There are significant reasons for the rise in the demand for home health care and the growing number of agencies that provide such services.
According to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, home care services originated in the US way back in the 1880s and currently, it is found that:
- There are about 12 million people receive such care
- There are about 33,000 home health care providers and
- The annual expenditures in this specific sector are estimated to be $72.2 billion.
There are different types of home health care providers all of whom come under the broad umbrella of “Home care organizations.” This includes:
- Home health care agencies
- Home care aide organizations and
Few of these agencies may be Medicare-certified. That means the service providers can send their bills to Medicare for reimbursement. It is also seen in the research that:
- More than 62% of these agencies are freestanding and
- Only 12% of them are hospital-based.
There is a variety of reasons as to why the non-certified home care agencies, hospices, and home care aide organizations stay outside the peripheries of Medicare. However, the most significant reason for these all is the fact that they mostly do not provide the range of services that are required by Medicare, for example, skilled nursing care.
About the services and utilization of resources
When you talk about the services by the home health agencies near me, the list typically includes:
- Home health aide services
- Nursing services
- Nutritional services
- Home medical supplies and equipment
- Medical social work services
- Physical therapy services
- Speech therapy services
- Occupational therapy services
- Respiratory therapy services and
- Professional medical equipment assessment services.
With such a diverse and wide range of services provided, it is quite natural that this specific sector will utilize a major part of the national resources in every available form and possibilities. According to CMS it is projected that:
- The total annual national expenditures in this sector are expected to cross $2.5 trillion
- There will be a growth in health spending by the public payers up to 8.7% in contrast to the 3% growth for the private payers and
- There is a decline in the private insurance enrollment by 1.2% indicating the slowdown in growth in private payer spending.
All these facts and figures are based on the 2009 data which indicates what you are about to see when the latest 2019 data is published.
About the payers
As it is, Medicare happens to be the only largest payer of home health care services. Their spending accounted for roughly 41% of the total home health expenditures.
The Medicaid payments for home care, on the other hand, are divided into three primary categories such as:
- The mandatory traditional home health benefits
- The personal care option and
- Home and community-based waivers.
Out of these three, the last two categories are optional but together all these three categories of home care service typically represent a comparatively small yet consistently growing portion of the entire amount of Medicaid payments.
Financing health care services
In the United States, home health care services are increasingly financed through managed care organizations. These managed care organizations include Health Maintenance Organizations or HMOs that typically finance these care services through a prepared rate that is negotiated with the health care providers.
According to the reports, the paid caregivers in the US include the formal caregivers that comprise actually of different professionals and paraprofessionals. They are compensated for providing services such as in-home health care as well as personal care services. The report also indicates that:
- There are more than 958,000 persons employed across different home health care agencies
- The major numbers of employees or FTEs comprise of the RNs and home care aides and
- The employment rate in this home care sector has grown at an annual rate of 5.4%.
All these indicate the scope and prospects of this sector which is why there is a significant rise in it noticed over the years, especially after 2009 till date.
About the recipients
If you consider the recipients of care and caregivers, the figures are also very promising. Reports say that:
- There are roughly 7.6 million people in the US alone that require home health care in some form
- There are more than 20,000 home health care service providers existing as of now
- Out of all the home health care recipients, almost two-thirds of 63.8% of them are women and
- More than 69.1% or two-thirds of the entire home health care recipients are actually over the age of 65.
The report also specifies the different conditions that people hire such home health care services most frequently. The list includes:
- Heart failure
- Chronic ulcer of the skin
- Osteoarthritis and even
If you consider the caregivers, the data suggests that:
- More than one in three US households are informal caregivers for a person who is over 18 years representing an estimated 48.9 million in the number of caregivers
- There are an additional 16.8 million people caring for children or both for children and adults.
This sums up to about a total of 65.7 million personal caregivers.
Add to that, the report indicates that:
- 63% of all of the caregivers are married or living with a partner
- 66% are women
- 34% care for two or more people
- 86% care for their relative with one-third of them caring for their parent and 14% or one in seven caring for their own child.
As for their work and age, it is found that any typical caregiver spends more than 20 hours in a week to provide such care and in case the caregiver is a woman the average age is about 48 years.
Ending with the prospects
According to the 2018 report of Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for typical full-time home health aide is about $11.57 per hour which comes to about $24,060 per year working for a 40-hour workweek.
Therefore, the prospects of home health care are quite bright especially considering the rise in demand for it by the older citizens and the shortage of supply for skilled professionals.