Demagoguery, more bureaucrats, and punishment will not fix nursing homes in the United States.
A Washington Post article dated February 28, 2022 stated, “The White House on Monday announced plans to boost nursing home staffing and oversight, blaming some of the 200,000-plus covid deaths of nursing home residents and staff during the pandemic on inadequate conditions.”
Repeat: demagoguery, more bureaucrats, and punishment will not fix nursing homes in the United States.
The article goes on to explain that the State of the Union address will include an attack on the nation’s nursing homes, including $500 million for more government bureaucrats and setting minimum staffing levels. More bureaucrats are not the answer. In the middle of the most severe workforce emergency in our nation’s history, health care providers would love to be fully staffed, if there were people to hire and if the same government would reimburse enough through Medicaid to pay them a living wage.
Not one to complain without offering solutions, but, if nursing homes had enough staff, providers and society would have few related problems. Medicaid and Medicare need to pay nursing homes enough money so they/we can pay our teammates a living and competitive wage. That coupled with an immediate emergency foreign guest worker program for direct care workers, would solve the workforce emergency.
The government does not need $500 million for more bureaucrats. They could actually save millions of current taxpayer dollars by moving to a Just Culture philosophy from the current penalty and perfection inspection scheme – improving quality and focusing efforts on poor performers.
Let’s solve the problem, not harm our most vulnerable seniors and the heroes and providers who care for them.