This article first appeared on: WDBJ7.com
Last March, WDBJ spoke with Curtis McCormick and his professional caregiver, Joyce Alexander, who works for AmeriCare Plus. Home health care workers like Joyce and many other companies like AmeriCare Plus are now facing a critical financial bind.
“I would say we’re in a crisis situation here in Virginia, not only with not enough caregivers,” said Bill Hurt, AmeriCare Plus’ VP of Operations, “but you’re also looking at providers, small business owners going out of business.”
The station goes on to report how AmeriCare Plus is struggling like many other businesses to find workers to hire. For every client, we need a caregiver.
“We have over 50 people that are on a waiting list within our company,” Hurt said. “We need right now over 50 caregivers to hire, and that’s just for AmeriCare Plus. And I know that all my friends that are in the industry as well, they’re in the same boat.”
Meanwhile, in Richmond, state legislators have raised the minimum wage but didn’t increase Medicaid payments to match. “We got a 92-cent reimbursement increase to compensate us for a $2.25 increase in the minimum wage,” according to Hurt.
It’s enough to drive as many as 70 companies out of the business. The providers hope the state will advance federal money already allocated for home health care to cover their costs retroactively to last May, allowing them to stay in business.
“What that would allow us to do is to pay a competitive wage to our caregivers to be able to, number one, retain the people we have and to, number two, attract more caregivers,” Hurt said.
Read the article in its entirety and watch the video interview here.