Nursing home staff shortages overwhelming hospitals nationwide 

Fifty-eight percent of the nation's 14,000 nursing homes are limiting admissions in the face of staffing shortages, causing hospitals and emergency rooms to experience difficulty moving patients to the next step in their care, The Washington Post reported Dec. 28.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows 425,000 employees have left the nursing home workforce since February 2020.

"The hospitals are backed up," Scott Pilgrim, CEO of Diakonos Group, which operates 26 nursing homes in Oklahoma, told the Post. "They're trying to find anywhere to send people. We get referrals from states all around us. The hospitals are desperate to find places to send people."

Across the country, Carol Hess, chief human resources officer of York, Penn.-based SpiriTrust Lutheran, said the system is not filling 75 of its 350 beds across six facilities. The facilities have begun using licensed nurses from WellSpan Health in York, the system that discharges many of its patients to SpiriTrust following recovery. Michael Seim, MD, chief quality officer of WellSpan, said bed shortages cause backups averaging several days in the hospital. 

"We have between 80 and 100 patients waiting for some type of skilled care," Dr. Seim told the Post.


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