Minnesota long-term facilities denied more than 11,000 admissions in October

A recent survey found nursing homes and assisted living communities in Minnesota were forced to deny more than 11,000 admissions in October due to staffing shortages.

The survey, conducted by Care Providers of Minnesota and LeadingAge Minnesota, contacted 425 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the state, according to a Dec. 12 news release from the American Health Care Association.

Staff shortages are the main cause of the high number of rejections, according to the release. Caregivers continue to leave the profession as Medicaid reimbursement rates fail to keep up with rising cost of care. Hundreds of Minnesota providers have increased wages by 10 percent or more in an attempt to remain competitive, the release said.

"Right now, there are more than 20,000 vacant caregiver positions statewide, which represents about 20 percent of the caregiving workforce. As a result, many senior care providers are forced to deny seniors admittance because they don't have enough staff to care for them," according to an article on MinnPost by Patti Cullen, CEO of Care Providers of Minnesota, and Kari Thurlow, CEO of LeadingAge Minnesota. "The impact on seniors and their families is unacceptable. They must find care hours away from their families, stay in a hospital longer than needed while waiting for an opening or face declining health due to lack of services."

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