New York Largest Employer of Nursing Jobs in the Nation
According to a new nationwide analysis of nursing jobs and positions, New York State ranked first in skilled nursing facility generated economic activity ($21.35 billion annually) and employment (141,151). The latter makes the skilled nursing sector in New York State the second largest health care employer in the nation.
In February 2011 the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care formed the "Care Context" which was designed to analyze health policies. The results of analysis conducted by this group identified the top ten states with the highest number of skilled nursing facility jobs and positions along with total jobs created by nursing facility activity and influence on state economy. The “Care Context” identified New York as the top state in all categories.
Funding cuts will negatively effect nursing jobs in New York
However, the study highlights that health facilities are undergoing a continuous reduction of state-federal funds due to the FY 2012 federal budget being introduced with Medicare cuts. This would affect seniors' care, as well as cause instability in employment and shatter the current economic recovery. Stable Medicare funding is crucial as New York Medicaid program serves the majority of facility patients. According to Alan G. Rosenbloom, President of the Washington-based Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, enormous pressure should be made upon Governor Cuomo to balance his budget and encourage President Obama and the New York congressional delegation work to achieve stable Medicare funding for the skilled nursing sector in a final FY 2012 budget. He stated that doing so will help protect New York seniors' care, grow the New York jobs base, and nurture the state's fragile economic recovery. Rosenbloom underlined that Medicare is more than a key national health program, it serves as a cornerstone of rural, suburban and urban economic vitality throughout New York State.
Another challenge which the skilled nursing facilities are facing due to funding squeeze is that they are being forced to delay facility improvement and maintenance projects. The average age of facilities in the United States is 29 years and according to Emil Parker, the lead author of the analysis, such delays can have a negative impact on the quality of residents' life. Moreover, this may result in the sector's capacity decline as some patients may have to spend more time in higher-cost acute care hospitals because of delays in transfers to nursing facilities.
Treating 50 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, skilled nursing facilities are by far the major provider of Medicare post-acute care services. Patients who are discharged from hospitals to post-acute care need rehabilitative care before returning to their home and community. Over the past two years due to both federal regulatory ad budgetary actions, the skilled nursing facility sector has absorbed nearly $30 billion nationally in Medicare cuts.
Image source: Wikimedia
Written by Lusine Aslikyan
Edited by Robyn Nazar, RN BSN