State watchdog worries about patient care as latest nursing home set to close

Bergen County's Health Care Center is scheduled to shut down in December

Bergen County’s Health Care Center will shut down in December, sending many patients scrambling for another home.

It will be the fourth New Jersey nursing home to close so far this year, a trend that worries the state’s long-term care ombudsman, who says the quality of patient care could suffer if additional public, nonprofit facilities like Bergen get squeezed out and replaced by for-profit chains run by investors. Representatives of the nursing home industry disagree, saying the type of ownership doesn’t determine the quality of patient care and that higher costs post-COVID-19 are driving the closures.

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