In March, when the Republicans in the House submitted a proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this Blog series provided a brief overview of how the proposal could affect the skilled nursing sector. Now that the Republicans in the Senate have released their own proposal, it's again time to briefly review the key points of the legislation that could have an impact on this sector. Some differences exist between the two versions of the bill, but for this discussion, one of the key points is that both propose significant cuts to Medicaid, which funds the majority of nursing home residents' care.
Increasingly, operators of seniors housing and care properties are reporting labor shortages in all occupations across their operating platforms, ranging from care managers to executive directors. More broadly, U.S. employers in April advertised the most job openings in 16 years, yet hiring fell and fewer people quit work. Indeed, job openings rose 4.5% in April to more than 6 million, the most since December 2000, while hiring fell 4.8% to just over 5 million. Moreover, with the national unemployment rate falling to a 10-year low of 4.3% in May 2017, the challenge of recruiting and retaining employees is expected to only grow.
I’m excited to tell you about new reports that have been launched on our NIC MAP® web client platform. Called the NIC MAP Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment and Wage Reports, they aim to help our clients assess and benchmark local labor pools and wage rates.
While major reforms of the Affordable Care Act, such as those proposed by the Trump administration and Republican leaders in Congress are sure to have an impact on the post-acute and long-term care industry--if passed--by dedicating all our attention to the big "what ifs", we may be ignoring the trees for the forest.