April 21, 2021, Steve Monroe, The SeniorCare Investor - The move toward more home health is upon us, and it is time for providers to engage. If President Biden’s $2.1 trillion “stimulus” bill goes through, you all have heard about that $400 billion for home and community-based services. Not $400 million, but billion. When nearly 20% of a so-called stimulus package is going towards home and community-based care, well, forgive me for getting nervous.
It is the progressive political/academic/union complex trying to make a major change in care for the elderly, but with borrowed federal funds. We know that Medicaid doesn’t work well for most nursing homes, and that most assisted living providers want to remain private pay. That means there is a big gap.
Look, we know that the majority of elders want to stay in their homes as long as they can. But most people currently living in nursing homes need more care than what can be provided in their homes at a reasonable cost. And provided safely.
The pandemic has really pushed up home health volumes as well as values. But when the problems with care and elder abuse start growing, don’t expect the media to focus on it like it does with long-term care facilities. They will not want to go against the “progressive complex.”
I don’t think home health is the answer for the elderly, but I do think that senior care providers need to start thinking about getting into the business to have some influence over their customers’ choices. For assisted living providers, home health is their biggest competitor. So, if you can’t beat them, join them, even though Brookdale went the other way.