Value. Quality. Innovation.

Sign Up for Updates:

News Roundup: September 16, 2013

Home Care Sector Grabs 30% of August Health Care Job Growth

Published by Home Health Care News
Alyssa Gerace
September 10, 2013

The home health sector accounted for nearly a third of all health care job growth in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent jobs report.

Since 2012, home health has contributed more than 93,000 new jobs to the U.S. economy, with 9,500 added in August. That represents more than 30% of the 32,700 total health care jobs reported for August.

Home health job creation is outpacing other health care sectors, including hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. In August, skilled nursing facilities added 3,400 jobs while hospitals gained 900.

Despite its contributions to job growth and similar trends expected in the years to come as the boomers age, the home health industry faces some headwinds.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed rebasing the industry’s reimbursements by 14% in the next four years. If this proposed rule is finalized in its current form, the national average home health margin Medicare margin would drop to negative 9.77%, according to a trade group for the industry.

“The August jobs report underscores the value home health brings to the American healthcare system. Our community remains highly concerned that proposed cuts to Medicare home health will stifle job growth, while also limiting patient access to the home-based health services our nation’s seniors demand,” said Eric Berger, CEO of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. “To ensure much-needed healthcare jobs and patient care are not at risk, we encourage CMS to conduct a more thorough multi-year analyses of the proposed rule and its impact on a healthcare sector that is poised to support job and economic growth.”

Healthcare job growth is bright spot in lackluster August jobs report

Published by Healthcare Finance News
Stephanie Bouchard
September 6, 2013

While U.S. job growth was less than economists expected in August – increasing by 169,000 – the healthcare sector remained a bright spot, adding 32,700 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report issued today.

In the healthcare sector, ambulatory healthcare services had the most growth, with 26,600 added jobs. Hospitals saw the least growth, adding only 900 jobs in August. Home healthcare services and nursing and residential care facilities continued to be solid, adding 9,500 jobs and 5,200 respectively.

Job gains were made in professional and business services (over 23,000), food services and drinking places (over 21,000) and retail trade (44,000). The information sector lost 18,000 jobs, mostly impacted by a loss of 22,200 jobs in the motion picture and sound recording industries.

Even though overall nonfarm payroll job growth was not as strong as hoped, the unemployment rate remained basically unchanged at 7.3 percent.

The labor department also reported that its employment numbers from June and July were revised. June’s number, reported at 188,000, was adjusted to 172,000 and July’s 162,000 was adjusted to 104,000, for a combined 74,000 less than reported.

The effect of today’s lackluster jobs report on whether the Federal Reserve will scale back its stimulus measures is unknown, reported the national news media Friday morning. The Fed will be meeting Sept. 17-18 and expectations have been that federal officials would scale back on some of the measures it has been using to keep interest rates low and boost growth.