Fear of covid has kept some adults from moving to nursing homes, and many facilities are in trouble financially. When Nevada, Missouri, officials announced they were planning to close a home specializing in dementia care, members of the community rose up in protest.
Add nursing homes to the list of industries jolted by Amazon’s handsome hourly wages. Enticed by an average starting pay rate of $18 an hour and the potential for benefits and signing bonuses, low-wage workers are fleeing entry-level elder care for jobs packing boxes.
California wants to hold nursing homes accountable for the quality of care they provide by tying Medicaid funding more directly to performance. But the nursing home industry, an influential player in the Capitol, is gearing up for a fight.
President Joe Biden’s social spending budget is on its way to the U.S. Senate, where Democratic leaders are (optimistically) hoping to complete work by the end of the year. Meanwhile, covid is surging again in parts of the country, along with the political divides it continues to cause. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner previews next week’s Supreme Court abortion oral arguments with Florida State University law professor Mary Ziegler.
Following the devastating impact of covid-19 on nursing homes, state lawmakers want to be sure that government and private payments primarily go to improve care and staffing.
Even though they perform the same intimate tasks as nursing home and hospital workers, in-home health aides initially were left out of California’s vaccine mandate. They must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 30.
Lynn Casteel Harper, a minister at the interdenominational Riverside Church in New York City, discusses the spiritual dimension of aging.
This year, 23 states passed more than 70 pandemic-related provisions affecting nursing homes, including measures setting minimum staffing levels, expanding visitation protections and limiting owners’ profit margins.
Nursing home operators acknowledge that large numbers of staff members are not getting the shots but fear a federal vaccination mandate could drive away workers in a tight labor market.
As the delta variant continues to spread around the U.S., the Biden administration is taking steps to authorize covid vaccine boosters, require nursing home workers to be vaccinated and protect school officials who want to require masks despite state laws banning those mandates. Meanwhile, the U.S. House is returning from its summer break early to start work on its giant budget bill, which includes a long list of health policy changes. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.