In the dynamic world of home care and hospice, industry trends have a way of innately impacting, affecting and shaping services. There’s been a lot of uncertainty this past year, as the industry faced a number of challenges along with regulatory changes. Looking ahead, there’s only more challenges and trends to come, which can have a direct impact on your business, as well as patient outcomes.
As your partner, our goal is to stay ahead of these potential impacts and help you prepare for the future, whatever it may bring. That’s why we asked industry experts what they believed the upcoming trends and changes in the next one, three and five years will be. In this four-part series, home health and hospice experts will discuss how your organization can stay ahead of the ebb and flow of home care and hospice industry today, tomorrow and beyond.
In part one, we will hear from Bill Dombi, the President of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC). Dombi has been an advocate and leader within the industry for more than 30 years.
In the ever-changing world of home care and hospice, it is natural to expect that a variety of factors can have significant impact on the future of services. However, the most important factor that exists today, and with increasing impact in the next three to five years, is the sufficiency of the workforce. The demand for home care and hospice continues to rise, concurrent with the aging of the US population and the shift away from institutional care. In normal circumstances, that increased demand would be problematic from a workforce standpoint. However, it is even more concerning because of the aging of the skilled nursing workforce and the ready availability of alternative employment for the personal care service attendants and home care aides that are in high demand by an aging population with multiple chronic illnesses.
A second impacting factor is a continued shift to managed care by Medicare and Medicaid. This may be viewed as a form of “privatization” of the programs. For providers of home care, this translates generally to lower reimbursement rates, higher administrative costs, industry consolidation and limited service authorization. It is expected that the Medicare Advantage impact will begin to show in 2024, as the first wave of baby boomers hits age 75, an age where home care needs often begin to surface.
The third impacting factor is politics. Reliance on government-based health care programs always will bring a high degree of unpredictability. However, the 2020 national elections are expected to be particularly dynamic for both the Congress and the White House. The election outcome itself is not predictable at this time. However, it is predictable that health policy directions will be unstable for several years of political rhetoric and conflicting partisan goals.
Stay tuned for part two of this series where we’ll hear from the managing principal of Simione Healthcare Consultants, William J. Simione III regarding his thoughts on upcoming industry trends in the next one, three and five years.
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