Indiana nursing home worries over vaccine mandate

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Time is running out for the staff of the country’s health establishments.

Following Thursday’s announcement of a new federal mandate on the COVID-19 vaccine, some Hoosiers only have one month to start their vaccine series if they want to meet the deadline to be fully vaccinated by now January 4.

“We got together really early this morning – our management team – to really sit down and understand, ‘Okay, what are we going to do? ”Said Evan Lubline, Managing Director of Hooverwood Living.

Hooverwood Living is a 150 bed nursing home with 26 assisted living apartments and various services such as adult day care and transportation programs. Lubline said the nursing home employed more than 225 staff in total, but 76 were still unvaccinated.

“I am very proud to report that we have about 75% of our staff vaccinated,” Lubline said. “We are obviously against the lack of time to ensure that anyone who is not vaccinated is vaccinated. “

Lubline said he relies on every one of his employees. Without them, he said he would likely need to hire staff from third-party agencies to fill in the gaps.

“And it’s not an ideal situation. In fact, many – not all – but many are taking advantage of this situation with exuberant rates and unfortunately sometimes the quality of the work we get is not great, ”said Zach Cattell, President of Indiana Health Care. Association.

Cattell said that Indiana nursing home providers have made significant efforts to increase staff immunization rates. He said about 65% of employees are fully vaccinated and 2.5% have been partially vaccinated.

“We are working to ensure that as many staff as possible are vaccinated,” Cattell said. “We know how serious it is and the importance of vaccination.”

A recent study from the Indiana Health Care Association shows that 88% of providers surveyed use premiums to address labor shortages. Meanwhile, 84% are increasing hourly wages.

“The facilities really go all out,” Cattell said.

Ultimately, Cattell said he didn’t think the incentives would increase and maintain staff levels by Jan. 4.

“I think we have a really difficult path to travel to reach 100% or even 85% [fully vaccinated]Cattell said. “It’s going to take time and ultimately it will take a lot of one-on-one personal conversations with individuals – and frankly, time for people to see how [vaccines] continues to be.


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