Skip to content

How pandemic-induced staffing points are impacting CO seniors

An unprecedented workforce scarcity spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic is constant to severely affect nursing properties round america, and Colorado is not any exception.

Between February 2020 and December 2022, nursing properties misplaced 210,000 jobs, in line with an evaluation of Bureau of Labor Statistics year-end knowledge launched by the American Well being Care Affiliation (AHCA) and Nationwide Middle for Assisted Dwelling (NCAL) on Thursday.


This graph, created by the AHCA/NCAL with knowledge supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, exhibits the variety of nursing dwelling staff from January 2020 by December 2022.

The final time the variety of nursing dwelling staff was this low was 1994, in line with the report.

On the present job development price, these services will not attain pre-pandemic ranges till 2027 — slower than a earlier mannequin that estimated a restoration by 2026.

employees, nursing care facilities, monthly seasonally adjusted


Filling open positions hasn’t been a simple course of.

About 96% of nursing properties have had bother hiring, in line with an AHCA survey of 500 suppliers within the nation printed on Jan. 10. About half of them stated their workforce scenario has been on the decline since Might 2022. This continues to be a problem, regardless of incentives like elevated wages and bonuses.

The survey additionally discovered the next:

  • 84% of nursing dwelling suppliers are at the moment dealing with average to excessive ranges of staffing shortages
  • 96% of nursing dwelling suppliers discover issue in hiring workers
  • 97% of nursing dwelling suppliers stated the shortage of or certified candidates is a significant impediment to hiring new workers
  • 78% of nursing dwelling suppliers have employed momentary company workers to regulate for shortages
  • Greater than 9 out of 10 nursing dwelling suppliers elevated wages and supplied bonuses to attempt to recruit and retain workers
  • 54% of nursing dwelling suppliers say they’re having to show away potential residents
  • 67% of nursing dwelling suppliers are involved their facility could have to shut as a result of workforce challenges
  • 52% of nursing dwelling suppliers say they might not be capable of proceed working for greater than a 12 months on the present tempo

Out of any well being care sector, nursing dwelling suppliers have seen the worst job loss and proceed to battle as most different industries bounce again, the report discovered. It has led to some services limiting resident admissions or, in some circumstances, shut their doorways for good.



“The information does not lie,” stated Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “This isn’t simply an exaggerated name for assist, and this labor disaster is not going to go away by itself or by authorities enforcement. Our nursing properties are struggling to recruit caregivers, and if we don’t get significant help quickly, then the consequence can be a whole bunch of hundreds of seniors displaced.”

This consists of monetary assist as a result of many services have extraordinarily tight budgets since Medicaid reimbursements charges usually fall beneath the precise prices of care, the Jan. 19 report discovered. Add the growing labor prices and inflation to that and there are even fewer sources to assist — and rent — workers.

Colorado is seeing proof of this taking part in out. Residents whose Medicaid advantages pay for his or her stays at assisted residing services and nursing properties are receiving troubled information: A number of services all through the Denver metro space are both lowering their variety of Medicaid residents, chopping out Medicaid altogether or shutting down completely.

Colorado has about 400 assisted residing communities and 64% of them are Medicaid-certified. A couple of quarter of residents are reliant on Medicaid for his or her long-term care.

READ MORE: As assisted residing facilities change gears, residents on Medicaid search for new properties

Nicole Schiavone, president of the Colorado Assisted Dwelling Affiliation, defined {that a} huge challenge is the reimbursement price these services obtain from Medicaid. Residents who’re paying privately usually pay greater than $2,000 extra per 30 days than the middle will get for Medicaid residents over the identical interval, she stated.

As assisted residing facilities change gears, residents on Medicaid search for new properties

People who find themselves caught on this place in Colorado are inspired to contact the Colorado Division of Well being Care Coverage and Finance, which helps with this transition. That division’s e-mail is

On the federal stage, the Biden administration is contemplating implementing a federal staffing minimal at nursing properties, which the AHCA and NCAL claimed “will solely worsen the disaster.”

In a press release from Feb. 28, 2022, the Biden administration stated “establishing a minimal staffing stage ensures that each one nursing dwelling residents are supplied protected, high quality care, and that employees have the assist they should present high-quality care. Nursing properties can be held accountable in the event that they fail to satisfy this normal.” This might embrace a minimal requirement of 4.1 staffing hours per day for every resident.

Deb Emerson, principal on the accounting and consulting agency CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP), which the AHCA makes use of, stated in December that this extra burden — with no funding — will enhance the variety of services which can be working in destructive margins.

“Though there have been enhancements in workforce availability in some areas of the nation, nationally, nursing properties are nonetheless challenged to search out the suitable workforce,” Emerson stated. “If nursing properties are unable to extend their workforce, a whole bunch of hundreds of residents may very well be impacted by census reductions.”

American Health Care Association_Nearly all nursing home providers are concerned about being able to meet a potential federal staffing mandate

American Well being Care Affiliation

In mid-December, CLA completed an up to date report that was launched by the AHCA describing the necessity for extra funding for employees to satisfy that potential nursing dwelling staffing minimal mandate outlined by Biden.

“As a consequence of growing labor prices and pervasive workforce shortages nationwide, CLA now estimates greater than 191,000 nurses and nurse’s aids are wanted on the annual price of $11.3 billion to ensure that nursing properties to satisfy a staffing minimal of 4.1 hours per resident day,” the report reads in regards to the proposal from the Biden administration.

This is a rise from July 2022, when the CLA estimated that a further 187,000 caregivers an annual price of $10 billion have been required.

The report additionally discovered that 94% of the nation’s nursing properties wouldn’t be capable of adjust to the potential 4.1 hours per resident day staffing minimal.

By the CLA’s estimates, about 450,000 individuals may very well be prone to displacement if the services are unable to extend their workers to satisfy the Biden administration’s proposed staffing minimal.

“Nursing properties have been doing all the pieces they’ll to recruit and retain workers — together with growing wages — but it surely has not been sufficient to stem the tide,” Parkinson stated. “If Washington desires to extend staffing in nursing properties, then they should put their cash the place their mouth is. In any other case, we’ll fail to handle the underlying challenge right here, and our residents can have fewer long-term care choices.”

This challenge will proceed to develop in america and Colorado because the 65+ inhabitants grows.

As of December, Colorado is second solely to Alaska within the US for the quickest rising 65+ inhabitants. Over the previous decade, that group in Colorado has grown by greater than 317,000 to greater than 800,000 individuals.

Between 2010 and 2020, the 65-74 age vary was the fastest-growing demographic within the state. Within the subsequent decade, will probably be the 75-84 age vary. The variety of individuals getting into the 65+ vary, in the meantime, is predicted to sluggish barely.

General, Colorado nonetheless has the sixth-lowest variety of 65+ individuals in comparison with different states.

D7 follow up bar 2460x400.jpg

The Comply with Up

What would you like Denver7 to observe up on? Is there a narrative, subject or challenge you need us to revisit? Tell us with the contact kind beneath.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *