“Enough Pay to Stay” – A Home Care Workforce Initiative Kicks off Monday in NUrses Hall

Three of the largest trade associations representing 56,000 agency-based home care workers in Massachusetts have joined forces in an effort to assure that there will be a sufficient supply of home care workers in the Commonwealth to meet the needs of our aging population. Home Care Aides are #2 and Home Health Aides are #3 on the US Department of Labor’s list of the Fastest Growing Occupations in our nation between 2012 and 2022.

This new workforce initiative “Enough Pay To Stay,” sponsored by Mass Home Care, the Home Care Aide Council of Massachusetts, and the Home Care Alliance of MA , seeks an investment of $10.2 million to upgrade the rates paid for home care aides, home health aides, and care managers. These workers allow the elderly and disabled citizens to successfully  ‘age in place’ at home. The home care industry has suffered  from low wage/ high worker turnover for years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for a home care aide is $13.05, and the average home health aide makes $13.78  an hour. Turnover rates for these workers range from 20% to 60% annually. Rates paid by MassHealth to purchase home health aide services for some of the state’s have been frozen since 2007.These workers provide more than 2 million hours of care per year

The coalition is filing a budget request and new legislation for rate reform.

Here is the language for the budget request,  to be filed by Representative Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke):

“           9110-1635 For adjustments to rates and capitations for home and community based services provided through line items 9110-1500, 9110-1630,9110-1633, and 4000-0600; provided further that $2,766,000 shall be provided for an add on to established capitations  in the 9110-1633 and 9110-1500 accounts; provided further that $3,000,000 shall be provided for an adjustment to approved program rates issued under 1line item 9110-1630 to provide a rate add-on for wages, compensation and/or salary related costs for personnel providing homemaker and personal care homemaker services; and provided further that $4,500,000 shall be provided for adjusting rates for home health aide services funded through line item 4000-0600 for the purpose of providing Title XIX services.                                                                                   $10,266,000        

Join  us in  Nurses Hall at 11 or contact your local representative for support.

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