It’s a refrain that seems to be playing over and over as of late; states are beginning to grapple with a serious shortage of in home care providers. In some states, especially in more rural regions, there’s a shortage of home care aides, men and women who assist seniors and disabled adults with a variety of basic tasks. In other parts of the country, there aren’t enough visiting nurses available to provide the care and support those in need require.
Indiana is the latest state to be dealing with a major shortage of in home health care providers, and it’s beginning to have some significant consequences. One particular family faced a major hurdle when they were finally able to take their newborn home, who was born at 25 weeks, after eight months in the hospital. When they began searching for visiting nurses, they claimed they couldn’t find help easily. In fact, they contacted 32 agencies across the state and even made flyers.
They eventually found a visiting nurse who could stop by two days a week, but this family said that isn’t nearly enough.
According to FOX 59, in the news blog, State faces shortage of home health care nurses, written by Haley Bull:
“An agency that’s a member of ours has received several referrals from Riley Hospital a week that they can’t staff and so these kids are left in the NICU,” said Evan Reinhardt, executive director of the Indiana Association for Home and Hospice Care.
Reinhardt said the state is facing a shortage of home health care nurses, while the demand keeps increasing with an aging population.
“It’s severe enough that I think within the next 2-3 years you’re gonna see some dire, dire needs for nursing that are gonna go unfulfilled,” he said.
Reinhardt said it boils down to workforce issues and pay. It’s one reason that drove Matthew’s father, Tom Kaboski, to the the Statehouse Wednesday to help raise awareness.”
Currently, there are several issues at play, including home care agencies having access to medically trained and properly certified nurses and reimbursement rates through Medicaid. If reimbursement rates are too low and agencies and providers are unable to pay proper fair wages, attracting more nurses will remain a challenge.
Currently, a bill is circulating through the legislature aimed to increase reimbursement, but with budget challenges and continued cuts at the federal level, it’s unclear if this measure will be enough to ease the impending crisis.