Quality Home Care Requires Quality Workforce, Conference Presenters Report
At the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care annual conference held on October 25 in Arlington, Virginia, PHI National Policy Analyst Gail MacInnes, Jessica Brill Ortiz of the Direct Care Alliance, and Sara Cirba of the Consumer Voice spoke about why a stronger home care workforce helps to improve quality of care for home care consumers.
MacInnes and Brill Ortiz both emphasized the importance of improving wages, benefits, and training in order to reduce turnover in home care occupations, which averages between 44 and 65 percent.
Cirba shared the findings of the Consumer Voice’s “Consumer Perspectives on Quality Home Care” report, based on research conducted in 2012. The research found that there is support among consumers for better-quality home care jobs and broad recognition of the important role of home care workers.
The speakers also highlighted advocacy opportunities to improve the quality of home care jobs, including:
- supporting implementation of minimum wage and overtime protections for home care workers;
- advocating for the establishment of minimum federal training standards for home care workers;
- building support for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act in states that haven’t yet chosen to expand; and
- advocating for making home and community services a mandated Medicaid benefit.
— by the PHI Policy Group