Rural America has seen more than 440 nursing homes close or merge over the last decade, according to the Cowles Research Group. Of these 440 homes, 36 were shuttered because they failed to meet health and safety standards.
Nursing homes, however, face additional challenges:
- Many collapse under financial stress as occupancy rates fall and more residents are covered by Medicaid, which pays so little that many homes lose money for each Medicaid patient they accept
- They also struggle to locate quality workers willing to take care of their frail residents for minimal pay
- Recent policies have promoted independent and assisted living options for residents, as well as caretakers who visit or live in patients’ own homes
As an increasing number of rural homes close, residents often have mere weeks to find another place to go, one that is often too far for elderly spouses and friends to visit with any frequency. In extreme cases, some residents have been transferred hundreds of miles away or even crossed state lines to receive the care they need while leaving behind family, friends, church groups and other community networks.
For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly healthcare specialists can help, contact our team.