Hårde nedlukninger af plejehjem førte til færre COVID-19-dødsfald – men flere dødsfald i alt

Det er konklusionen i et nyt working paper, Melo (2023), som også viser, at non-profit plejehjem lukkede hårdere ned end for-profit plejehjem, og havde derfor færre COVID-19-dødsfald, men altså så mange ekstra øvrige dødsfald (pga. fx forværret demens), at der samlet set døde flere på non-profit plejehjem.

Her er et forsimplet overblik over resultaterne:

Og her er abstract (min fremhævning):

This paper explores the differences in incentives and thus behavior between for-profit and not-forprofit firms. I investigate a terrible choice nursing homes faced during the pandemic: isolate residents to prevent deaths from COVID-19 but doing so may increase total deaths by aggravating mental illnesses such as dementia. I explore how ownership structure led to differences in isolation measures taken and consequently health outcomes. I model decisions regarding isolation measures as a trade-off between profits and satisfying the demands of staff, with not-for-profit managers more constrained in how they consume profits. Using cell phone location data, I find that not-for-profit facilities implemented more restrictive isolation measures during the pandemic and thus had fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths. However, not-for-profit ownership is predictive of substantially more non-COVID deaths, such that they had more total deaths than for-profit facilities.

Vito Melos bud på forskellen er forskelle i hvor stor vægt lederne af plejehjemmene tillægger interessegrupperne. Det bliver ikke udpenslet, men man kan fx forestille sig, at non-profit organisationer tager relativt mere hensyn til medarbejderne end beboerne (/kunderne).

Her er fra konklusionen:

Managerial decisions in for-profit firms will differ from managerial decisions at not-for-profit firms when preferences of interest groups within firms diverge substantially from the profit-maximizing managerial decision. In these situations, managers at not-for-profit organizations are likely to deviate more from the profit-maximizing allocation of resources than managers at for-profit firms, all else being equal. The framework in this paper can be applied to understand how ownership structures affect managerial decisions in other industries.

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