With the rising demand for in-home care support services, especially home health care in the form of visiting nurses, there are several challenges that need to be faced. One of them involves a shortage of available visiting nurses.
A significant factor in this shortage of available nurses for in-home care involves wages and salaries. While hospitals can pay their nurses far more than a home care agency, especially if that agency is dependent on Medicaid reimbursements for many of their clients, that’s creating a challenge for in-home care to attract qualified and reliable nurses to this sector.
While home health care is growing, so is the aging population in this country. As demand for in-home care grows, it will be essential to make sure experienced, quality nurses are also available for direct medical support, such as administering medications, checking vitals, changing wound dressings, and more. Providing adequate training and finding ways to offer better benefits are some of the keys that could make a difference.
As noted in the Acadiana Advocate blog, LHC Group, SLCC team up to train nurses to meet the rising need for home health care, written by Adam Daigle:
““Home healthcare is a dynamic and growing sector of the health care delivery system, as experts, analysts and regulators look to us as a more efficient and effective way of providing the care needed for recovery or management of chronic conditions – and as more older Americans choose to receive care in the home setting, LHC chairman and CEO Keith G. Myers said. “Nursing is a noble profession, and the market for well-trained home health professionals is already highly competitive. As that demand continues to rise, LHC Group’s collaboration with SLCC is poised to prepare future nurses with the skills and experience needed to continue making home healthcare a high-quality care choice.
“Both LHC Group and SLCC are hopeful our collaboration will inspire a trend of making home health labs a standard on college campuses throughout Louisiana and across the country.””
Through collaboration and joint ventures, home care agencies and other providers may be able to bridge the gap that attracts more nurses to the home care sector. While Medicaid is contemplating another cut to its reimbursement rates for in-home care next year, agencies will need to become more creative in finding ways to attract quality nurses to this type of work.
Home care aides remain an incredibly valuable asset in providing the basic supports for everyday living, but it’s visiting nurses who can also help offer elderly clients the opportunity to recover or remain home and avoid more costly facility options when facing health-related challenges that require direct medical attention.
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