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Some Nursing U.S. Homes On The Brink Due To Coronavirus

By Kathy Ritchie, Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 12:55pm
Updated: Monday, October 26, 2020 - 12:59pm
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Across the country, the long-term care industry has been financially crushed by the coronavirus. According to one industry trade organization, more than half of nursing homes are now operating at a loss. 

The American Health Care Association recently cited low reimbursement rates plus financial hardships, stemming from COVID-19, as possible threats to the viability of some nursing homes. David Voepel is the CEO of the Arizona Health Care Association. 

"In order to keep those beds viable, in order to keep those buildings open, there has to be something dumb done on the long term. And that's with rates. And I know for one HCA is going to be asking the governor and the state Legislature for a rate increase next year, just because the increased costs are not going to go back to what they were in 2019. And they're not going to go away," Voepel said. 

Arizona has 148 skilled nursing facilities, which are regulated at the federal level. While they did receive CARES Act Funding, it’s running out. And Voepel says it could be a recipe for disaster if nursing homes don’t get additional funding for things like testing, personal protective equipment and staffing. 

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