Data shows long-term care facilities under-staffed the most compared to other health sectors

According to the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), long-term care facilities are suffering the worst workplace crisis of any healthcare industry.

The AHCA / NCAL released a report showing substantial job losses in several healthcare sectors, such as hospitals and home care services, but the worst can be seen among nursing homes and residences- services.

According to the latest October employment data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 220,000 jobs were lost during the pandemic in nursing homes alone. This equates to an estimated 14% reduction in the sector’s workforce from March 2020 to October 2021.

Meanwhile, medical offices and outpatient care centers have seen their numbers increase since the start of the pandemic. The report shows that the two sectors saw an increase of 22,000 and 15,000 jobs respectively.

The latest report comes as nursing facilities nationwide rush to vaccinate their staff before a federal deadline. In August, the Biden administration announced a requirement for all nursing home staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4 in order to continue to receive federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Officials from the Indiana Health Care Association have said that Indiana nursing home providers have made significant efforts to increase staff immunization rates, but they fear the warrant could scare more staff away.

RELATED: Indiana Nursing Home Concerns Impact of New Federal Vaccine Mandates

“As many caregivers are exhausted by the pandemic, workers are leaving the field for jobs at other health care facilities or in other industries,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the ‘AHCA / NCAL. “The chronic underfunding of Medicaid, combined with the billions of dollars providers have spent to fight the pandemic, has left long-term care providers struggling to compete for qualified staff. We desperately need the help of policymakers to attract and retain more caregivers, so that our country’s most vulnerable have access to the long-term care they need.

In order to meet the January 4 deadline, staff in local nursing homes and assisted living facilities will need to start their series of immunizations on the following dates:

  • Moderna: November 23
  • Pfizer: November 30
  • Johnson & Johnson: December 21

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