ICYMI: Health Care Workers Continue To Leave The Industry For Other Sectors

Workforce; Research and Data

In case you missed it, Axios reports a new John Hopkins-led study found that health care workers are leaving the industry for other sectors. Specifically, “The findings of [the] study suggest a substantial and persistent increase in health care workforce turnover after the pandemic, which suggests the pandemic may have long-lasting implications for workers' willingness to remain in health care jobs.” 
The study, published in Jama Health Forum, also found that a disproportionate number of women and Black workers exited the health care industry. For nursing homes, women represent 83 percent of the national workforce, and Black workers represent nearly 30 percent
During the pandemic, nursing homes lost more workers than any other health care sector – approximately 15 percent of their workforce or 250,000 workers – and aren’t projected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2026.
The new data comes as the Biden Administration plans to impose a federal staffing requirement on nursing homes. An analysis found that the rule would require nursing homes to hire an estimated 102,154 additional full-time employees, costing nearly $7 billion per year. With a severe shortage of workers, it will be impossible for nursing homes to comply with the mandate. 
Currently, 94 percent of nursing homes are not meeting all three requirements included in the proposed mandate. When facilities are unable to find the necessary caregivers to meet the rule, access to care will be put at further risk. Nursing homes will be forced to continue to limit admissions, or even worse, shut their doors for good. In fact, 300,000 residents are at risk of being displaced if the rule is finalized.
With workers continuing to leave the health care industry, and nursing homes being acutely affected, an unfunded mandate is the wrong approach. Nursing homes need supportive solutions that help facilities recruit and retain more workers, ensuring residents get continued access to the care they need, and the entire sector has a strong pipeline of caregivers.
See the full Jama Health Forum study HERE.
Read what Members of Congress, policy experts and long term care advocates are saying in opposition to the federal staffing mandate for nursing homes HERE.