AAHSA project, report tackle high staff turnover

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It can cost as much as $3,500 to replace a frontline care provider in a long-term care facility, according to recent report from Better Jobs Better Care.

Annual nursing home employee turnover rates averages 45% and may cost nursing homes nationwide nearly $4.1 billion, according to Dorie Seavey, author of "The cost of Frontline Turnover in Long-Term Care."

The report, which is based on a research and demonstration project managed in part by the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, Washington, recommends the increased use of retention programs in long-term care to reduce costs and improve quality.
Study data indicate the cost of high staff turnover in nursing homes results from replacing employees who provide direct care to residents, hiring temporary staff and paying overtime wages to current staff until replacements com on board.  Advertising, interviewing and training also contribute to costs that add to the rise in nursing home care costs, the report states.

The report recommends that long-term care providers calculate the cost of turnover in their facilities to better evaluate and understand how the investment in retention programs could improve their financial state and the quality of care provided.