Survey of Health Care Employers in Arizona: Long-Term Care Facilities, 2015


Lela Chu and Joanna Spetz

June 22, 2016

This report summarizes the findings from a survey of long-term care employers in Arizona conducted from the summer to the fall of 2015. This is the first survey of long-term care (LTC) employers in Arizona and provides an opportunity to evaluate overall demand for health care workers in the state. The survey also collected information specific to the hiring and training of newly graduated nurses because they are at particular risk for unemployment during a weak labor market.

The occupations for which LTC facilities most often reported high demand were staff RNs (difficult to fill open positions), RNs in other roles (management, care coordination, utilization review, etc.), personal care aides, nurse practitioners and licensed practical nurses. All LTC facilities that responded indicated that there was some shortage of respiratory therapists and nearly all reported some shortage of physical therapists. At least 60 percent of respondents reported moderate or high demand for every occupation except social workers, for which most (75%) LTC facilities reported that demand was in balance with supply. Concerns about shortages were greater in rural areas than urban areas for nearly every occupation. Statewide, vacancy rates were highest for staff RNs (12.3%) and nurse practitioners (11.8%).

More than half of all LTC facilities reported increases for all occupations except LPNs, for which equal shares reported no change in employment and increased employment (46.2%). More than 80 percent of respondents reported employment increases for nurse practitioners, physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, occupational therapists and social workers. Nearly 47 percent of long-term care facilities indicated they had created new job classifications in the past year. The most frequently reported new job classifications were related to care coordination, case management and care navigator.

The greatest concerns of LTC facilities were reimbursement levels dropping, the impact of potential state budget cuts to Medicaid and the changing employment goals of new workers (e.g., Millennials).