Home-Based Care Leaders Report Worsening Staffing Trends

The current staffing climate in home-based care continues to be a headwind as burnout and high turnover rates persist in the industry.

That was one of the main takeaways from a recent survey conducted by SimiTree and Home Health Care News, which aimed to learn how home-based care providers are mitigating recruitment and retention challenges.

“In today’s dynamic health care environment, the challenges of recruiting and retaining skilled staff are more complex than ever,” Nick Seabrook, managing principal and SVP of consulting at SimiTree, wrote in the survey. “Eye-opening responses in this survey reveal a bleak view — but there are operational strategies providers can employ to help.”


The survey collected responses from 152 C-suite leaders, directors or vice presidents at organizations that provide home-based care.

One of the most alarming findings was that on a scale of 1-10 — with 10 being the most challenging — respondents rated the current staffing climate in home-based care as an 8.


“This emphasizes the urgency to address these concerns to ensure uninterrupted, high-quality patient care,” Seabrook said.

Staffing challenges are not new to home-based care. However, seeing those issues persist while providers struggle in other areas — such as with reimbursement and regulatorychallenges — is something to keep an eye on.

Nearly half of respondents — 41% — indicated that their outlook on home-based care staffing has worsened to some degree in the last six months.

Most leaders said their use of contracted work has not changed or has decreased recently, which is a promising sign.

Another promising sign is that operational strategies exist, ones that can improve recruitment and retention. For instance, less than 50% of respondents indicated that their organization has official and robust case conferencing programs and processes in place to support their mounting workloads.

Of those that have those programs in place, 52% said their case conferencing team meets weekly. There is a huge opportunity for providers to not only implement these programs, but to apply more face-to-face opportunities with their staff.

Although those additions will take some sort of investment, providers are slowly coming around to the idea of case conferencing programs and similar strategies.

Meanwhile, providers are narrowing in on a few key initiatives to improve staffing conditions. The top three ways leaders are doing that is with improved flexibility and scheduling, retention bonuses and performance bonuses.

“This survey is not just a collection of data,” Seabrook said. “It’s a crucial compass providing insight into the current landscape and guiding us toward a future of enhanced care and operational excellence.”

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