Bayada and Professional Home Care Groups Form Alliance to Address Workforce Challenges
A new home care industry coalition issued a call to action on Wednesday for the country to tackle what its members described as a staffing “crisis”.
Bayada Home Health Care, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, and the Home Care Association of America are seeking partners to join their Home Care Workforce Action Alliance. They aim to catalyze action to address a severe labor shortage that members say is leaving potential patients without care.
“We all recognize that this is an issue that needs to be addressed, but we all continue to work within our silos,” said the president of the National Association for Home and Hospice Care, Bill Dombi, during a webinar on Wednesday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be nearly 600,000 health and personal care aide job openings each year during this decade as current workers leave the field or retire. These helpers earn a median hourly wage of $14.15, which is lower than the median wage for retail employees. Demand is also increasing because the population is aging.
Bayada Home Health Care has never turned away so many potential customers or had so many open shifts as it does today, said David Totaro, the company’s director of government affairs. In September, the provider refused 50% of patient referrals; in March, that figure rose to 67%, he said. “The challenges have only gotten worse in recent years,” he said.
The Home Care Workforce Action Alliance seeks partners from industry, patient groups, workers, educators and government to address issues such as low pay, lack of benefits, limited access to unclear training and career growth opportunities, Dombi said.