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PHI Analysis of PCA Wages Draws Media Attention

January 3, 2013

The annual PHI State Chart Book (pdf) on wages for personal care aides (PCAs), published in late 2012, has received attention from several media outlets in recent weeks.

In a December 31 story on PHI’s research for Healthcare Finance News, Policy Research Associate Abby Marquand told reporter Stephanie Bouchard about the practical advantages of paying PCAs a fair wage.

“Do we want to pay these people a living wage or do we want to pay on the back end by supporting them with public assistance?” Marquand asked. “We’re paying one way or another.”

In a December 27 Home Health Care News story, PHI Policy Research Director Dorie Seavey told reporter Jason Oliva that the poverty-level wages earned by many PCAs have a direct effect on care quality throughout the U.S.

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“It will be very difficult for our country to meet the rapidly growing demand for personal assistance workers without improving these wages,” Seavey said.

Marquand made a similar point in an interview with the Direct Care Alliance, published on December 18.

“These workers provide essential services for our loved ones, and without high quality standards for these occupations, it will be difficult to retain and recruit new workers to meet demand,” she said.

— by Matthew Ozga

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