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Nursing Homes in North Dakota’s Oil Patch Struggling to Avoid Closure!

Nursing Homes Struggling Closure

North Dakota oil Patch is facing severe labor shortage at the moment and that is affecting the working of nursing homes in the region.


Two facilities especially, one in Williston and another in Underwood, are casualties of the high labor cost and the problems of finding and keeping staff to care for residents.


“The staffing is in crisis in many areas of the state, especially in northwest North Dakota,” said Shelly Peterson, president of the North Dakota Long Term Care Association, which represents nursing homes and care facilities.


Many solutions were experimented with to tackle the situation including flying in employees from other locations, contract workers, etc. but none proved sustainable.


Insufficient staffing has already proved fatal as 14 percent of nursing facilities stopped admissions last year. In July alone, 68 nursing facilities had reported 751 openings, according to figures from the North Dakota Long Term Care Association.


From funding to affordable housing for employees, nursing homes are neck deep in trouble in the Oil Patch. Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s has made recommendations in the executive budget for increased funding for nursing homes and other care providers in the state’s Medicaid funding.


An inflationary increase of 4 percent per year is expected for the 2013-15 budget, plus an additional 50 cents per hour for nursing home aides and other care providers.


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