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David Stevenson, Ph.D.
David Stevenson, Ph.D.
Note: This interview is based upon study results discussed at bottom of page and also detailed in the September/October issue of the journal Health Affairs.

Q: Do you feel your study has been misinterpreted by some?

A: It was not meant to be a defense of private equity [buyers]. The message is that after they purchased these homes, we didn't notice a substantial decline in care. That's not the same as saying they provide better or worse care. Some conclusions have been premature.

Q: Where should the focus be now?

A: In the policy world, there's a greater push right now for transparency of ownership and management arrangements—who owns what and are operations separate or common. Those are underlying issues that remain and are important to focus on. It seems like it's going to happen.

Q: What about the push for making corporations accountable for care outcomes?

A: It's unclear how it would work, or how it could be implemented. It's a big leap from where we are now to holding companies accountable, as opposed to looking at the individual facility.

Q: So there are still plenty of challenges?

A: We don't really know to what extent ownership affects care in facilities. If a large chain is owned by a single entity, is the care relatively common? Are there systems in place that cause all to be great or poor, or are there a lot of variations? We just don't know.

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