As the home care industry continues to expand and evolve, new trends are emerging in 2023 that will shape the landscape of caregiving services:
1. Caregiver-Client Poaching Will Pick Up. The phenomenon of caregivers departing from home care agencies to work directly for clients, often seeking more stable hours or higher pay, has been an ongoing trend in the industry. Unfortunately, HHCN predicts that this trend will further continue in 2023. Home care providers will need to consistently invest in programs aimed at maintaining their workforce to protect themselves against this trend. This includes initiatives such as training programs, rewards systems, and other incentives. While clients may be able to offer competitive wages, they will find it challenging to match the wide range of employment benefits that agencies can provide.
2. Home Care Providers Will Be Forced to Choose a Lane. Given the high cost of care, home care agencies will be faced with a critical decision. They will need to choose between two options: targeting affluent clients and focusing on private-pay business exclusively, or diversifying their revenue streams by expanding into Medicaid, Medicare Advantage (MA), or other alternative payment methods.
3. Bill Rates Will Level Off. After years of steady growth, bill rates in the home care industry will likely stabilize in 2023. Factors such as increased competition, regulatory changes, and improved cost-management strategies by providers can contribute to this leveling off.
4. Franchise-System Tensions Will Intensify. The dynamics within the industry are evolving which has caused differing opinions on how to manage operations accordingly. In 2023, there will likely be a continued emphasis on aspects such as Medicare Advantage (MA) business and the integration of technology. However, this push will also face increased resistance.
5. More Home Care Franchise Companies Will Embrace Company-Owned Locations. In recent years, several home care franchise companies have adopted a strategy of incorporating company-owned locations into their operations. These locations serve various purposes to enhance the overall functioning of the organization. As franchise-system tensions intensify and companies seek to adopt forward-thinking strategies and technologies, more companies will probably choose the path of establishing company-owned locations.
6. Ownership Pipelines for Caregivers Will Become More Common. The concept of “elevating the caregiver” has been a well-established notion in personal home care. It suggests that by providing caregivers with a clear path for career progression, they will be more inclined to remain with a company for a longer term. To address the caregiver shortage and improve retention, home care agencies will develop ownership pipelines in 2023. These programs will provide career advancement opportunities for caregivers. Such initiatives will boost caregiver motivation and loyalty while enhancing the overall quality of care.
7. Care Coordination Takes Precedent for Larger Providers. Home care providers are confident in their ability to expand their range of services within the home. Agency executives have expressed their readiness to take on additional responsibilities, and the pandemic has presented opportunities for such growth. As home care owners now have a more prominent role in the healthcare industry compared to pre-pandemic times, they will be able to utilize their expertise in providing care at home to collaborate with other healthcare partners.
8. Senior-Focused In-Home Care Startups Will Scale Back. Before 2020, there was a growing momentum behind home-based care, but the COVID-19 pandemic increased this trend significantly. The healthcare system in the United States shifted its focus towards providing care in the home which led to increased investor interest in senior-focused in-home care startups. However, in 2023, some of these startups will need to scale back their operations due to economic uncertainty and a more cautious approach from investors. This may involve revising growth targets or downsizing their activities.
The home care industry is undergoing significant transformations in 2023. Embracing these trends and effectively addressing the challenges and opportunities they present will allow home care providers to enhance the quality of care, improve client outcomes, and strengthen their position in the market.
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