In case you missed it, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) released a report last week highlighting the growing number of nursing home closures. More than 1,000 nursing homes have closed since 2015, displacing as many as 45,000 vulnerable residents. As nursing homes and assisted living communities struggle with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of sustainable government funding, AHCA/NCAL projects that hundreds of additional closures are imminent. (story continues below)
Additional key data from the AHCA/NCAL report includes:
* Since 2015, facility closures have included 776 before the pandemic and 327 during the pandemic.
* Over 400 nursing homes may close before the end of this year.
* During the pandemic, nearly half of nursing home closures (46 percent) were facilities with the highest ratings by the federal government.
The findings from the report have been covered by several local and trade outlets, including McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, Skilled Nursing News, Provider Magazine, Becker’s Hospital Review, The Highland County Press and The Altamont Regional Enterprise.
In response to the findings from the report, Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, said:
“Every closure is like a family being broken apart, with the lives of residents, staff and their families impacted in the process. With hundreds of nursing home closures looming now and thousands more anticipated if government funding is cut, state and federal policymakers need to step up to support our social safety net. We need to do better than just keep nursing home doors open—we need to make significant investments to better support our frontline caregivers and transform facilities for a growing elderly population.”
In many cases, facilities are faced with the difficult choice of limiting admissions or closing their doors for good as a result of financial challenges and a historic workforce shortage. Earlier this month, the Eliza Bryant nursing home in Ohio announced its impending closure because of financial and staffing troubles, and the Kensington, a nursing home in Nebraska made a similar announcement a week later.
Nursing home closures mean reduced access to care for vulnerable seniors who need around-the-clock care. Policymakers must act by allocating the resources necessary to address this urgent crisis and support long term care for the future.