Six out of 10 nursing homes are refraining from admitting new residents due to historic staffing shortages, according to a survey by the American Health Care Association. This reality presents a problem as well for hospitals that are “seeking to free up precious beds and preventing seniors from accessing the care they need.”
AHCA and other healthcare groups are calling on federal and state legislators to intervene by investing dollars into training and recruiting staff rather than launching unfunded mandates setting minimum staffing requirements.
“Lawmakers across the country must prioritize long-term care residents and staff and that begins with providing resources to address workforce challenges,” AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson said. “As [nursing homes are] a provider that uniquely relies on government funding, policymakers must help nursing homes better compete for nurses and nurse aides, as well as build up the pipeline to incentivize more people to pursue a career in long-term care.”
McKinsey & Co. predicts that by 2025, the United States may have a gap of between 200,000 to 450,000 nurses available for direct patient care, equating to a 10% to 20% gap. To keep up with demand, the global management consulting firm says that the United States would need to more than double the number of new graduates entering and staying in the nursing workforce every year for the next three years straight.
“Meaningful reform and additional funding are essential to building a strong workforce and ensuring our most vulnerable population has access to care for years to come,” AHCA said.