Staffing shortages contribute to nursing home closures

A shortage of workers, including nurses, is causing rural nursing homes to close. Since February 2020, the number of workers in nursing homes and other facilities has dropped by 307,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additional closures could occur as government assistance from the pandemic funding ends and facilities face difficulties competing with rising wages offered by other employers. Those that remain open are keeping some beds empty because they lack workers to care safely for more residents. As a result, some patients stay in hospitals for weeks until a nursing home placement can be found, and often, patients are referred to facilities farther from home. The Iowa Healthcare Association proposes relaxing immigration laws to allow workers from other countries to fill positions. (Kaiser Health News article, 1/25/23)