Federal staffing mandate for long-term care is unworkable
Long-term care (LTC) facilities have historically faced staffing shortages, and the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated such shortages across the entire long-term care system. According to the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) year-end data, many employment sectors have recovered to prepandemic employment levels. On the other hand, long-term care facilities continue to face the worst job loss of any health care sector.
Long-term care caregivers are burned out and leaving the sector in droves, either entirely or for other health care facilities, such as hospitals. Many of these other health care providers have the resources to offer higher wages and more attractive benefits. Because of the chronic underfunding for long-term care facilities, they cannot fairly compete for the limited health care workforce, leaving long-term care facilities with staff vacancies that are almost impossible to fill.