US Paper Money Flying out of Man's Hand

COVID-19 had led to increased costs and financial hardship among nursing homes across the nation, according to a survey of 463 nursing home operators conducted earlier this week by the American Health Care Association.

One of the survey’s most telling takeaways is that more than half of nursing homes (55%) currently are operating at a loss, with nearly 90% at a razor-thin margin, if not a loss. As a result, 72% of nursing homes said they won’t be able to sustain operations another year at the current pace, with approximately 40% saying they won’t last another six months. 

Much of this financial strain has been driven largely by the increase in costs responding to COVID-19, including personal protective equipment, additional staffing, “hero pay” and testing. Another continued concern, however, has been underfunding from Medicaid, which covers less than 80% of actual caregiving costs, AHCA reported.

The survey also showed that government support has helped most skilled nursing facilities cope with COVID-19 costs and losses. Approximately 96% of SNFs have received some government funding, with 82% reporting receipt of federal funding from the Provider Relief Fund, 52% receiving support from the state government through a Medicaid add-on or rate increase. Approximately 47% of nursing homes reported receipt of loans through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

Nearly 60% also said they likely will experience significant problems with increased costs and lost revenue when government funding ends.

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