Next Avenue: Nursing-home reform may finally become a reality: Three breakthroughs that are turning talk into action

by | Jan 12, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from Nursing-home reform, long advocated by long-term care analysts and the public, seems to finally be happening. Not a moment too soon. In a 2021 survey by The John A. Hartford Foundation (a funder of Next Avenue), 71% of respondents age 50 and older said they were unwilling to live in a nursing home.

The problems at these facilities — where people reside in close proximity for extended periods and the average age of residents is 86 — are many. More than 133,000 nursing-home residents and staff members have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic — a disaster that NYU nursing professor Jasmine Travers has called “the 9/11 moment for nursing homes.”A new COVID surge in nursing homes In recent weeks, nursing-home COVID cases have been surging rapidly, according to AARP. During the pandemic, nursing-home COVID cases have been found especially in big, urban facilities and ones with a greater percentage of Black residents. Meantime, the median annual cost to stay in a nursing home is hovering around $100,000, according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey. There is also a severe shortage of nursing-home workers, largely due to low wages and poor working conditions. The industry’s trade group —the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living — says 98% of nursing homes are having trouble hiring staff. Annual turnover rates for nurses and nursing assistants in nursing homes often exceed 100%. Financially, nearly 6 out of 10 nursing-home providers operate at a loss and 61% limit admissions, according to a May 2022 American Health Care Association survey. “Nursing homes in America are broken,” says David Grabowski, a Harvard Medical School healthcare policy profess …

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