The report identified recruitment, workforce well-being, and advocacy as common struggles.
As the home care and home health markets continue to grow, agencies and franchises alike are struggling to keep up with the demand for services due to the caregiver and nurse shortage.
A recent industry report by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice called the shortage a "crisis," and offered actionable recommendations for leaders, providers, and agencies.
The report identified the following as common issues agencies struggle with:
Workforce well-being: The welfare of caregivers must be made a central part of the organization's culture.
Recruitment, training, and retention: Agencies must broaden their search for workers, commit to providing thorough onboarding and training, and show those with longer-term goals the career paths available to them.
Transparency and visibility: Members of the home care space must contribute and amplify the conversation around services and care that are able to be provided in the home, including raising awareness about affordability.
Policy and advocacy: Leaders in the home care space must also advocate for legislators to address funding, legislation to support family caregivers, Medicaid and Medicare rate increases, and immigration reform.
While the following are actions for the home care and home health sector to consider as a whole, the report states that these are also actions individual agencies can take:
Attracting and Retaining Caregivers
- Instead of in-person trainings, the report recommends virtual training to make onboarding easier and faster.
- Peer mentoring can be helpful for new hires in their first 90 days with an agency, reducing turnover.
- Replace weekly or biweekly pay with daily or on-demand access to earned pay.
Education, Career Paths, and Elevating the Profession
- Work with local nursing programs to support teaching and working in home-based care.
- Promote the image of home-based care via social media.
- Define and support career paths for home-based care and invest in resources to support career advancement.
Advocacy and Supporting Legislation
- Oppose further Medicare rate cuts by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
- Support legislation like the Credit for Caring Act and Home Care for Seniors Act, advocate for the passage of the Better Care Better Jobs legislation to increase accessibility to home care services, and improve caregivers' wages.
- Join the American Hospital Association and other healthcare provider groups to support the refiling and passage of a revised Health Care Workforce Resilience Act, which would create a path for immigrant nurses and physicians to access previously unused visas.
Jasmyne Ray is the contributing editor for revenue cycle at HealthLeaders.
Common issues many agencies continue to struggle with are recruiting talent, how to portray home care as a career, and advocating for caregiver's wellbeing.
Though these are issues the sectors should address overall, the report provides actionable reccomendations that individual agencies and providers can take.