Relationship Between Placement/ Referral Agencies and RCFEs Part 2
A few of my colleagues, owners of assisted living facilities, whom I talked to about the problems we are having with referral agencies have mentioned two other troublesome issues. We all agreed that if there are ever to be some changes in the placement/referral business these issues should also be addressed.
Issue 1. Very few agencies, if any, advise their customers that they get paid by the assisted living facility (let alone telling them how much they get paid). In fact, some of the agencies have in their contract some terms of non-disclosure, i.e. asking the facility not to mention or inform their clients about the amount of money the agency receives from the facility for the placement.
Issue 2. Very few facilities, if any, advise their customers that they are working only with facilities that signed a contract with them. Customers are led to believe that the facilities they are referred to are the best ones; customers and are not informed that there are other facilities that could be just as good or better, but not referred to because they have no contract.
As you can see, these two issues are closely related, both stemming from the fact that agencies want to keep secret the fact that they are paid by facilities and that they are dealing only with the facilities that pay them. Perhaps is time to have the placement/referral agencies regulated just as the assisted living facilities are, so that the consumer is protected from any form of abuse or manipulation.