Jun 7, 2022 - Health

Nursing homes face closure risks amid staff shortages post-COVID

Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Loveland, Colorado.
Residents take a break at Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Loveland, Colo., on March 4. Photo: Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Nursing homes across the U.S. are facing closure risks amid staff shortages and higher operating costs as the country emerges from the pandemic, according to a survey by the American Health Care Association released Monday.

Why it matters: Nearly 60% of nursing homes in the U.S. are operating at a financial loss and nearly three-quarters are concerned about possible closures due to staffing shortages, per the survey.

The big picture: The survey, conducted last month across 759 facilities, found that 60% of nursing homes said their staffing situations had worsened since the start of the year, with 87% facing "moderate or high" staffing shortages.

  • A large majority of the nursing homes surveyed said they had hired temporary staff and limited new admissions into the homes in recent months to cope with the shortages, while 99% said they had asked current staff to work overtime.
  • 73% of nursing homes said they were concerned about possibly having to close if staffing shortages persist.
  • Operating costs at nursing homes have increased by an average of 41% over the past year, with 59% of nursing homes saying they are currently operating at a loss.
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