West Virginia to Use Federal Funds for Home Health Care Workers
The West Virginia Department of Health, along with Governor Jim Justice, recently announced that the state’s Medicaid program will be using federal funds to increase wages and benefits for its home health care workers. Not only will the funds be used to address staffing shortages and retain current workers, but it will also help to provide necessary care for both senior citizens and individuals living with disabilities in West Virginia.
Government and health care leaders of The Mountain State are making great efforts in confronting a growing issue within the home health care industry: the current health care worker shortage. West Virginia is a great example of how other states across the country can make a significant difference in the quality of care their citizens are receiving. Direct Care Innovations invites you to take a look at three benefits West Virginia may see as a result of this critical decision.
1. Taking Advantage of Federal Funds
Federal funding can play a big part in supporting our nation’s medical system. Without these additional resources, some states would be limited in the type of care they can provide. Access to new technologies, advanced training, and continuing education can typically be utilized with these types of available funding. Underserved communities can also receive the quality of care they need to address physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities.
2. Retaining Health Care Workers
In West Virginia’s particular plan, 85% of the available $240 million will be used to increase wages and benefits for health care workers and direct support professionals (DSPs). An influx of funding like this will help bridge the wage gap by increasing salaries to a reasonable standard of living. Some home health care workers only work part-time and less than 50% of DSPs have employer-sponsored health care coverage. In order to support their families, they may seek work elsewhere, even if they enjoy the work they do.
3. Providing High-Quality Care
Raising benefits and wages for health care workers can have a positive impact on productivity, efficiency, and overall performance. This directly influences and increases the standard of care provided by health care staff and DSPs. Plus, by increasing benefits, DSPs can take the time off they need to care for sick family members and worry less about how they’re going to cover medical bills or save for retirement. The job of a home health care worker is demanding. Providing them with higher wages and benefits will definitely help.
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Source: “Funding Set Aside for Increased Wages, Benefits for Home Health Care Workers.” Web article. Metro News. West Virginia Metro News Network, 11 Sep. 2022. Web. 01 Dec. 2022.