Staffing issues and rising costs continue to force nursing homes across the country to close

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As operating costs remain high and staffing shortages persist, nursing homes across the country, especially those in smaller markets, are closing in response.

Staff, therefore, must then decide whether to move to another facility, perhaps several miles away, or leave the industry altogether.

Seven nursing homes in the state of Montana in the past six months have closed, representing 10% of beds in the state, according to the Montanan Daily.

And it didn’t just impact rural parts of the state.

Bozeman, one of the largest cities in the state, is down to just one facility with a maximum capacity of 69 beds to serve the entire community after its largest provider shut down, the report says. .

Nursing home providers cited the inability to operate with a loss of $100 a day for each resident.

In Iowa, 11 nursing homes have reportedly closed or are in the process of doing so since late last year, The Gazette reported. The facilities closed largely due to inflation-related financial strains, labor strains and supply chain issues.

The closings have taken place in large cities like Davenport and Sioux City, in small towns like Shellsburg with a population of more than 800, the report notes.

Non-profit elder care giant Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society has had to close or sell nine facilities in the past eight months alone – the majority of which have been in rural communities.

This comes at a time when more than 1,000 nursing homes have closed since 2015, according to an April report by the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL).

The April report cites data from the federal government and CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) 2022 State of the Skilled Nursing Industry.

The AHCA/NCAL also projected that more than 400 skilled nursing facilities could close in 2022, with nearly 240,000 job openings as the main driver.

When a nursing home closes in a smaller geographic area and the facility’s workforce leaves, ‘there really isn’t much left of a community,’ says the chief executive. of CLA, Cory Rutledge.

“The community is really on the line in some of these situations because they’re either the biggest employer or the second biggest employer,” he previously told SNN.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to spread the Patient-Based Payment Model (PDPM) over two years and the 2.7% premium compensation has received mixed reactions about the impact it will will have on the industry – and whether it could lead to additional closures.

Some, like Brickyard President and CEO Wesley Rogers, say CMS’s move has met operators “more than halfway”, while others, like LeadingAge President and CEO , Katie Smith Sloan, say any cuts made at this time are “deeply disappointing”.

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