Home Healthcare Contributes to America's Job Creation as Need for Patient-Preferred Home-Based Care Increases

May 11, 2012
Contact: Emily White

Home Healthcare Contributes to America's Job Creation as Need for Patient-Preferred Home-Based Care Increases

April job growth numbers reflect increased need for skilled home healthcare services as thousands of jobs are added to the sector

WASHINGTON, DC - A Department of Labor (DOL) report released last week signaled that 19,000 American jobs were added in April, primarily resulting from 15,000 new jobs in the ambulatory care field, which includes the home healthcare sector. This news comes at a critical time as the economy and American job creation remain a top priority for all lawmakers.

As Americans are living longer lives, their need for healthcare services is increasing. Currently, there are nearly 78 million Baby Boomers in America, a population that experts anticipate will experience increased need for health services due to age and chronic disease.

The home healthcare community is dedicated to meeting this challenge, according to the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare, a national coalition representing more than 1,500 community- and hospital-based skilled home healthcare agencies. Today, approximately 500,000 home healthcare professionals provide treatment to 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries for illnesses related to acute, chronic and rehabilitative needs.

"The nation's healthcare system is responding to America's evolving healthcare needs by generating thousands of jobs. The home health community is proud to be part of the solution our national economy needs by supplying many of these jobs," stated Senator John Breaux, senior counsel to the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. "Home healthcare jobs are meeting the needs of America's aging population and helping our economy as a whole."

One of the fastest growing age groups in the country are those over 85, a group that is expected to reach 19 million Americans by 2050. It is well-documented that an overwhelming majority of seniors prefer to receive care in their own homes. As a result, the growing population of American seniors is driving the creation of new jobs in the home healthcare sector. Over the next decade, home health employment is expected to grow by sixty nine percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth rate is much faster compared with other occupations.

According to a new analysis by PHI, direct care workers, which include home health aides, will make up the United State's largest workforce by 2020 with 1.6 million caregiving jobs added from 2010 to 2020. The total number of workers is expected to reach five million by the end of this decade. Direct care workers in home and community based settings are also predicted to outnumber long-term care facility workers by more than two to one by 2020.

"The home healthcare sector's impact on our nation's economy is not limited to job creation," added Chairman Billy Tauzin, senior counsel to the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. "We are providing skilled healthcare services in one of the lowest-cost settings available, generating significant savings by keeping patients out of expensive in-patient settings. This positive trend will only continue as we work toward improving home healthcare on behalf of America's seniors, healthcare professionals and taxpayers."

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