Rocked By Pandemic, Long Term Care Facilities Face Financial Crisis
After months of battling the deadly coronavirus that claimed the lives of 17 residents, St. John’s Retirement Village was forced to close its doors in the middle of the pandemic.
The 48-bed nursing home in Woodland, California, could not keep up with rising expenses, including the protective equipment, testing costs and payroll necessary to maintain round-the-clock care. The dire situation forced Sean Beloud, the executive director, to make the “devastating” decision to close the nursing home in September in an effort to save the assisted living facility located on the same campus.
“The numbers were just not adding up,” Beloud said. “We were losing money and it was the only way to save the rest of the campus.”
St. John’s is among the hundreds of long-term care facilities, from large chains to small independent businesses, that are facing a financial crisis due to the skyrocketing costs of fighting the pandemic — with some closing their doors and others struggling to survive.
Overall, the industry is expected to lose $94 billion over a two-year period, according to a recent report by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), which represents more than 14,000 long-term care facilities.
Despite receiving COVID-19 relief aid and protective gear from the federal government, nursing homes spent roughly $30 billion on protective equipment and additional staffing in 2020 alone.