The home health care industry is growing rapidly, thanks in part to the aging baby boomer population, and their strong desire to “age in place” as long as possible. But while the customer base for home health care is growing, staffing in that sector has had a difficult time matching the demand. According to a recent survey from CareerCast, home health care jobs are among the top ten toughest jobs to fill in 2018. The position of home health aide is the fourth toughest position, and personal care aides are eighth. Without enough skilled workers to fill positions, home health care providers are finding themselves understaffed and struggling to keep up with the increasing demand.

Not Likely to Slow Down

While the industry is already feeling the shortage, the demand is only expected to grow more over the next eight years. Home health aide jobs are forecasted to grow by at least 47% and personal care aide demand is expected to increase by about 39%. That translates to almost over a million new positions in both fields combined, in less than a decade’s time, according to CareerCast’s findings using data from trade and professional associations as well as the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Turnover Rates Keep Increasing

To add to the struggle, home care workers have a high turnover rate. The most recent numbers were assessed by the 9th Annual Edition of the Home Care Benchmarking Study by Home Care Pulse. In 2017, the median caregiver turnover rate was 66.7% – the highest rate since 2013. The majority of caregivers who leave the industry usually do so within the first three months of employment, quickly realizing that the job is not right for them for one reason or another, whether that reason be the long hours, the difficult work, or the often emotional nature of the job.

Addressing the Liabilities

While home health care companies are working to grow awareness about opportunities in the field, they also have to work to address the added liabilities that come with the worker shortage and turnover issues:

  • Employment practices liability. With high turnover comes added risk. Whether it’s from a disgruntled employee who has been let go, or an applicant who is upset that they weren’t offered a position, employment practices may come into question. Unfortunately, even false claims can be costly for employers.
  • Employee liabilities. Being understaffed or having an abundance of new and inexperienced employees can lead to some risks, some of the most common being errors & omissions, negligence or sexual misconduct.
  • Cyber liability. Increased use of technology is another way that home health care companies are trying to address the worker shortage and better streamline their services. However, mobile devices are the most prone to data breaches, adding another level of liability.

About Highland Risk Services

At Highland Risk, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.