Most nursing homes haven't filled COVID-19 staffing gaps 

Most nursing home facilities in the U.S. lost more than half of their nurses and aides in the past year and are struggling to fill the gaps, USA Today reported Aug. 4.

A July 22 study of 2,967 nursing homes published in JAMA Health Forum found that severe COVID-19 outbreaks were associated with "statistically significant drop" in nursing staffing levels, particularly among certified nursing assistants. 

"Will they come back? Or is this going to be a permanent shock to the caregiving workforce?" Karen Shen, a health economist and PhD candidate at Harvard University who led the study, told USA Today.

At least 82 percent of facilities did not meet total nurse staffing minimums recommended by the federal government to avoid care delays and harm to residents prior to the pandemic, according to a USA Today analysis of federal data from 2019. 

"The industry is essentially a subcontractor for public dollars," Matt Yarnell, president of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania and chair of an international nursing home workers council, told USA Today. "Governments need to hold the industry accountable and require better outcomes." 

 

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