A new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), Bipartisan Solutions to Improve the Availability of Long-term Care, highlights the need for more easily accessible in-home care services for seniors. The report notes the common challenges associated with accessing long-term services and supports, such as the growing cost of care.
Office staff turnover doesn’t grab the headlines like caregiver turnover, but there’s a strong correlation (and likely causation) between the two. Home care agencies that maintain office staff longer nearly always retain caregivers longer. According to the annual Home Care Benchmarking Study, for every one office staff member who quits, agencies lose five additional caregivers.
A new data report published last week by PHI notes that there are 4.6 million direct care workers in the U.S. - including 2.4 million home care workers, 675,000 residential care aides, 527,000 nursing assistants in nursing homes, and roughly 1 million direct care workers employed in other settings. Additionally, 34 percent of the home care workforce is aged 55 and over, compared to 23 percent of the U.S. labor force overall. It’s important to keep statistics like this in mind to better understand our workforce.
Home care agency owners know more than anyone that the United States economy has had a wild past year and a half. A new Labor Day report by Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute found that in early 2020, the U.S. had enjoyed a historic high rate of employment. Then jobs declined by 1.4 million in March 2020, and then by 20.8 million in April 2020, the largest drop ever recorded. This four-part report examines the current job market and also what challenges employers will face in the coming months - especially with recruiting and retaining staff.
Last week, President Biden announced vaccine mandates for workers in “most health care settings” that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. This includes hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies. HCAOA continues to monitor this development and those of various states to determine the impact on home care agencies providing personal care.
More than 120 members of the HCAOA Georgia Chapter met recently to get federal updates from HCAOA, state legislative updates from the Chapter’s advocacy leaders, and information about several issues impacting the home care industry from key state officials. Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler spoke to the Chapter, noting that even though Georgia unemployment rates are the lowest they’ve been since before the pandemic, he is aware of the dire situation as home care agencies struggle to hire caregivers to provide care and services to seniors and people with disabilities in their homes. Local media covered the Commissioner’s visit with the chapter, and interviewed Chapter Legislative Chair Dave Lamb, who stressed just how critical this workforce shortage is because people’s health and safety at home depends on agencies being able to provide care.
Did you know that September is National Self-Care Awareness Month? Self-care is often neglected, but it is an important part of caregiving. The National Institute on Aging has these tips for caregivers to take care of themselves. Health care worker burnout is at an all-time high as the pandemic continues.
Last week, HCAOA submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in response to the proposed rule regarding increasing the minimum wage for federal contractors. In the letter, HCAOA requested that the Department provide clarity in its Final Rule that certain home care providers providing care to veterans by way of Veterans Care Agreements with the Veterans Administration or Agreements with the entities operating the Veterans Affairs Community Care Network (VACCN) are exempt from the requirements of the Executive Order, and that any final regulation implementing the Executive Order makes that exemption explicit.
HCAOA is excited to announce a new way that BOTH your agency and your caregivers can earn money just by getting vaccinated. HCAOA has partnered with the National Minority Health Association (NMHA) on the Flex for Checks program, with the goal to increase direct care worker vaccination rates across the country. This program seeks to increase the number of caregivers at home care agencies who are vaccinated and is a helpful recruitment tool because it has a cash incentive for workers.