A study evaluating pay-rates of nursing home workers has determined that Medicaid reimburses facilities an average of just $7.17 per hour for their workers– when the national minimum wage is now $7.25 per hour.
The study was funded by the research group Eljay which further discovered that nursing homes across the country are severely under-funded– to the tune of $6.5 billion in 2010. Approximately 64% of skilled nursing facilities rely on Medicaid funding as their primary source of reimbursement.
While the above numbers may be somewhat skewed, the fact remains that nursing homes continue to pay their employees dismal wages. Though there are indeed many fine and truly caring people working in nursing homes across the country, there are a significant number of poorly qualified and inexperienced workers who are responsible for caring for our elderly simply because they can not find work elsewhere.
Until we make skilled nursing care a priority, we will continue to see nursing homes paying poor wages staffed by lowest-common-denominator employees and we will continue to see ongoing injury and neglect stemming from these workers.
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