due to care aide wages in for-profit care homes, where they can be paid as much as 28 per cent or $6.63 per hour less than the industry standard.

RELATED: B.C. seniors need better vaccine protection, advocate says

RELATED: Seniors Advocate finds holes in B.C. home support

Bringing care home delivery hours up to the province’s own standard has been a major focus for Dix, along with expanding care provided directly by regional health authorities.

Currently 33 per cent of publicly funded long-term care beds are operated by B.C.’s regional health authorities. For-profit contractors operate 35 per cent, and not-for-profit societies are responsible for the other 32 per cent.

The budget for long-term care services in B.C. is about $2 billion per year, with $1.3 billion of that spent in the contracted sector.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureSeniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

Port Alberni’s Lauren Spencer-Smith advances to American Idol top 20

Teen performs Respect at outdoor concert in Hawaii

Former Alberni Valley Bulldog Eric Margo shows heart on and off ice

Queen’s University Gaels forward blends hockey with humanitarianism

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Most Read