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Minnesota has the most long-term care facilities with staffing shortages, national report says

(The Center Square) – Minnesota’s share of long-term care facilities reporting staffing shortages is the largest in the country, Seniorly reports.

Seniorly’s April 8 report indicated about two of every five long-term care facilities in the North Star State are experiencing staffing shortages this year, up 18.4% since 2020.

Minnesota’s neighbors aren’t doing all that much better.

Wisconsin ranks eighth, with 32.90% of facilities reporting staffing shortages and an 18.1% increase since 2020. Iowa ranks ninth, with 31.60% and a 14.5% increase over the past two years. About a quarter (25.9%) of Michigan (ranked 16th) long-term care facilities have staffing shortages, up 9.2% since 2020.

In Minnesota, the shortages reported through Feb. 27 were 56.8% among nursing jobs, 8.40% in clinical jobs, 59.60% in aides jobs, and 40.60% in other jobs.

Wisconsin’s shortages were highest among aides jobs (49.70%), followed by nursing (46.20%), others (29.50%) and clinical (6.10%). The same was true in Iowa (aides 49% nursing 45.40% others 28.9% clinical 3.10%) and Michigan (aides 39.50% nursing 36.00%, other 23.6% clinical 4.3%).

Nurses and aides are the profession with bigger shortages compared with clinical staff, including physicians, physician assistants and advanced practice nurses, who tend to make higher salaries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nationally, clinical worker shortages have increased from 2.4% in 2020 to 3.5% in 2022 and shortages of staff who are not nurses, clinical workers or aides have increased from 9.4% in 2020 to 25.2% in 2022. Texas, Arkansas and Connecticut have experienced some reductions in shortages.

Across the country, reported long-term care staffing shortages peaked at 22.4% the week of Jan. 23, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported. About 70% of individuals turning 65 this year are projected to need long-term care, either within formal facilities or their homes, for health or personal care, the report said.

About 23% of COVID-19 deaths through January 2022 were those of residents and staff at the facilities, the report said. Record-high numbers of workers have quit.

Minnesota Department of Health announced Tuesday it published a new report, Minnesota’s Health Care Workforce: Pandemic-Provoked Workforce Exits, Burnout, and Shortages, that analyzed results from the MDH health care workforce survey front-line providers take when they renew their licenses.

Nearly 20% of health care providers, including 1 of every 3 rural physicians, said they would leave the profession in the next five years, an MDH news release said. Across professions, both the share of planned exits due to burnout or job dissatisfaction and the share of those who said they would be leaving the profession for any reason increased from the 2019 survey to the 2021 survey, the report found.

The report recommended loan forgiveness for health care providers, career exploration initiatives for new and dislocated workers and initiatives to increase workforce diversity.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has proposed spending more money on expanding rural rotations and clinical training opportunities for health care providers, rewarding about 667,000 frontline workers with $1,500 for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and spending more than $250 million on retention and bonus payments to encourage people to continue working in caregiving professions.

Maine and Washington had the second- and third-largest percentages of long-term care facilities with staffing shortages, Seniorly reported.

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