In a recent NJBIZ article, New Jersey’s healthcare leaders weighed in on the policy and industry changes needed to bolster health care services for the elderly and persons who are homebound. Among these leaders were Chrissy Buteas, CEO and President of the Home Care & Hospice Association of New Jersey, Linda Schwimmer, CEO and President of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and Dr. Steven Landers, CEO and President of VNA Health Group.
Many providers and professionals agree the elderly and homebound see the greatest benefit when aging in the comfort of their own home compared to that of a nursing home. Yet challenges persist for health care providers along with uncertainty around anticipated changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Dr. Landers emphasized the importance of specialized training for health care workers who care for seniors. Often, medical or nursing schools don’t require training in the unique needs of a geriatric population. In addition, “under cost” reimbursement rates by insurers including Medicare, make it difficult for many home-based care organizations to attract quality workers.
“The frontline, elder care workforce and the specialized workforce needs to be enhanced,” Landers told NJBIZ. “We need more people with knowledge, skills and training in geriatric care.”
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