LeadingAge PA member survey: government staffing mandates continue to jeopardize PA's long-term care system

By La Torre Communications for LeadingAge PA
October 19, 2023

Members forced to reduce bed capacity to meet mandates

Already dealing with state mandate, pending federal staffing regulations ignore continued workforce crisis

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (Oct. 19, 2023) — A new survey of LeadingAge PA member nursing homes confirms that the professional caregiver worker shortage has shown no sign of improving. This comes at a time when state and federal governments are set to increase staffing mandates — leading most of the nonprofit and mission-driven communities surveyed to turn away residents who desperately need long-term care. Read the survey results in full here.

Since July 1, when new state staffing standards were implemented, nearly 60% of respondents said they’ve been unable to fill shifts, despite working with staffing agencies. As a result, nearly 63% will be forced to further reduce the number of beds available if new proposed federal staffing regulations are approved, and nearly 16% will have to consider closing their facility or selling to a for-profit entity. Some facilities have taken as many as 60% of their beds offline.

This trend is similar to a survey done in March, despite nursing homes providing raises for staff and increasing starting salaries for new employees. From March to October, the number of respondents who reported limiting census due to being unable to find workers grew from 34% to over 50%.

“The proposed federal staffing mandate is well-intended, but as these survey results show, it will have the opposite effect of improving care in Pennsylvania,” said LeadingAge PA President and CEO Garry Pezzano. “Without adequate funding and a sufficient supply of

qualified workers, the best nursing homes across the state will have no choice but to further reduce their available beds. The ultimate outcome will be stranded families who have a loved one in desperate need of skilled care.”

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About LeadingAge PA

LeadingAge PA is a trade association representing 400+ high-quality, mission-driven aging services providers across the continuum of care. These providers serve more than 75,000 older Pennsylvanians and employ over 50,000 dedicated caregivers on a daily basis. Services our members offer include Life Plan Communities/Continuing Care Retirement Communities, skilled nursing communities, assisted living residences, personal care homes, home and community-based services, PACE/LIFE, and affordable senior housing. LeadingAge PA advocates on behalf of our members at the state and local levels to influence positive change and affect a healthy vision for the delivery of quality, affordable and ethical care for Pennsylvania’s seniors. For more information, visit www.LeadingAgePA.org.

Media Contact:

La Torre Communications for LeadingAge PA

David La Torre david@latorrecommunications.com