Health care is one of the hottest topics not only in politics and the media, but for men and women across the country, getting the right level of care when needed is essential. Home health care services is a valuable resource that not only has the ability to temper costs (keeping them down because people can remain home) but also improve recovery chances and quality of life.
In Massachusetts, the jobs that used to drive the economy have moved away. Some of them have fallen victim to the advances of technology while others, according to some economists, have been driven out by increased tax burdens. This leaves health care as a driving force for the entire state’s economy.
And still, technology is creating a host of changes within this sector, and as more doctors and nurses struggle to find balance in a constantly changing healthcare system, services like home care, which become more important, are also struggling with low wages, employee retention challenges, and more.
As reported in the WBUR news article, What The Data Tell Us About The Future Of Work In Mass, written by Asma Khalid, Daigo Fujiwara, and Zeninjor Enwemeka:
“Health care is a sweeping sector that includes everyone from surgeons to home health aides. And the growth is wide-ranging. Almost every occupation in the sector is predicted to add jobs, regardless of its educational qualification or pay.
Within health care there’s essentially a three-tiered hierarchy:
- Jobs that require no bachelor’s degree, such as a nursing assistant. And jobs that require no formal education credential, such as a home health aide.
The average salary for a nursing assistant is less than half the salary of a traditional health care job that requires a bachelor’s degree. Nursing assistants, for example, made, on average, $30,960 in 2016.”
Across the country, the arguments remain the same as it pertains to the home care industry: without an increase in wages and salaries for home care aides and home health care providers, it will become difficult to maintain the number of workers needed for a growing elderly population.
The federal government has already cut Medicaid reimbursements by 14 percent to pay for the Affordable Care Act, with more proposed cuts being announced. As states with revenue problems grapple with tightening budgets, they are finding it increasingly challenging to find the resources to do anything about stagnant or low wages for home care support, without cutting back on hours or care for those who need them.
The dilemma is real and it’s not just isolated to Massachusetts, but to0 many states across the country.
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