This year the fallout from the pandemic will continue to have a significant impact on the home healthcare and assisted living industry. Care continues to evolve as the aging population’s needs change, technology advances, and the quality of healthcare services improves. 

Let’s discuss what trends we can expect to see in this evolving industry:

Labor shortage woes continue 

Many businesses and industries have felt the impact of the labor shortage since the start of the pandemic. Specifically, unprecedented shortages occur across healthcare services and specialties as workers face pandemic burnout, low pay, and unsafe working conditions, prompting them to switch careers or opt for early retirement. 

The need for healthcare workers will continue to rise over the next five years. However, more than 6.5 million workers are expected to leave in that time frame. With the size of the workforce diminishing and less than 2 million workers to fill those roles, home healthcare patients could be left with fewer and less-qualified providers to choose from, leading family members to take on the role of caregiver.

More people will opt for home healthcare

We can expect to see patients shift to home care options amid rising hospital costs, the desire for greater convenience, and the rising hospital occupancy rates due to Covid. Patients can still receive a wide range of treatments at home at a lower cost than in a facility.

Technological advancements will change home healthcare

Innovative technological solutions have been a significant catalyst in expanding access to healthcare and improving operations. The digitalization of healthcare and home care technology enable people to receive various home healthcare services; including home assistance, private medical assistance, home healthcare workers, medical social services, and physical and speech therapy. 

The rise of technology solutions such as telehealth, telemonitoring, electronic visit verification, remote patient monitoring tools, and wearable technology continue to change the approach to home healthcare and accessibility for patients. Additionally, home healthcare companies will deploy software and other technologies to meet the changing demands of the industry, support compliance requirements, and automate back-office functions.

The growth of home care delivery models

Home care concepts like SNF-at-home (skilled-nursing-facility) and hospital-at-home became more common in 2021. That trend will continue. Hospitals use the hospital-at-home model to reduce readmission rates and provide better and more skilled care. Long-term illnesses, including cancer and chronic conditions, don’t require hospital care. By partnering with home care agencies, hospitals can provide patients with at-home care by combining telemedicine, digital medical devices, and more. 

As for SNF-at-home models, the pandemic influenced many elderly patients and their families to shift from facilities to at-home care. With the SNF-at-home model, home health care agencies will continue to form partnerships with home care workers to provide skilled and unskilled care to elderly patients at home.

The healthcare industry is constantly evolving. Risk Innovations and our team of specialized healthcare experts are here to navigate the best Workers’ Compensation options for your clients’ unique risks. Contact us to learn more and receive a quote.