Critical Number of Rural IA Nursing Homes Close
Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope increased government funding and more focus on rural health care this year will help.
Looking at a graph that shows the number of nursing-home employees between January 2019 and January 2020, the bright red line goes almost straight down. The pandemic was a big reason for that, but Iowa Health Care Association President and CEO Brent Willet said there are other economic factors at work, and the staffing shortages have already resulted in double-digit closures.
“It is alarming,” he said. “The latest figures are, we’ve had 17 nursing homes in Iowa close in the last 12 months. Fifteen of those 17 have been in rural parts of the state.”
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