SERVING TWO MASTERS

Today I read that a hedge fund is calling to sell their interest in Sunrise Assisted Living / Nursing Homes – a Virginia Corporation valued at $2 billion. The fund is clearly in the interest of making money for its members – and fears that continued litigation against the health care provider will decrease the value of the stock.

Wow. Think about this. A Health care provider has a duty to its staff and the residents they provide for, but they also have a LEGAL duty to make money for their shareholders. Aren’t these competing interests? Better for Grandma if she is the only priority. Better for staff if the botom line is not the overall goal, but when the company is public – fiscal duties create an interesting balancing act between serving the “owners” of the company, and serving the “customers.”

Solution? Be weary of publically owned health care providers. If they have a duty to maximize profits, its fair to say their focus is not always on Grandma.

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Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.