New West 9: Vaccine Mandate Could Make Nursing Home Staff Shortage Worse

MIDLAND, Texas — President Biden’s new plan requires vaccinations for over 17 million healthcare workers that have some involvement with Medicare and Medicaid

That includes nursing homes. Some facilities worry that the vaccine mandate will drive away employees.

 

“We still remain very concerned about the vaccine mandate and in particular the staffing challenges that already exist,” said Kevin Warren, the President and CEO of the Texas Health Care Association.

Last month, President Biden announced that nursing home employees must get vaccinated if they want to continue to receive funding.

 

In a statement from Focused Care, a local care facility, they noted “Long term care providers have been justifiably concerned that singling out nursing home staff for required vaccinations could exacerbate an already untenable workforce shortage should those who choose not to be vaccinated leave skilled nursing care for other health care settings.”

When it comes to the new mandate for a wider range of health care workers, those working for long-term facilities believe mandates still might not be the answer.

“Focused Care encourages the administration to add mandatory testing as an option to this regulation to provide another choice to those who oppose vaccination,” stated Focused Care.

There is no official word on when these mandates will go into effect, but the White House will likely get out that message out soon.

 

“It will be really interesting to see what impact this mandate ultimately has on the greater collective spread of folks getting vaccinated, its just hard to tell at this point,” said Warren.

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Focused Care at Lamesa Thanks Local Businesses for their Support of Fundraiser for Lamesa Senior Citizen Center

Focused Care at Lamesa, a long term care community providing skilled nursing care and short term rehab to the town’s seniors hosted a fundraiser last week that raised $1655 for the local chapter of Meals on Wheels which is run by the Lamesa Senior Citizen Center.  A hamburger lunch for sale brought in the proceeds by attendees who were able to also participate in a raffle.

“We are so pleased the local business community came out with such a big presence to support the Lamesa Senior Citizen Center and its work for Meals on Wheels,” said Alice Gonzalez, executive director of operations for Focused Care at Lamesa. “Lamesa’s history and tight-knit community are to be celebrated and our fundraiser is a perfect example of how we come together to help each other as neighbors and friends.”

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News West 9: Nursing homes deciding next steps after federally-mandated staff vaccination rules

A new announcement from the president is making waves in West Texas.

Nursing home employees must get a vaccine or there will be no federal funding in Medicare and Medicaid for them.

Manor Park’s CEO and the spokesperson for Focused Care Odessa both say they saw this coming and they’re not surprised.

Now, every nursing home in Midland and Odessa is scrambling to meet and decide their next steps.

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Texas Tribune: COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in Texas nursing homes, and nearly half of workers are unvaccinated

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