The Unusual Reason a Dozen Iowa Nursing Homes Shutdown
Iowa nursing homes have been in the news plenty of times in the past three years. Mainly steered by COVID-19 coverage, they've been under the microscope dealing with intense scrutiny relating to residents' health.
They are again in the news, but not specifically because of the pandemic this time.
One dozen Iowa nursing homes have closed so far in 2022. That is a pretty high number when you think about nursing homes relating to any other business. For so many to close, it must mean something is up, right? The answer is yes. Costs.
Radio Iowa reports the closures have been tied to higher operating costs. This seems unusual as most businesses will pass along their higher costs to their consumers. But in the case of nursing homes, it's been enough to spell the demise of a number of them across the state.
The reports discussed the nursing home issues with Iowa Health Care Association president and CEO Brent Willett. Willett said medical supplies are up 35%, and the pressure to pay staff more is actually higher than even that.
Willett points out that where other businesses can scale back on hours and therefore employees, a nursing home cannot do that as they must be staffed at all times. Another shocking revelation, Willett says that 45% of Iowa nursing homes are limiting or freezing admissions of new patients as they suffer from a lack of staffing.
As far as why a nursing home cannot raise prices to consumers, changing daily and monthly rates can only be done by lawmakers. These rates are set by the government for Medicare and Medicaid patients.
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