3 Surprising Stats That Show How Last Year Changed Home Care

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2020 will go down in history as the year that changed everything – and as we’ve continued to explore the data, that’s become even more evident. 

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2020 will go down in history as the year that changed everything – and as we’ve continued to explore the data, that’s become even more evident.

In the 12th annual edition of the Home Care Benchmarking Study, we found some eye-opening statistics that will help your agency navigate the waters and make more data-driven decisions moving forward.

Here are a few of the ways that home care has changed over the past year.

#1: There’s been a major increase in demand for services since the start of the pandemic.

By the numbers: 37% of agencies reported a slight increase in demand, and 25% said they had a significant increase in demand.

You’ve probably heard us say this before, but now we have the data to prove it: despite the challenges we’ve faced over the past year, it’s a great time to be in home care.

COVID-19 has truly shined a spotlight on home-based care. With more than half of agencies reporting that demand has increased, it’s clear that people are becoming more aware of the option for home care and placing more emphasis on the safety it can provide.

With many clients being in the high-risk category, in-home care provides a safer option than living or being treated in a facility. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been known to be less effective at minimizing the spread of infection, which is why home care has thrived over the past year.

As high-risk individuals continue to receive their vaccinations, more people are becoming aware of home-based care. It’s become less about continuing to avoid COVID-19 altogether, and more about having options.

demand for services

 In correlation with the demand increase, home care agencies across the country are also seeing an increase in revenue.  Median revenue for home care agencies increased from $1,815,000 in 2019 to $1,958,000 in 2020. While actual billable hours went down a little bit last year, rates increased so much that it more than made up for the loss in hours.

#2: Recruitment and retention programs have become a primary focus for many home care agencies.

In gathering data for the 2021 Home Care Benchmarking Study, we asked home care providers to list the top threats they faced in 2020. More agencies listed caregiver shortages as an extreme threat to their business than ever before. The difference between 2019 and 2020 was 7.4%.

threats

With caregiver shortages and caregiver retention going hand-in-hand, shortages became more of a distinct problem this year as the overall number of available caregivers went down. With the increase in unemployment benefits, the fear of contracting COVID-19, and other related issues, many caregivers and employees refrained from accepting or going back to their agency positions.

It’s probably not a surprise that this was an increasing issue since most industries faced similar challenges, but with the already present staffing challenges in home care, COVID-19 only made it that much more difficult.

Because of recruitment challenges, many agencies have shifted their focus. Caregiver recruitment and retention initiatives have become a stronger growth opportunity (hence the emphasis being placed on these areas), whereas marketing, and securing referral partnerships, have become less of a priority.

Some of the areas within recruitment and retention that have been given more focus over the past year include:

It’s also important to note that the average agency spent an additional 5% of its entire revenue on caregiver wage expenses last year. Although increasing caregiver salaries and providing more benefits might have had a significant impact on expenses, it was also part of the reason that the caregiver turnover rate remained so steady at 65.2% (which is up less than 1% from 2019).

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With caregiver shortages being an ongoing threat, agencies must continue to invest in differentiating themselves as employers to attract and retain key employees.

#3: Caregiver satisfaction is at an all-time high.

This has been a hot topic over the past year and now it’s official – caregivers were happier with their jobs in 2020 than any other time in the past 13+ years we’ve been tracking satisfaction.

satisfaction

The home care industry has faced an abundance of challenges over the last year; regardless, it’s understandable why this number went up. With increased communication, a stronger focus on recruitment and retention, and society recognizing healthcare workers as “heroes,” caregivers are feeling happier in their roles.

We’ve also heard that caregivers are feeling more fulfilled when they can help patients during such a critical time. Home care services are especially important during this time and clients/their families are more grateful than ever.

The 2021 Home Care Benchmarking Study and beyond

With mask mandates being lifted across the country and continuing vaccination efforts pushing us closer to herd immunity, it’s apparent that we’re on an upward trajectory from the impacts of COVID-19. As 2020 has made us aware, home care is a resilient industry, and with these changes, it’s only going to continue to get better as time progresses.

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While we’ve only covered a small number of trends we’ve seen over the past year, there’s a lot more where that came from. In the 2021 Home Care Benchmarking Study, we also found some surprising statistics in relation to caregiver turnover rates, median revenue per caregiver orientation and training hours, caregiver wage expenses, and more.

From the data collected in the 2021 Home Care Benchmarking Study, we’ve seen both, the good and bad impacts of the pandemic. Now, it’s about taking that data and acting on it.

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