The pandemic has upended so much in our world, and perhaps no industry has been more profoundly impacted than the home care industry. Already facing projected staffing shortages due to the anticipated growth of the elder population in the coming years, the pandemic has put unprecedented demands on home care staff and agency owners. All across the country, there is an increased demand for high-quality home care services and a shortage of care staff who can meet those needs.
Congress is aiming to ease the challenges faced by direct care workers, including those working for home care agencies through a pair of recently introduced bills. The Direct Creation, Advancement, and Retention of Employment (CARE) Opportunity Act of 2021 (H.R. 2999) and the Supporting Our Direct Care Workforce and Family Caregivers Act (S. 2344) have been introduced by bipartisan groups of U.S. Representatives and Senators. These bills seek to invest in strengthening the workforce that provides direct care, and ensuring that seniors and other individuals have access to high-quality care.
In the past the term “direct care worker” was often reserved for people caring for a family member, but more recently “direct care worker” is more broadly defined to include those caregivers employed by others. Often, individuals employed in all types of direct care roles are women, people of color, and nearly a quarter are immigrants. Frequently, many direct care workers have only a high school education and do not see a clear career pathway in the industry. These bills aim to address the need for a well-trained and prepared direct care workforce, not only to meet current demands, but to meet the needs of the anticipated 94.7 million people ages 65+ in 2060.
A few of the highlights from the bills include:
- Funding to states and entities to invest in strategies to recruit, retain and advance the direct care workforce pipeline. The Senate legislation would also include grants for supervisory or managerial positions to address the leadership shortages currently facing the industry.
- Implementing strategies and models to make the field of direct care more attractive, such as training and registered apprenticeships, mentoring, or career pathways, allowing for local and regional innovation to address workforce shortages and needs.
- Encouraging retention and career advancement in the growing field of direct care.
- Responding to the needs of a growing aging population and allowing older Americans, people with disabilities, and others who require direct care services to remain in their communities, when possible.
- Supporting the health and wellbeing of those who need and rely on direct care services, with a goal of preventing costlier institutional care.
- Distributing grants to enable entities to design programs to train, educate and provide respite for family caregivers.
These exciting and innovative pieces of legislation have the potential to have a profound impact on the home care industry. In addition to helping the industry to keep pace with the projected growth of older adults in the U.S., the legislation would:
- Strengthen and stabilize the direct care workforce, providing better staffing outcomes for agencies.
- Benefit direct care workers through increased job security, more robust training, and well-defined career paths with opportunities for advancement and professional growth.
- Offer higher-quality care for older adults and other care recipients, increase the likelihood to remain at home and in the community, even given complex medical needs, and reduce healthcare costs and visits to the ER.
Rosemark: Your Partner in Care
With more than 30 years of experience in the home care industry, we understand the ever-changing landscape of direct care and the challenges facing agencies today. That’s why we’ve developed the Rosemark home care management system to:
- Grow with your agency. Intuitive and powerful, the Rosemark system is designed to help agencies grow and manage payor diversification, streamline accounts receivable, and integrate billing for private pay, long-term care insurance, VA benefits and Medicaid.
- Deliver efficient care solutions. Seamlessly integrating a variety of tools, the Rosemark system increases efficiencies with streamlined client management that highlights critical scheduling needs and ideal client/caregiver matches, as well as customized care plans, EVV, and change of condition reporting.
- Recruit and screen qualified candidates. A dynamic tool to help agencies increase employee retention and job satisfaction, the Rosemark system increases and improves back-office efficiencies for the hiring, onboarding and management of human resources.
- Support seamless information flow. With a full range of customizable operations and reporting capabilities, the Rosemark system includes integrations for home health care billing and payroll with QuickBooks as well as Medicaid billing.
To learn more about how the Rosemark system can help your agency meet operations and care needs now, and in the future, reach out to us today at (734) 436-2631 to schedule a free, no-obligation demo. With first-in-class customer care and a dedicated team committed to the success of each of our clients, Rosemark has been the preferred software partner for home care agencies since 2002.