The GAO has issued a report entitled “Nursing Homes: Private Investment Homes Sometimes Differed from Others in Deficiencies, Staffing, and Financial Performance.”  In this follow-up to a September 2010 report, the GAO examined the extent to which nursing homes that were acquired by PI firms from 2004 to 2007 had different levels of deficiencies, nurse staffing levels, or financial performance compared to before the acquisition or compared to other nursing homes. While the GAO notes that “the acquisition of nursing homes by PI firms raised questions about the potential effects on quality of care, “ its data analysis “did not indicate an increase in the likelihood of serious deficiencies or a decrease in average reported total nurse staffing.” The GAO characterizes the performance of PI homes as mixed, with regard to certain other quality variables it examined. With regard to financial performance, GAO data indicate that PI homes showed both cost increases from 2003 to 2008 and higher margins in those years when compared to other for-profit or nonprofit homes. The GAO cautioned that any differences it found regarding deficiencies, staffing, and financial performance “cannot necessarily be attributed to PI ownership or acquisition,” however, since other variables can be influential.