This blog post was written by our guest blogger Michele Treinin, Healthcare Analyst at Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) – a HH-CAHPS® vendor located in New York State.
As healthcare evolves, the trends that have begun to emerge don’t point to a prosperous future in the Home Health Industry. From the lack of qualified applicants in the pool to disheartening wages, Home Health Agencies continue to fight an uphill battle. Here are four home health industry trends:
- 78 Million Baby Boomers are getting older and are beginning to flood the healthcare market: As the aging population grows, states are trying to keep fewer people out of expensive nursing homes, which causes the next trend due to more people staying at their homes or the homes of relatives.
- An estimated increase of 1 million home health aides in the next decade: Agencies are having a hard time hiring the best people for the job because of a small qualified applicant pool due to having to compete with other easier, less intense jobs leading to the third trend.
- Decrease in reimbursement due to budget cuts: Home health services are an easy target for cuts because they’re not required by federal law, and legislators in states with big deficits say they have no choice but to cut Medicaid spending, the second-costliest item for states behind education. These cuts force the agencies to cut a variety of resources and among them what they pay their staff. This, in turn, can negatively affect their HH-CAHPS® scores. Like HCAHPS®, HH-CAHPS® will most likely lead to value-based purchasing. Finally, the last trend deals direct with budget cuts.
- There are fewer patients moving into nursing homes: States are starting to move some of the most hard to treat and expensive patients into community based settings rather than nursing homes to decrease the costs incurred, but this leaves little room for home health agencies to make a profit, which also decreases the attraction for workers. ‘‘You can’t afford to raise your salaries, yet you want to hire the best people,” said Jennifer Witten, owner of Imani Home Health.
For more of the latest industry news and trends in healthcare, click here to visit our healthcare category on this blog. Are you are a Home Health Agency looking for a HH-CAHPS® vendor? RMS is a CMS Approved CAHPS® vendor and also has experience with healthcare consulting services. If you would like any information, please contact our CAHPS® Business Development Director, Sandy Baker at 315-635-9802 or email her at SandyB@RMSresults.com.