AHCA/NCAL Releases State Of The Nursing Home Sector Report

COVID-19; Workforce; Research and Data

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released today the “State of the Nursing Home Sector" report, a data-backed snapshot of the industry's most critical issues. On the eve of President Biden's State of the Union, the nursing home industry is calling on federal policymakers to prioritize our nation's seniors to prevent worsening a growing access to care crisis, as nursing homes struggle to find workers and keep their doors open.

“We have come a long way since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but nursing homes are facing a mounting crisis that our leaders in Washington can no longer ignore," said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “This report illustrates the impact that long-standing economic and workforce challenges are having on our seniors and their access to care. Nursing homes have done everything they can to address these problems, but they need help."

Highlights from the report include:

  • More than 50 percent of residents are up to date on their vaccines, which is three times higher than the general population.
  • Nursing homes are seeing the longest running streak of historically low resident mortality rates due to COVID-19 – fewer than 0.5 per 1,000 residents since February 13, 2022.

Historic Labor Shortage

  • Nursing homes experienced the worst job loss of any health care sector during the pandemic, with 210,000 jobs lost from February 2020 to December 2022.
  • Workforce levels are the lowest they've been since 1994.
  • At the current pace of modest job growth, nursing homes would not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2027.
  • 84 percent of nursing homes are currently facing moderate to high levels of staffing shortages.

On the Financial Brink

  • 55 percent of nursing home providers say they are operating at a loss.
  • 52 percent may not be able to continue operating for more than a year at the current pace.

Access to Care Crisis

  • 54 percent of nursing home providers say they are having to limit new admissions due to staffing shortages.
  • 465 nursing homes have closed over the course of the pandemic, displacing 18,071 residents.
“This is a call to action. We need lawmakers to pass meaningful reforms, both immediate and long-term, that aid providers in addressing our core challenges," concluded Parkinson. “We are thankful for the support we continue to receive from lawmakers, including a recent letter from Senators Tester (D-MT), Barrasso (R-WY), Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Daines (R-MT), and signed by nine of their colleagues, opposing unworkable and unfunded federal staffing mandates. We look forward to continuing to work with policymakers to advance solutions that will transform our industry and ensure America's most vulnerable have access to high-quality care."

Read the full report HERE