Fewer nursing homes are reporting at least one staffing shortage through the end of February, according to new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
About 29% of facilities, or about 4,000 out of about 14,000 nursing homes, had at least one shortage at the end of February. This is a drop of 4% from the end of January, when 33% of establishments reported shortages.
“This slight decline between January and February may be partly due to the decline in cases linked to the Omicron variant as well as other potential factors, including anecdotal accounts of nursing facilities offering higher salaries for attract workers,” said KFF Nancy Ochieng researchers Priya Chidambaram. and MaryBeth Musumeci wrote.
KFF also found that nursing facilities were the most likely to report a shortage of aides and the least likely to report a shortage of clinical staff. Nearly 30% of providers reported shortages of aides for the week ending February 27, while only 3% reported shortages of clinical staff.
The analysis is based on federal staffing data reported weekly by facilities to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Care Safety Network from mid-May 2020 through February 27, 2022.
Additionally, staffing shortages were almost as great for nurses as they were for aides – 25% of facilities reporting nursing staffing shortages, while 15% reported other staffing shortages. Aides include certified nursing assistants, nursing aides, and medication aides or technicians. Nursing staff includes registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and specialist nurses.
“These patterns have held since nursing facilities began reporting this data in May 2020,” the authors said.
Ongoing shortages raise questions about how and when President Joe Biden’s policy proposals will be implemented, particularly minimum staffing requirements.
“Specific details on the minimum staffing levels that will be proposed are not yet known, and as noted above, CMS intends to conduct a study to inform the proposed new regulations,” Ochieng, Chidambaram and Musumeci wrote. . “While the administration expects to release proposed rules within a year, it is not yet clear when the new rules will be finalized or go into effect.”