Ohio nursing homes face bleak financial future as result of COVID-19

Posted at 6:37 PM, Jan 27, 2021

CLEVELAND — A recently released survey of long-term care facilities nationwide predicts the financial impact following the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to widespread closures across the country—including Ohio.

The report was issued by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living that highlights “the financial strain” impacting long term care facilities.

“It’s a very dire financial picture if nothing is done,” says Peter Van Runkle, Ohio Health Care Association Executive Director.

The survey found:

  • Two-thirds of nursing home providers report they won’t make it another year under current conditions.
  • 65% of nursing homes are operating at a loss.

In addition, 90% report they are currently operating at profit margins of less than 3%.

The report blames increased costs associated with personal protective equipment and staff.

In Ohio, Van Runkle says occupancy rates in facilities have dropped significantly—13% since the pandemic began.

“That’s a significant hit to revenue because that is that many fewer patients in the facility than it’s receiving reimbursement for, “says Van Runkle, adding that Ohio is probably “even worse” than the national figures “because Medicaid here in Ohio is not at the level of other states”.

Since April 15, 2020, 5,079 have died in Ohio long term care facilities.

The industry says more federal and state aid is needed to prevent facilities from closing this year.

The report found facilities have already closed in California, Indiana, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

View the full survey here.

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