One of the fastest growing sectors of the medical industry is that of home health careers. There are many reasons for this growth, but most important are:
- The number of aging and infirm citizens in the country.
- The lower cost of care in relation to hospitals and long-term care facilities.
- The fact health providers consider home care to be the most humane and compassionate form of care.
Because of the rapid growth in this category of health care, a variety of employment opportunities have become available. Many hospitals are turning to home health as a method to recapture revenue that would be otherwise lost. Despite the efforts of hospitals to enter the home care market, private companies dominate home health. Since these are primarily businesses that have not been in existence for long, they need to hire not only for in-home providers but also for support and administrative positions.
The future demand for home care will be staggering. In 1997, over 22.4 million households provided home care to a loved one over 50. Over time, this drain on physical and emotional resources will result in a desire for outside help in the home. Additionally, Medicare funding of short-term home health care is projected to more than double by 2020. Meanwhile, workers employed in the home health career field actually dropped by 29,000 in 2018. The projected employment outlook for just home health aides leads all medical job categories at a whopping 66.8%!
One may think the vast majority of home health careers are lower paying aide jobs. Fortunately, this is not the case. As previously mentioned, private home health companies will need to increase their administrative and support positions like medical coders, accounting and billing, medical secretaries, nurse managers, shift schedules, information technology, and marketing. Working for a home health company doesn’t necessarily dictate providing direct patient care.
Even among the patient care positions, there is a lot of variety. Though patient care is primarily provided by lower-paid home health aides; as demand increases, wages are expected to rise. There are also a lot of opportunities for CNAs, LPNs and registered nurses (RNs). Some patients only require short-term care – a few hours a day, or for a fixed period of time. Others require long-term care – 24/7 for the rest of their lives.
The bottom line is, there are a lot of employment opportunities in the field of home health careers. The best paying jobs will be those that require some post-secondary training. There is also a lot of variety of work needed, not all employees will provide patient care. If you want a solid future, in one of the most stable industries in the country, studying to be part of the home healthcare market is a wise choice.