Thursday, May 18, 2023

The US Has A Nursing Home Staffing Crisis

A shortage of Nursing Home staff which are mostly women and minorities, is creating a crisis in the industry. Covid and the country's aging population are part of the problem but there is more. As baby boomers age, there are more and more people in need of care and fewer people stepping in to fill the shortages. Covid-19 was a big part of this but cannot be blamed for all of the problems. 

From Democratic Representative Steven Horford of Nevada and Kay Henry at The Hill 

The connection between staffing levels, safety and quality of care is well established, and current low staffing rates contribute to racial health disparities for nursing home residents. For instance, of homes where Medicaid pays for more than 71 percent of beds, nearly half (49 percent) have low staffing levels. About 21 percent of the residents in these homes are Black, well above the 13 percent average for all homes. A 2022 analysis details how lower staffing rates in Medicaid-funded facilities contribute to racial health disparities. 

What’s more, this crisis is rooted in the systemic racism of our care infrastructure. More than half of CNAs are people of color, and 90 percent are women. Yet despite nursing homes receiving billions of dollars from the Provider Relief Fund and other COVID-19 funding, real wages for CNAs actually declined from 2020 to 2021, a blatant example of how employers have long dismissed this workforce.

Read More  If you dare.

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