More than 50% of nursing home CNAs injured at work last year, some uninsured, new study finds

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GAO highlights obstacles, benefits of nursing home temporary management sanctions
GAO highlights obstacles, benefits of nursing home temporary management sanctions
More than half of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) working in nursing homes sustained at least one work-related injury last year. Also, many reported being unable to afford employer-sponsored health insurance, according to a new federally funded survey.  

Nearly a quarter of the 56% of CNAs who reported an injury last year were unable to work for at least one day as a result of that injury, the first-ever National Nursing Assistant Survey (NNAS) found. Roughly 16% of CNAs did not have health insurance, and 42% of those cited cost as the reason for lack of coverage. Meanwhile, up to 33% of CNAs surveyed are currently receiving some form of means-tested public assistance, such as food stamps and rental subsidies. CNAs provide eight out of every 10 hours of resident care and earn a median wage of $10.04 per hour, according to report authors. Nursing assistants with many years of experience earn an average of only $2 more per hour than newcomers to the field.   

More than 3,000 CNAs responded to the survey. All respondents were non-contracted nursing home employees certified to provide Medicare and Medicaid reimbursable services. Approximately 92% of respondents were women. Results of the survey appear in the most recent issue of The Gerontologist (Vol. 49, No. 2). Senior policy analyst Marie Squillace, of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the author of the article.
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