May 10: Weekly Long-Term Care News and Updates
Lina Camacho • May 10, 2022
Co-Author: Doug Jones
11% Of Minnesota’s Nursing Homes Facing Closure
A new survey shows that 11% of nursing homes in Minnesota are considering selling their facility or closing their doors due to financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The analysis also revealed that the average nursing home is operating with a negative 8.7% operating margin and will lose about $900,000 annually. The poor financial performance is primarily driven by increased expenditures, which include increasing wages and employing temporary staff
The findings come as the number of licensed beds in Minnesota has continued to decline over the past several months. According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), there were 2,945 licensed beds at the end of February 2019—about 5% lower than at the beginning of January 2019.
"The survey results point to a troubling trend," said MDH Commissioner Heather Johnson. "With so many facilities struggling financially, more are considering closing their doors because they can no longer afford to operate."
U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Rising Again in Oldest Americans
As the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to mutate and vaccines become less effective, the oldest seniors are having a harder time fighting off severe illness, according to a new report from the Washington Post.
COVID-19 hit the elderly, specifically those in long-term care facilities, the hardest. Vaccinations helped bring a welcome decrease in the fall, slashing the number of cases and deaths among these seniors. Yet now, although most seniors are vaccinated, U.S. COVID-19 deaths among those aged 75 years and older are rising, according to the Post’s analysis of new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
During the surge of the delta variant in 2021, patients aged 50 to 74 accounted for the highest number of COVID-19 deaths. The Post’s data determined that as omicron became the dominant variant in 2022, the 75-and-older group accounted for nearly two-thirds of overall deaths, compared to one third during the delta period.
Meanwhile, according to HHS data compiled by the New York Times. nationwide COVID-19 cases increased 50% in the previous two weeks in 47 states, just as the country’s death toll surpassed 1,000,000 people. This alarming trend is highlighted in a recent BASE10 news article, “COVID-19 Cases on the Rise Again.”
The Race to Certify Temporary Nurse Aides
The temporary nurse aide waiver issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) came to an end early this month, leaving nursing homes just four weeks from the June 7 date to get thousands of temporary workers trained and certified — or risk losing them.
Nurses must complete a state-approved nurse aide competency evaluation program to become a certified nurse aide with a curriculum that typically includes training on respecting residents’ rights, basic nursing skills, personal care skills, and caring for cognitively impaired residents. Nurses must also pass a written or oral exam to demonstrate the skills they’ve learned.
Disappointed to see the program end, healthcare providers were hoping CMS would have ended the waiver once the staffing crisis eased.
Thank you for reading this week's edition of Weekly Long-Term Care News and Updates, from BASE10. We hope you enjoyed learning about the industry's latest news and findings. To be notified for next week's post, please subscribe to our email newsletter down below.
About BASE10 Genetics
Located in Chicago, BASE10 is a healthcare software technology company whose platform creates turnkey disease management programs that can be deployed at scale for nursing home operators, pharmacies, payors, and self-funded employers.
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