The Biden administration's vaccine mandate for workers at government-funded healthcare facilities, risks pushing out workers at nursing homes already struggling to keep employees. "We respect the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court but remain concerned that the repercussions of the vaccine mandate among health care workers will be devastating to an already decimated long term care workforce," said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association, a trade organization representing over 14,000 nursing homes. [tweet_embed] January 16, 2022[/tweet_embed] Nursing homes and long-term care facilities have seen aggravating staffing shortages since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. More than 420,000 workers have quit their jobs at these facilities since February 2020, according to monthly tracking by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, a September 2021 survey by the AHCA reported that nearly every nursing home and 96% of aided living facilities in the U.S. are seeing a staffing shortage. The survey also discovered that a vast majority of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, 86% and 77% each, said their staffing problems had deteriorated over the previous three months, the period in which the delta variant was intimidating seniors and staff at those facilities. [tweet_embed] January 16, 2022[/tweet_embed] "When we are in the midst of another COVID surge, caregivers in vaccine-hesitant communities may walk off the job because of this policy, further threatening access to care for thousands of our nation's seniors," Parkinson said. The AHCA is calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to create another testing method for workers who will not get vaccinated but want to stay on the job, a prospect that CMS-funded healthcare workers do not currently have. [tweet_embed] January 16, 2022[/tweet_embed] Senior care facilities that have not instructed their employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine will have to do so now that the Supreme Court has decided to uphold the requirement set down by the Biden administration in November last year. The rule applies to around 17 million healthcare workers across roughly 76,000 hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities that receive funding from government healthcare programs Medicare and Medicaid. It was originally set to be enforceable on Jan. 4, when all workers were instructed to become fully vaccinated, meaning two doses of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Federal judges in Missouri and Louisiana ruled against the mandate for healthcare employees soon after President Joe Biden announced the mandate last fall. The majority conservative Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 judgment on Thursday to keep the mandate while barring the controversial vaccine-or-test mandate for employees of big businesses, enforceable by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.