Nursing home advocates say staffing level requirements are going to be difficult to achieve, and the state needs to step in if it’s going to mandate it.
Workers who previously held jobs at nursing homes across the state and U.S. have moved on to other careers. It’s not an unusual problem, but given the lack of beds available at nursing homes because of existing staffing shortages – it’s creating long-term concern.
The state also recently mandated staffing levels for nursing homes, which advocates say has exacerbated the problem.
“It’s a very similar problem that the rest of the country is facing with all walks of life and all types of business,” Michael Balboni, the executive director of the Greater New York Health Care Facilities Association told Spectrum News.
A new problem: Hospitals are competing with nursing homes for staff. As hospitals experience a workforce shortage – it’s put a damper on long-term care facilities, which typically pull from the same pool of prospects.
Much of this has to do with what nursing homes can afford to pay workers. “We haven’t had a cost of living for over a decade and of course, in the middle of the pandemic, New York decides to cut the Medicaid rate by 1.5%,” Balboni added.
As for a solution, Balboni has an idea. “Let’s do everything from a peace corps — let’s get a commitment. We’ll help you with your tuition. Get trained, come and work for a nursing home for three years, see if we can’t get increased wages by increased investments,” he explained.
However, that solution, like so many others, would take buy-in from state leaders.
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