The Legislature Gives Underpaid Home Care Workers Some Long-Overdue Relief | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Legislature Gives Underpaid Home Care Workers Some Long-Overdue Relief

Posted by on Fri, Aug 11, 2017 at 4:19 PM

Workers who provide home care for seniors in North Carolina do a grueling, difficult job, and they’ve been doing it for very low pay for a long time.

In a little-noticed provision in the budget approved by the General Assembly—over Governor Cooper’s veto—they’ll get some relief. The budget increases the Medicaid reimbursement rate for in-home care services from $13.88 to $15.60 per hour.

Allen Freyer, director of the Workers’ Rights Project at the NC Justice Center, says this is a good first step. While the Medicaid reimbursement is paid out to the workers’ employer, Freyer says he’s confident that much of the increase will end up in workers’ pockets.

Bill Lamb, executive director of the nonprofit Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care, says low wages create huge turnover for providers, causing staffing problems that directly affect the quality of care seniors receive.

“When you can get more money turning over hamburgers at McDonald’s than you can turning people over in a bed, you’ve got a problem,” Lamb says.

According to an NC Justice Center report, the national average Medicaid reimbursement for home care is $18.82.

Representative Josh Dobson, a Republican from McDowell County, led the effort to get the increase. He says it was long overdue, with some caregivers who have been working for the same rates they had been getting before the Great Recession.

Dobson says that while the increase is still short of what is needed—by 2050, North Carolina will have more than 2.8 million residents over sixty-five— he’s optimistic that North Carolina will get there soon.
Lamb says nearly every older adult would prefer to stay at home as long as possible, as opposed to moving to a nursing facility. Home care, he points out, costs about half as much as a nursing home per year.

“Almost everyone will say their preference is to stay at home for as long as they can. Home care allows them to do that,” Lamb says.

Tags: , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

I just wish some of these people who are so "russia, russia, russia", crazy. Cared about russia when they took …

by Timothy Oswald on Here's What North Carolina's Representatives in Congress Think of Trump's Performance at Putin Summit (News)

Pretty sad world we live in when a briefcase is more important than your child.

by Scott Gurtel on Pro tip: To avoid leaving child in car, put important briefcase in backseat next to less-important kid (News)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

I just wish some of these people who are so "russia, russia, russia", crazy. Cared about russia when they took …

by Timothy Oswald on Here's What North Carolina's Representatives in Congress Think of Trump's Performance at Putin Summit (News)

Pretty sad world we live in when a briefcase is more important than your child.

by Scott Gurtel on Pro tip: To avoid leaving child in car, put important briefcase in backseat next to less-important kid (News)

AS long as the hog industry is polluting the poor neighborhoods it is ok...according to the idiot republicans...and they are …

by Tony Dockery on The NCGA Wants to Give Hog Farms Carte Blanche to Spray Pig Crap Wherever They Want, Neighbors Be Damned (News)

I agree with the post by forourgirls. If you watch the video, you are stunned by the number of times …

by localteacher on Montessori School of Raleigh Directress Says She Was Fired for Talking to the Cops About Sexual Abuse at the School (News)

CT, first, I find it interesting that you're the only one here hiding behind your initials. Do you work for …

by Beckie Moriello on Raleigh Immigration Attorney Gets $2,510 Fine for Texting in Court (News)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation