New online tool calls out the best and worst cases of carer and support provider policies – The News

A home caregiver helps an elderly woman walk home
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The top five states for direct care workers are Washington (No. 1), Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., Maine and New Jersey, while the states with the “greatest chance for improvement” are Texas (No. 51), Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and North Carolina.

This is according to a new online tool, namely Direct care workforce status index, launched by PHI to share a picture of how state public policies support direct care workers — and where they can improve. The data-driven interactive tool shows how countries’ public policies support direct care workers and how these workers fare financially.

Users can rank and compare states based on policies enacted to support workers – including wags, training requirements, Medicaid expansion, paid time off, “right to work” laws, LGBTQ+ protections and earned income tax credits nationwide. The ranking also examines the economic status of the nation’s 4.7 million direct care workers—residential care aides, nursing aides, and home care workers—by median wage, wage competitiveness, median annual personal income, poverty, affordable housing, and coverage. Health insurance.

Kezia Scales, PhD, vice president of research and evaluation at PHI, said the index provides “much needed analysis” for state and national leaders.

“This indicator is the beginning of a vital country-by-state assessment of direct care workforce policy issues, and we hope to continue to develop it over time to ensure it benefits everyone,” Scales said.

Advocates work with states to improve job quality

said Elise Meyer, vice president of advocacy at Seniors of Texas McKnight Senior Lives She is optimistic that the Texas legislature will do so Determine policy priorities that support the long-term care workforce in this session. Texas ranks last in the index.

“The shortage of long-term care workers, which was already increasing, has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Meyer said. “Our organization supports several proposals to help strengthen the long-term care workforce, including helping to pay off student loans and increasing Medicaid funding to improve employee pay and benefits in nursing homes.”

Georgia Health Care Association/Georgia Center for Living Aid, director of communications, Devon Burrell said McKnight Senior Lives That the association recognizes the “urgent need” for policymakers, regulators, service providers and advocates to engage in “intentional dialogue and efforts to confront the workforce crisis that threatens the survival of our healthcare infrastructure and access to care.” The Peach State ranked 46th on the index.

“We owe it to these workers and the vulnerable individuals they serve to do the hard work of designing policies and payment systems that ensure an efficient workforce that benefits from a good work-life balance,” Burrell said. McKnight Senior Lives.

Calling the direct care workforce “essential to the delivery of care,” Burrell said the association looks forward to working with state legislators to increase the available pool of health care workers and ensure caregivers have the resources to recruit and retain additional caregivers. At the federal level, the GHCA has implored lawmakers to balance staffing and workforce recommendations or requirements with funding resources.

While Maine comes in at number four on the list, Angela Westhoff, president and CEO of the Maine Health Care Association, said, McKnight Senior Lives Many facilities are still “severely understaffed”.

“The PHI study indicates that similarly skilled jobs in other industries pay nearly $2 more per hour, on average, than our direct care workers,” Westhoff said. “These caregivers are essential to the health care system, and we need more funding to close the wage gap and address workforce shortages.”

Increased demand means more open jobs

PHI estimates that the long-term care sector will need to fill 7.9 million direct care jobs between 2020 and 2030 – including new jobs created by growing demand, as well as filling vacancies left when workers exit the workforce or move on to other jobs. .

The World Health Organization said workers often leave the field because direct care jobs “impoverish workers” and provide poor quality jobs. The index provides data and information on successful initiatives adopted by some countries to help policy makers and other stakeholders improve direct care functions.

“States are critical actors in job quality for direct care workers, and we hope that this new online tool will provide state leaders with insightful data and information to improve these jobs for the benefit of workers, consumers and employers,” PHI President and CEO Jodi M. Sturgeon said.

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