Mark Parkinson hedshot
American Health Care Association President and CEO Mark Parkinson participated in a Kaiser Family Foundation webinar on early lessons from the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Only a fourth of nursing homes and assisted living communities participating in a recent survey by the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living said they are confident they can last a year or more.

Fifty-four percent of nursing homes said that their facilities are operating at a loss. The percentage was slightly less for assisted living communities, at 49%.

Although 92% of the 616 nursing homes and the 62% of the 122 assisted living facilities participating in the survey said the federal Provider Relief Fund has been helpful during the coronavirus pandemic, 49% of each type of provider said they have had to make cuts this year due to increased expenses or lost revenue. 

“Too many facilities are operating under shoestring budgets simply because policymakers have failed to dedicate the proper resources, and this can have devastating consequences,” Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, said in a statement.

“Lawmakers and public officials across the country must prioritize the residents and caregivers in our nursing homes and assisted living communities. This starts by sending immediate resources through what remains of the Provider Relief Fund, and it continues by finally addressing the chronic underfunding of Medicaid, which only covers 70 to 80% of nursing home care,” he added.

Nursing homes were more likely than assisted living operators to report losing revenue due to fewer patients coming from hospitals or fewer people seeking long-term care. Assisted living respondents, however, were more likely than nursing home respondents to report losing revenue due to move-outs. Both types of providers ranked additional pay for staff as their top cost due to COVID-19 since January, followed by hiring additional staff or agency staff, and then personal protective equipment.