NJ nursing homes pack major economic punch, report finds
A first-of-its-kind report offers high mark for New Jersey's nursing homes, especially when it comes to their performance and economic impact.
The Nursing Home Profile, created by the New Jersey Hospital Association, compiled data to assess the state's 358 facilities with a total of 54,785 beds.
The study found that nearly 56,000 people were employed by New Jersey nursing homes in 2013, contributing $116 million in state income taxes and earning $2.1 billion in salaries.
"Certainly, the number of jobs is a key factor, along with the amount paid in wages and income taxes," said Theresa Edelstein, vice president of post-acute care policy and special initiatives for NJHA.
When you add in the cost of supplies and operations, the nursing homes are responsible for $5.4 billion in annual expenditures, which ripple throughout the state economy.
"There is a lot of extension to the business community - suppliers of food, suppliers of linen and laundry, medical suppliers," Edelstein said.
Data was collected from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to determine overall quality. Edelstein said New Jersey performs very well compared to the rest of the country.
"New Jersey is a high-quality state," she said. "More than half of our facilities are at a four or five-star rating."
As more baby boomers move into their golden years, end-of-life care is becoming an increasingly vital issue for families around the Garden State. Nearly 35 percent of all people 65-years-old or older are predicted to enter a nursing for some period of time. Those figures will only increase with the influx of baby boomers.
"New Jersey's nursing home providers are essential partners with physicians, hospitals, home health and hospice agencies and other providers. They are integral to the overall quality of care for seniors, especially in such a dynamic time in healthcare," Edelstein said. "Their contributions to the state's economy also are significant."
Check out the full report results here.