Bottlenecks between hospitals and nursing homes wreaking havoc in both sectors
Recent reports of hospitals keeping patients longer than predicted because of nursing home space shortages caused by the ongoing staffing crisis have stakeholders scrambling for solutions.
The phenomenon has had a domino effect. The first piece causing ripples on others is nursing home staffing shortages. As of August, nursing home employment was 10% lower than January 2020, just before the pandemic started to shake the planet.
That’s the worst labor recovery record of all the healthcare sectors, according to The Center for Health Workforce Studies.
“There’s no beds,” Rick Gundling, senior vice president of healthcare financial practices for the Healthcare Financial Management Association told Healthcare Dive. “Or no staff — even if there is a bed, there may be no staff. So hospitals can’t discharge.”
What’s to be done, short of bringing nursing home staffing levels up? Hospitals are losing margin on this, and nursing homes are hurt as well, said Erin Shvetzoff Hennessey, MA, CPG, NHA, CEO of consulting firm Health Dimensions Group.