Possible Negative Ramifications for Home Care Agencies
With happier caregivers, home care agencies will find a greater abundance of willing caregiver candidates. Also, with an increase in elderly clients, business for Home Care agencies should be stable for the foreseeable future.
But there remain possible hiccups.
According to the Washington Post, “…many experts in long-term care worry even the hefty price tag is not sufficient to prepare the nation — and particularly middle-class families — for the coming boom in the number of elderly Americans.”
NPR reports: “Even advocates of Biden’s proposal acknowledge it doesn’t address the full extent of care needed by the nation’s rapidly growing older population. In particular, middle-income seniors won’t qualify directly for programs that would be expanded.”
It’s clear Biden’s plan may not be enough to completely eradicate the caregiving shortage our nation is facing. Middle-class families may fail to see any improvement at all.
Despite good intentions, a lot of work remains.
The Drawback of Unions and Increased Regulations
While unions, increased benefits, and improved wages greatly benefit caregivers, home care agencies may struggle to adapt to the resulting budget changes.
Additional regulations, like predictive scheduling and modified caregiver contracts could also deal a significant blow.
According to Home Health Care News, “…non-solicit and direct hire clauses in caregiver contracts can be crucial for in-home care providers.”
These clauses protect home care agencies from becoming inconsequential or obsolete. This can be a disadvantage to everyone, especially when agencies work hard to offer a protective, professional middle-ground between caregiver and client.
The same article states: “Predictive scheduling would be tough for home care providers, given the volatility of each patient situation. It essentially mandates giving out schedules to caregivers beforehand and requires payment of penalties for any modification to that schedule.”
Again, while these changes may be advantageous to caregivers, they may not be in the best interests of patients or home care agencies. An alternate solution, while difficult to pinpoint, may prove more beneficial as a whole.
Community-Based Solutions vs. Home Care
Biden’s new plan also supports an increase in community-based services—more affordable alternatives to home care. While these services don’t qualify as nursing homes, they may reduce home care opportunities.
This push for more community-based care includes improved staffing at Veterans Affairs facilities. Biden’s goal is to: “Create tens of thousands of jobs providing care to veterans by filling severe occupational shortages and vacant positions at almost every U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility.”
Home care agencies may find an opportunity for caregiver staffing at these proposed sites. Otherwise, it could hurt business.
A Crisis Identified—with Hopeful Solutions
Throughout this administration, everyone impacted by the legislation will need to remain vocal about their newfound struggles and successes.
The issues surrounding home care will likely remain complicated. But they will need to remain one of the nation’s top priorities—with the government working diligently to refine solutions.
Overall, Biden’s plan is a progressive attempt to tackle the issues that have become increasingly crucial—if not a nationwide emergency.
We can hope that patients, caregivers, and home agencies alike soon benefit.