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Healthcare workforce too small, unprepared for aging baby boomers, IOM says

As the first of the nation's 78 million baby boomers begin reaching age 65 in 2011, they will face a healthcare workforce that is too small and woefully unprepared to meet their specific health needs, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

The report, Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce, calls for the immediate training of all healthcare providers in the basics of geriatric care. Medicare, Medicaid, and other health plans should pay higher rates to boost recruitment and retention of geriatric specialists and care aides, said the committee that wrote the report.

Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act introduced

U.S. Sens. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) have introduced legislation to protect dispute resolution options for residents of nursing homes. The measure is in response to the increasing practice of nursing home facilities requiring patients to agree to arbitration as the sole vehicle for dispute resolution prior to admittance to a facility.

“Forcing a family to choose between quality care and foregoing their rights within the judicial system is unfair and beyond the scope of the intent of arbitration laws,” said Martinez.

The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living has expressed its opposition to the bill, saying that the growing use of predispute agreements throughout the healthcare sector helps bring about more timely, less adversarial settlements.

Vermont study reveals that wages, health coverage, training are keys to retention

The number of Vermonters age 65 and older is expected to double between 2005 and 2030 while the direct-care workforce continues to decline. A new study funded by the Department of Disabilities analyzed survey responses from 1,700 direct-care workers in Vermont regarding wages, benefits, training, and career development.

The survey found, among other key findings, that only one-third of direct-care workers in Vermont receive health insurance coverage as an employment benefit. However, workers with employee-sponsored health coverage remain in their jobs an average of 2.5 years longer. It also found that only 42% of respondents received formal job training. Those caregivers who do receive professional training remain in their jobs significantly longer.

Do you see home- and community-based services as:

Reader comments:

In Idaho we have home- and community-based services that are a part of our funding for assisted living. If it wasn't for these extra funds to enhance our state Medicaid, we would not be able to care for any Medicaid clients as the pay rate would be horribly LOW! This also allows a resident to move from the skilled facility to assisted living and get great care!

We are in a small rural community. We all work together for the good of the members of our community.

Competitors and Partners…especially as pay for performance rolls out.


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