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“People want covid-19 to be in the rearview mirror,” one nursing home official says. Faced with a slow rollout of the updated covid vaccines, and without state mandates for workers to get vaccinated, most skilled nursing facilities are relying on persuasion to boost vaccination rates among staff and residents.
The Biden administration says a recently proposed minimum staffing standard would help ensure quality care, but nursing home leaders predict many rural facilities would struggle to meet it.
Congress returns from its summer recess with a long list of tasks and only a few work days to get them done. On top of the annual spending bills needed to keep the government operating, on the list are bills to renew the global HIV/AIDS program, PEPFAR, and the community health centers program. Meanwhile, over the recess, the Biden administration released the names of the first 10 drugs selected for the Medicare price negotiation program.
The proposal would require major hiring at the most sparsely staffed homes. But the proposal is already badly received by the nursing home industry, which claims it can’t boost wages enough to attract workers.
Research commissioned by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services analyzed only staffing levels below what experts have previously called ideal. Patient advocates have been pushing for more staff to improve care.
The May 11 expiration of the federal government’s pandemic emergency declaration will affect patient care across a broad range of settings, including telemedicine, hospitals, and nursing homes.
In-person mental health care is hard to arrange in rural nursing homes, so video chats with faraway professionals are filling the gap.
KHN gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
Rather than simply reward top-performing facilities, the state’s Medicaid program will hand bonuses to nursing homes — even low-rated ones — for hiring more workers and reducing staff turnover.
The industry has long relied on immigrants to bolster its ranks, and they’ll be critical to meeting future staffing needs, experts say. But as the baby boom generation fills beds, policymakers are slow to open new pathways for foreign workers.