Home health care therapists saw a slight bump in salary from 2016 to 2017, according to a recent report from Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service (HCS), a national health care and salary and benefits research firm. The increase spelled “good news” for the sector, according to Rosanne Zabka, director of reports at HCS.
For the Rehabilitation Salary & Benefits Report 2017-2018, HCS received data for salaries and benefits for various therapy positions from 541 home health care agencies nationwide. The study looked at salary and benefits for 19 total therapy positions across long-term care, hospitals and home health.
Surprisingly, home health physical therapists were paid more that therapists in a hospital setting, according to the report.
“In general, hospital hourly therapy employees are paid the lowest of the three [sectors],” Zabka told Home Health Care News. “One usually thinks of hospitals as the top of the pay tier.”
Home Health Therapist Salaries
The report found national averages for various home health positions based on the reporting agencies’ data. Here are the highest salaries, annually and hourly, not including bonuses:
—Director of Rehab (physical therapy) $105,808
—Director of Rehab (all disciplines) $98,485
—Physical Therapist $45.32/hour
—Speech Language Pathologist $43.47
—Occupational Therapist $42.38
—Physical Therapist Assistant $31.08/hour
—Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant $30.92/hour
A physical therapist in home health had an average salary of $46.16 per hour as of June 2017, with an average bonus of $781. As a percentage of salary, the average bonus represented just 0.81%.
For a speech language pathologist (SLP), the average hourly salary was $41.52 with an average bonus of $671. The average bonus was 0.78% of salary.
Home health therapists saw a salary increase above 2.3% for all positions, including staff therapists and directors for physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT) and SLP, from July 2016 to June 2017.
“Home health management jobs receive higher pay than long-term care management employees,” Zabka said. “Hourly rates for home health rehab employees are higher than long-term care. Home health also pays a higher percent of health premiums, with this year’s Report showing 77.86% of the premium paid by the facility, with long-term care paying 68.29%.”
Looking ahead, salary increases were expected to accelerate at an even faster pace, with planned increases in pay above 2.5% for July 2017 through June 2018.
Of the reporting agencies in the report, home health therapists showed the lowest hourly rate in Pennsylvania, at $41.18 per hour at the 50th percentile of salaries. Georgia reported the highest hourly wage, at $53.67 in the 50th percentile.
Georgia also reported the highest hourly salary for occupational therapist, at $52. The lowest reported salary was again in Pennsylvania, at $35.24.
For a speech language pathologist, the highest reported salary was $51.25 per hour in California; the lowest was $35.59 in Michigan.
Written by Amy Baxter