Demographic data shows us that a growing percentage of the United States population is considered elderly, which implies that more and more people are going to suffer from one ailment or another and will require help eventually. People prefer to stay in their familiar homes while they age, which creates a significant need for home care agencies.
In spite of the great demand, there are issues that the health care industry face, and low pay rates is one of those issues. The Federal Government has reduced reimbursement rates for home care services through Medicaid, the primary health insurance program for people who cannot afford health services but need them the most. State Medicaid policies are decided according to the ACA coverage expansion, eligibility levels, scope of benefits, reimbursement rates, and delivery system models. It is based on factors such as demographics, health needs, health care markets, and the state fiscal capacity which affects Medicaid spending. Because of these factors, Medicaid coverage and financing vary across the states, which has caused a constant budget crisis almost every year. It has also created a sense of anger in people who are working as home care workers demanding salary hikes and not getting them. This has led to the conclusion that agency owners don’t care about their employees.
The homecare industry already struggles to provide positive services, support and care for the baby boomer generation at home. However, along with this, they have to fight with misinterpretation and misleading information. This makes it almost impossible to convince elderly people to accept the home care industry and the fact that it is their best shot at a long-term care solution.
You cannot clap with one hand; there are issues on both the sides of this equation, which can only be sorted out by analyzing the facts and providing the best possible services the home care industry can. Lower reimbursement rates have caused a problem for people who want these services, but Medicaid is struggling as well.
This lack of helpful, honest information may lead some people to just take care of their elderly parents and family members themselves. Although this may seem a nice option for some time, in the long run, people will have a hard time adjusting to the changes in their schedules and in their family relationships, and they may have to return to the homecare provider for help.
The conclusion that we can draw from this analysis is that agencies and caregivers, in spite of the increased need are going to struggle to convince people that they are, indeed, the best option for long-term care.