Home health care shows strongest job growth in healthcare sector, May data show

Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare expresses concern about CMS rebasing requirements under health reform law

WASHINGTON — Most of the growth in jobs in the healthcare sector comes from home health care, according to data released this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The BLS data found that of the 11,000 or more healthcare jobs added in May, 7,000 were in home health care, while the other 4,000 were in the outpatient care field. Still, leaders in the home health industry have expressed concern about possible policy threats, such as Medicare rebasing. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are directed to rebase home health payments between 2014 and 2017, and analyses have indicated that the current trajectory of Medicare home health reimbursements could produce negative margins in 10 states by 2017, according to the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare, an advocacy organization.

"As the ACA implementation process continues, we urge CMS to carefully consider the important role home health has in the nation's ongoing employment recovery and the economic state of our sector under current law," PQHH CEO Eric Berger said. "Home health care not only provides vital and cost-effective services to nearly 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries; it is creating thousands of quality jobs for healthcare professionals."

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