Short-staffed nursing homes force hospitals to keep patients that don’t need their treatment
There could be a way to clear some space in Colorado hospitals that are full right now.
Hundreds of people hospitalized don’t need to be there, but staffing shortages in nursing homes give them nowhere else to go, and long-term care facilities can’t afford to open up more beds.
The state estimates more than 300 people are currently waiting to be transferred out of a hospital and into a nursing home or care facility.
Doug Farmer, with Colorado Health Care Association, said there is plenty of space in nursing homes. The association is the advocacy group for long-term care facilities in Colorado.
“There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 6,000 vacant [nursing home] beds in the state of Colorado right now,” said Farmer. “You have people right now sitting in Colorado hospitals that should be in long-term care centers that can’t go there because there aren’t workers to care for them.”