Coronavirus Impact on Home Health Employment

Coronavirus Pushed Home Health Employment Down 7%, Spending Down 12%

A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) in partnership with Peterson Center showed the impact of coronavirus on home healthcare. According to it, the coronavirus will play a key role in shaping home healthcare in the future. But right now, this pandemic has already caused a significant fall in employment and spending in the industry.

Checking the details, the study states that home healthcare witnessed a drop of 7% in employment from February to April 2020. From April to May, this rate of change was steady and remained the same throughout. But home health spending saw a tumultuous drop of 12% from February to March, further adding to the problem.

Although these figures seem worrisome, during the peak of coronavirus, home healthcare performed well when compared to the healthcare sector as a whole.

Drop-in healthcare employment across major cities

The healthcare sector saw a major loss in employment with Washington leading the way, followed by New York and Los Angeles. From February to April, with a 9.5% drop in employment, more than 1.5 million people lost their jobs. It added to the woes as spending dropped by 16% from February to March. But May saw a recovery of 300,000+ jobs across the country.

Major decline in home health cases

The coronavirus outbreak led to a drop in major procedures like hip replacements. This led to home health providers getting fewer referrals and thus, even lesser patient volumes. HCR Home care based in Rochester, New York, echoed the same worry with nearly 15% census drop. The result was some furloughs in the organization.

According to experts, there has been a sharp decline in therapy-led cases in home health. The reason cited is the cancellation of elective orthopaedic surgeries, for example, knee and hip replacements.

Brent Korte, Chief Home Care Officer, said that right now Therapy is in a tough situation. Although there is an increase in nursing, our therapy visits have probably seen the most drastic decrease.

Major changes in home health further led to therapy layoffs at nearly 24% of home health agencies.

More than 67% of home health agencies in the country reported that their low-utilization payment adjustments (LUPAs) have doubled during this period of coronavirus. The data was compiled by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). This is because the number of patients canceling their home health aides increased dramatically during this pandemic period.

Losses in millions due to the coronavirus

Home Care Association of New York State (HCA-NYS) projected the average loss to home health agencies in 2020. According to it, home health agencies based in New York alone are recording a loss of $200 million in 2020 due to the coronavirus.

The Visiting Nurse Service of New York alone has home health losses crossing $27 million through July and touching $82 million in case the second wave of infection hits the country.

Bailey Bryant. (2020, June 22). Coronavirus Home Health Employment. Homehealthcare.com.


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