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How pandemic-induced staffing points are impacting CO seniors

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

Between February 2020 and December 2022, nursing properties misplaced 210,000 jobs, in response to an evaluation of Bureau of Labor Statistics year-end information 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 information offered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reveals the variety of nursing residence staff from January 2020 by way of December 2022.

The final time the variety of nursing residence staff was this low was 1994, in response to the report.

On the present job progress charge, 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 response to an AHCA survey of 500 suppliers within the nation printed on Jan. 10. About half of them mentioned their workforce state of affairs has been on the decline since Could 2022. This continues to be a difficulty, regardless of incentives like elevated wages and bonuses.

The survey additionally discovered the next:

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

Out of any well being care sector, nursing residence suppliers have seen the worst job loss and proceed to wrestle 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 info would not lie,” mentioned Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “This isn’t simply an exaggerated name for assist, and this labor disaster won’t go away by itself or by way of authorities enforcement. Our nursing properties are struggling to recruit caregivers, and if we don’t get significant help quickly, then the consequence shall be a whole bunch of 1000’s of seniors displaced.”

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

Colorado is seeing proof of this enjoying out. Residents whose Medicaid advantages pay for his or her stays at assisted dwelling 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, slicing out Medicaid altogether or shutting down solely.

Colorado has about 400 assisted dwelling 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 dwelling 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 charge these services obtain from Medicaid. Residents who’re paying privately typically pay greater than $2,000 extra per thirty days than the middle will get for Medicaid residents over the identical interval, she mentioned.

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

“For these services which might be eliminating Medicaid as a payer supply and telling residents they’re going to have to relocate, we have now Case Administration Businesses and our Regional Accountable Entities who’re there to assist members discover new services,” mentioned Marc Williams, spokesperson for Colorado’s Division of Well being Care Coverage and Financing. “The problem is commonly discovering a spot who can settle for them close to their household or family members.”

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 mentioned “establishing a minimal staffing stage ensures that every one nursing residence residents are offered secure, high quality care, and that employees have the assist they should present high-quality care. Nursing properties shall be held accountable in the event that they fail to satisfy this commonplace.” This might embody 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, mentioned in December that this extra burden — with no funding — will enhance the variety of services which might 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 seek out the suitable workforce,” Emerson mentioned. “If nursing properties are unable to extend their workforce, a whole bunch of 1000’s of residents might 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 residence 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 an extra 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 to adjust to the potential 4.1 hours per resident day staffing minimal.

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

“Nursing properties have been doing the whole lot they will to recruit and retain employees — together with growing wages — nevertheless it has not been sufficient to stem the tide,” Parkinson mentioned. “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 anticipated to sluggish barely.

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

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