Home Fairfield Report: Nursing homes lost 220,000 jobs since pandemic began

Report: Nursing homes lost 220,000 jobs since pandemic began

The nation’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities have seen a precipitous job loss since the Covid-19 pandemic began and have yet to come anywhere close to prepandemic staffing levels, according to a new survey released by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (ACHA/NCAL).

Although hospitals, physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers and other health care facilities have either reached or surpassed prepandemic staffing levels as of last month, the AHCA/NCAL cited U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data in determining nursing homes have lost 220,000 jobs since March 2020 (a 14% drop) and assisted living communities have lost 38,000 (an 8.2% decline).

The AHCA/NCAL also released its own data that found 86% of nursing homes and 77% of assisted living providers reporting that their workforce situation has gotten worse in recent months. As a result, 58% of nursing homes are limiting new admissions and 78% of nursing homes and 61% of assisted living communities feared their workforce challenges might force them to close.

“As many caregivers are getting burned out by the pandemic, workers are leaving the field for jobs in other health care settings or other industries altogether,” said Mark Parkinson, CEO of the AHCA/NCAL. “Chronic Medicaid underfunding, combined with the billions of dollars providers have spent to fight the pandemic, have left long term care providers struggling to compete for qualified staff.

“We desperately need the help of policymakers to attract and retain more caregivers, so that our nation’s most vulnerable have access to the long term care they need,” Parkinson added.

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