Workforce, Funding Issues Complicate Nursing Home Staffing Push
The Biden administration’s move to beef up staffing at US nursing homes faces a slew of demographic, financial, and workforce headwinds that have proved insurmountable in the past and threaten to derail the effort in the future.
Over 1,000 nursing homes were cited for insufficient staffing in 2022, and roughly 75% would fail to meet the mandatory staffing levels proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The industry’s leading trade group says the proposal requires facilities to hire an estimated 80,000 nursing aides who feed, bathe, and dress nursing home residents.
But the already thinning ranks of these essential workers are expected to shrink by more than 17,000 from 2021 to 2031, despite a projected 769,000 job openings over that time, according to federal estimates. Low pay, spotty benefits, high turnover, and a difficult work environment make nursing aides a tough job to fill.