Home Nurse Facilities Staffing, mandates are a problem for healthcare facilities

Staffing, mandates are a problem for healthcare facilities

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Data compiled by a lobby group for state nursing homes paints a grim picture where patients could be placed on waiting lists.

CARBONDALE, Pa .– The impact of the pandemic on nursing and personal care homes in Pennsylvania could be felt for years to come.

A lobby group representing dozens of nursing and personal care homes across the state says three-quarters of the facilities it represents have had to reduce the number of patients they can care for in the past six months.

It all has to do with a personnel crisis that began before the pandemic.

All of our lives have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but living in a retirement home or working for a retirement home has changed in a way that Noelle Kovaleski finds difficult to understand. She is the administrator of the Carbondale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

“It’s been life changing. The industry has changed dramatically over the past year. I can’t really say for the best. It’s been harder than in the past, it’s always been a tough industry, but it definitely has much bigger challenges over the past year, ”Kovaleski said.

As the spread of the COVID-19 virus slowed, another problem began to spread. Kovaleski says there has been a mass exodus of nurses leaving the long-term care industry, not only in Carbondale but in facilities across the state.

The Pennsylvania Healthcare Association, a lobby group for long-term care facilities, says three-quarters of all these facilities must turn away patients.

Most of this is in nursing homes where 85% of those surveyed said they had to limit admissions.

Kovaleski says she has had to limit admissions several times over the past six months at Carbondale Nursing and Rehab.

Finding a placement in a long-term care facility in Pennsylvania will likely be a long-term problem that will survive COVID-19.

“There will certainly be a problem of access to care because the staff crisis is not improving. It is continually getting worse, especially with the pending vaccine warrant. So, yeah, that’s gonna be a big deal. problem of access to care. There is already a problem of access to care, but it will get worse.

Kovaleski says that at the height of the pandemic, the federal government relaxed some restrictions on nursing homes to hire temporary nurses, and that has helped. She says the solution to this problem will require some government intervention, including more funding from Medicaid and Medicare. For now, nursing homes are doing their best to recruit more nurses.