New Hampshire Nursing Homes Struggle to Recruit Staff, Forced to Turn Away Patients
The New Hampshire Health Care Association reports that 33% of the state's nursing homes are operating under bankruptcy, and AP/Foster's Online reports that while occupancy rates are above 92%, some homes have closed or stopped admitting residents because of financial difficulties and/or staff shortages. Currently, nursing homes receive 90 cents for every dollar they spend on caring for the elderly, AP/Foster's Online reports. This "low reimbursement rate" makes it harder to recruit staff and adhere to "increasingly tough" federal requirements. Turnover rates for staff are also high. While Cheshire County's Maplewood Nursing Home spent $100,000 this year to train nurses' assistants, it had a 90% turnover rate for this position. The home's administrator, James Beeler said, "When $12 per hour is out there at the Wal-Marts of the world, it's hard when you can only start people at $8 or $9 per hour and they have to go through training and be licensed." Some say that with the state Legislature focusing its attention on public schools and other non-health issues, the nursing home situation has been ignored. Beeler added, "It is long past the time for the Legislature and the executive branch and the department to sit down and develop a long term strategic pThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.