ACCA Media Statement No Link Between Ownership Structure and COVID-19 Outbreaks in Continuing Care

Apr 12, 2021

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the dedication demonstrated by Alberta’s care providers and staff has been unwavering, illustrating the reality recently reported through Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) surveys of CC clients, residents, and families over several years.

The consistently high approval ratings across all operator types reflect the necessity and shared purpose of care providers in the province. The most recent HQCA resident and family study on COVID-19 in Continuing Care (released March 2021), reports that 94% of residents felt safe in their homes, in light of interventions undertaken by operators, and 93% of family members in Alberta would recommend their long-term care facility to others. With about one-third of continuing care homes operated by non-profit organizations, just over 36% by private for-profit, and around 30% publicly operated, few differences were found in resident and family survey ratings across the different operator ownership structures.

“It falls to all care provider types to balance residents’ quality of life with safety, as the pandemic
continues, and it is clear that the industry benefits from all operator types,” says Wayne Morishita,
Executive Director, Alberta Continuing Care Association (ACCA). “Alberta’s team approach is the best
way to combat COVID-19. Divisive debates about differing ownership structures are not helpful. ACCA
operators will continue to remain focused on our mission, collaborating with our government, fellow care providers, and communities to provide safe, innovative, compassionate care for all Albertans.”
Analysis has highlighted that older infrastructure with more shared spaces, limited staffing, resident preexisting conditions, and higher case rates in surrounding communities have all amplified the severity of COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes across the country, and indeed within Alberta, irrespective of operator structure.

All continuing care providers, regardless of operator types; whether public, private or not for profit, have always been, and continue to be equally accountable to the same provincial health legislation,
regulations, and audits, facilitating the delivery of inventive, much-needed care to communities across the province.

Contact Wayne.Morishita@ab-cca.ca, ACCA Executive Director.