New state staffing ratios unearth ‘grave’ concerns about vacant jobs, empty beds
Despite increased state funding that has allowed nursing homes to provide raises for existing staff and increase starting salaries, the number of Pennsylvania providers limiting census due to staffing issues grew 18% percentage points over the last six months.
That’s just one finding from a new survey by LeadingAge PA, which reported that 52% of all survey respondents were now limiting admissions. Those limits on care and mounting concerns about access to beds follow the July 1 implementation of new state staffing ratios for certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses.
“What this means is that, on average — and this is really the shocker — on average, that’s one of four available beds that are out of use,” Garry Pezzano (pictured), president and CEO of LeadingAge PA, told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News Monday. “So when you think about it in those terms, the situation even seems more grave. And some of these providers, some of them are telling us that it’s up to 60% of their beds that are empty. This is not for not wanting to hire staff and not wanting to pay the dollars. It’s that this is a situation where the staff is just not available.”