Long-Term Care Facilities Face Financial Crisis Due to Pandemic
St. John’s Retirement Village in Woodland, California is one of many long-term care facilities that has resorted to closing its doors during the pandemic. Facilities like these have been losing money due to rising expenses during the pandemic, such as protective equipment, testing materials, and increased payroll for round-the-clock care. Hundreds of other facilities are struggling to keep their doors open.
Although these facilities received COVID-19 relief aid and protective gear from the government, long-term care providers continue to be overwhelmed by pandemic-related expenses. Not to mention, many facilities are facing reduced revenues that are pushing them to the edge. In Florida, nursing homes experienced a $651 million loss due to a 15% drop in occupancy from the COVID-19 restrictions that limited new admissions. And beds in these facilities remain empty.
While long-term care providers continue to struggle, many are advocating for additional government aid. But these facilities would need to be more transparent with how these funds are being used. In expressing this concern, Toby Edelman, a senior policy attorney for the Center for Medicare Advocacy, cited a report by the Washington Post. This report uncovered that shortly after receiving money from the CARES Act, Genesis HealthCare, a large U.S. nursing home chain, gave its CEO a $5.2 million bonus. Genesis continues to experience financial struggles and is taking steps to reduce its sizeable debt.
At the end of the day, nursing homes are people’s homes. And when a facility closes its doors, these residents are being displaced from their homes. Industry advocates will continue to fight for additional government support to make sure more long-term facilities are able to withstand these struggles and keep their doors open.
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