How Medicare Cuts Will Affect the Job Outlook for CNAs

Nursing homes in America are starting to feel the pain of the nations dwindling economy. President Obama’s health-care reform proposal to cut over 1.5 billion to Medicare will result in nursing homes cutting services, laying off employees, and can ultimately end up in the closure of many long-term care facilities.

According to a report by the American Medical News, even a 2% cut in Medicare will result in the loss of 195,000 healthcare jobs by 2021. How do the Medicare cuts affect your future as a CNA?

Staffing Shortages

American nursing homes already suffer from staffing issues. Government studies have revealed that over half of the nation’s nursing homes do not have enough CNAs. These reports suggest that many patients in nursing homes receive substandard level of care due to the lack of nursing staff.

The following statistics reveal the amount of time that patients in long term care facilities currently receive throughout the day from nursing staff:

  • Twelve minutes of care for registered nurses
  • Forty-Five minutes of care for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses combined
  • Two hours of care from CNAs

It’s easy to see that the cumulative total of 2.75 hours of staff time isn’t enough for these patients.

However, this statistic does reveal a glimmer of hope for CNA’s. It’s evident that CNA’s are on the front lines of patient care due to the fact that they spend the most time with the residents throughout the day. All long-term care facilities are in need of qualified CNA’s as part of their patient care plan.

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Supply and Demand

 The job forecast for CNAs in nursing homes are definitely brighter than that of other skilled nursing staff. Nursing home administrators realize that CNAs offer the most bang for their buck due to factors such as:

  • More time spent with patients
  • Lower wages and other nursing staff
  • Higher value for their wage
  • Lower cost of training

Trained CNAs employed in nursing homes ultimately results in lower operating costs for the institution and therefore will increase the demand for CNAs.

Considerations

The demand for CNA’s may increase; however, it doesn’t mean that the clouds have cleared from this Medicare storm. According to the American Health Care Association, the nation’s Medicare costs will drastically undercut many institutions staffing efforts as well as reduce facility quality improvement programs.

The bottom line is that these cuts will result in a lower quality of healthcare and will affect the people who need it most – the patients.

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