Mark Parkinson headshot
AHCA / NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson

The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing many skilled nursing operators close to bankruptcy, according to a new survey by the American Health Care Association. The organization surveyed 953 nursing home operators on the financial and staffing challenges they continue to face and found that 90% said they are currently operating at a profit margin of 3% or less. In addition, almost two-thirds (65%) of nursing homes are operating at a loss and report that they won’t make it another year without additional government support.

Staffing has been the top cost in response to COVID-19, with nine out of 10 nursing homes hiring additional staff and/or paying staff overtime. In addition, 58% of nursing homes said additional staff pay and hiring new staff were the top costs incurred due to the pandemic. Fully 70% of nursing homes have hired additional staff, and nine out of 10 have asked current staff to work overtime and provided hero pay.

“Our nursing home providers are facing the worst financial crisis in the history of the industry due to increased costs related to COVID and chronic underfunding of Medicaid,” Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA, said in a statement Wednesday. 

“Without adequate funding and resources, the U.S. will repeat the same mistakes made during the initial outbreak last spring. We need Congress to prioritize our vulnerable seniors and their caregivers in long term care facilities, by passing another COVID relief package.”

This article appeared in the McKnight’s Business Daily, a joint effort of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.