According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.3 million Americans lived in nursing homes in 2015. The 15,600 facilities that housed them had room for 400,000 more residents.
The priorities of these nursing homes stay the same from year to year: providing high-quality healthcare to elderly people who cannot live on their own. Still, as the industry develops, new trends emerge in nursing home risk management. For insurance agents who work with nursing home clients, here are the biggest changes to watch in 2022.
Declining Government Support
If your clients are asking, “What is the most relevant future trend in nursing?”, your answer should be pragmatic: reduced levels of financial aid from the government. During the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government provided emergency aid to low-income citizens. Nursing homes cannot count on receiving any more funding this way in 2022.
Increased Reliance on Private Equity
At the same time, nursing home managers should expect to see more investments through private equity. This version of financing involves private companies or individuals investing directly in nursing homes. Because nursing home populations are likely to continue growing, more private investors see these facilities as good places to let their money grow.
Continuing Concerns With COVID-19
There’s one familiar issue to consider after all these new answers to the question, “What are the new trends in nursing?” The COVID-19 pandemic will turn two in 2022, but it continues to pose serious challenges to nursing homes. Most residents are elderly and immunocompromised, and while vaccines and booster shots remain effective, they cannot guarantee safety from the virus.
As a result, nursing home risk management in 2022 involves figuring out how to give residents enough space to prevent the spread of disease. It also means reserving beds for quarantines and more intensive care. At the same time, nursing home professionals must balance their residents’ physical health concerns against the damaging mental and emotional effects of isolation. Experts cannot agree on the best path forward for nursing professionals, but the field will continue to grapple with these concerns for all of 2022, if not longer.
More Widespread Interest in At-Home Care
Partially because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s duration, the federal government will continue to prioritize at-home nursing over care received in nursing homes. Multiple laws increase funding for home care or are attempting to do so, including 2021’s Choose Home Care Act and the Build Back Better plan.
As fewer patients become willing to leave their homes to live at full-time care facilities, a key part of nursing home risk management will be preparing nurses to offer the same level of care in patients’ houses. This means funding equipment to be used away from nursing homes and offering training that emphasizes flexibility and adaptation.