California Nursing Homes Facing Critical Shortage of Caregivers

Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from California Association of Health Facilities

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- "An unprecedented
 25,000 Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) have left the long term care
 profession over the last 24 months.  They have either entered into another
 segment of health care or they have left the profession all together," said
 Peggy Goldstein, Vice President of the California Association of Health
 Facilities.
     "In recent weeks there has been considerable discussion about whether or
 not caregiver to patient ratios are needed to improve care in long term care
 facilities.  Ratios may sound like a good idea, but in reality the primary
 challenge facing long term care is recruiting and retaining enough caregivers
 to fill current requirements," she continued.
     Both management and labor agree that nursing homes are in a staffing and
 funding crisis.  Government, through the Medi-Cal program, is responsible for
 paying for more than two-thirds of all nursing home care.  As such, it has an
 obligation to make sure that its payments provide our seniors with a safe and
 loving environment and provide caregivers with a respectable wage.
     "We need to make sure caregivers are rewarded financially for the hard
 work they do.  Not only so that we can keep the caregivers we have, but to
 enable us to attract new workers to this noble profession," said Goldstein.
     According to the Association, California nursing homes are short
 30,000 caregivers.  Some facilities are turning patients away because they
 cannot guarantee that they can provide the quality care that our frail, ill
 and disabled deserve.
     CAHF is asking the governor and the legislature to support a $1 per hour
 wage increase for each of the next four years.  It is a reasonable and
 achievable request which will help to significantly stabilize our extremely
 fragile long term care system.  Additionally, the Association is seeking a
 10 percent. Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in the Medi-Cal reimbursement
 rate in the 2001-2002 state budget.
     The California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF) is a non-profit
 professional association founded in 1950 to serve as a statewide organization
 for long-term care providers.  The Association and its members are dedicated
 to improving the quality of long-term health care in California through
 educational programs and proactive advocacy with the Legislature and
 administrative agencies.
     CAHF's membership is comprised of more than 1,600 licensed nonprofit and
 proprietary long-term care facilities serving a wide spectrum of needs in
 settings which include skilled nursing, intermediate care, subacute, mental
 health, rehabilitation, residential care facilities for the elderly and
 services for persons with developmental disabilities.  More than
 100,000 trained medical professional and support service staff care for
 250,000 Californians in these facilities each year.
 
 

SOURCE California Association of Health Facilities
    SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- "An unprecedented
 25,000 Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) have left the long term care
 profession over the last 24 months.  They have either entered into another
 segment of health care or they have left the profession all together," said
 Peggy Goldstein, Vice President of the California Association of Health
 Facilities.
     "In recent weeks there has been considerable discussion about whether or
 not caregiver to patient ratios are needed to improve care in long term care
 facilities.  Ratios may sound like a good idea, but in reality the primary
 challenge facing long term care is recruiting and retaining enough caregivers
 to fill current requirements," she continued.
     Both management and labor agree that nursing homes are in a staffing and
 funding crisis.  Government, through the Medi-Cal program, is responsible for
 paying for more than two-thirds of all nursing home care.  As such, it has an
 obligation to make sure that its payments provide our seniors with a safe and
 loving environment and provide caregivers with a respectable wage.
     "We need to make sure caregivers are rewarded financially for the hard
 work they do.  Not only so that we can keep the caregivers we have, but to
 enable us to attract new workers to this noble profession," said Goldstein.
     According to the Association, California nursing homes are short
 30,000 caregivers.  Some facilities are turning patients away because they
 cannot guarantee that they can provide the quality care that our frail, ill
 and disabled deserve.
     CAHF is asking the governor and the legislature to support a $1 per hour
 wage increase for each of the next four years.  It is a reasonable and
 achievable request which will help to significantly stabilize our extremely
 fragile long term care system.  Additionally, the Association is seeking a
 10 percent. Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in the Medi-Cal reimbursement
 rate in the 2001-2002 state budget.
     The California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF) is a non-profit
 professional association founded in 1950 to serve as a statewide organization
 for long-term care providers.  The Association and its members are dedicated
 to improving the quality of long-term health care in California through
 educational programs and proactive advocacy with the Legislature and
 administrative agencies.
     CAHF's membership is comprised of more than 1,600 licensed nonprofit and
 proprietary long-term care facilities serving a wide spectrum of needs in
 settings which include skilled nursing, intermediate care, subacute, mental
 health, rehabilitation, residential care facilities for the elderly and
 services for persons with developmental disabilities.  More than
 100,000 trained medical professional and support service staff care for
 250,000 Californians in these facilities each year.
 
 SOURCE  California Association of Health Facilities