Sponsored: Philadelphia Insurance Companies

Capitalizing on the Fast-growing Home Health Care Market

With an ever-aging population and labor gap, the home health care market is fraught with challenge, but utilizing the right people and technology will give way to opportunity.
By: | March 1, 2022

The home health care industry is set to undergo exponential growth over the next decade.

Accounting for a range of medical services provided at home for an injury or illness, the market is expected to peak at almost $150 billion by 2028, growing from a base of $85 billion in 2020. That spike in growth will be primarily driven by an aging population, with, on average, 10,000 people forecast to turn 65 every day over the next 30 years.

Added to that, 85-plus is the fastest-growing age segment as people live longer thanks to the latest advances in medicine and technology.

This population is more prone to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiac ailments, mental disease and incontinence, and therefore can require constant monitoring. The vast majority also require care or assistance, whether it’s being looked after, help getting around the home, doing the chores or just companionship.

The growing need for respiratory and infusion therapy service is further boosting demand. Then there are seniors, whose families and relatives live far away, who need assistance closer to home.

What all these groups have in common is they want affordable and accessible health care. This presents both huge challenges and opportunities for health care providers and insurers.

Labor and Skills Shortage

Tony Canci, Home Healthcare and Hospice Product Manager at Philadelphia Insurance Companies

The biggest challenge is a labor shortage, created by the rise in demand for home health care services. It has merely been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, with many workers in the sector resigning and moving to better paid and less stressful jobs, stretching resources even further.

Then there’s the problem of attracting skilled and qualified professionals to the post in the first place, as it’s notoriously lowly paid and long, unsociable hours. There’s also a big turnover of employees.

To address the issue, employers need to make the role a more appealing proposition. But they must balance this with finding the best fit for the job by carrying out behavioral assessment tests such as the Caliper Profile and asking pointed questions during the interview process.

“People go into the profession not for the money, but because they find the job rewarding,” said Tony Canci, Home Healthcare and Hospice Product Manager at Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY). “It’s about finding the right talent but also those people who are going to stay in the job long-term.”

Once that individual is in the job, employers need to ensure they receive the right level of training and support for their career development. That training should also equip workers with invaluable sector-specific skills, including recognizing signs of common conditions in older patients such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and diabetes.

Rising Health Care Costs

Another problem is the rising cost of health care and disparity of government funding for schemes such as Medicare and Medicaid between different states. That cost has been driven up by the additional expense of personal protective equipment needed by workers going into people’s homes and working in nursing homes to treat patients during the pandemic.

At the same time there’s pressure on the minimum wage to be increased as the cost of living continues to rise. Then there are the other costs associated with running a nursing home such as energy bills and building maintenance.

One way to reduce the overall expense is to move to a home-based care model. It costs significantly less than facility-based care and is preferable as most people want to continue to live at home into their old age.

“That in turn would help to cut the number of patients ending up in hospital or nursing homes, thus reducing health care expenditures,” said Canci. “To achieve this, the home health care industry needs to continue advocating for more funds to be allocated to in-home care.”

As the patient gets older, so the chances of them suffering from illness or injury also increase. Among the biggest risks in home health care are slips and falls, accounting for the highest frequency and severity of claims.

But thanks to better treatment, patients are recovering better and quicker. They are also living longer.

Telehealth and Telemedicine Opportunities

Home health care is big business. It has already attracted large private equity backing and there are thousands of new home health care providers starting up every year to meet the ever-growing demand. Supported by $400 billion in government funding pledged last year for affordable home-based care for older people and people with disabilities, the market is only going to get bigger.

“There’s a huge opportunity in there in terms of new business,” said Canci. “The number of patients is growing, as are their healthcare needs as they get older.”

One of the most lucrative opportunities is in telehealth and telemedicine, which enable patients to be assessed and monitored remotely using cutting-edge technology, doing away with the need to send workers out to non-urgent cases. Use of the technology has only been accelerated by the pandemic, with people being ordered to stay at home and clinics closing in a bid to try and avoid the spread of the virus.

Because the technology is in its relative infancy and the sector is fragmented, there’s a chance to invest in and collaborate on a host of projects. These range from applications for follow-up visits, remote chronic disease management and post-hospitalization care to preventative care support and assisted living center support.

There’s also an increasing move towards a value-based care service, where providers are paid dependent on the outcome of their services for the patient. For example, how long it took for the patient to recover from major surgery or treatment.

As experts in this field, PHLY has been writing home health care insurance since the early 2000s. Its key strength is in its risk management services, particularly for small- and medium-sized businesses, enabling PHLY to gather and analyze data in order to better understand and mitigate exposures.

“In line with this, we provide a Learning Management System to our policyholders at no cost, where staff can get assigned safety courses, covering everything from slip, trip, and fall prevention to lift training and abuse prevention,” said Canci. “Because our clients don’t have to go through their own third-party training vendor, they are also saving an additional expense while improving their safety and reducing claims and losses at the same time.”

The company’s PHLYTRAC GPS tracking solution also enables clients to monitor their vehicle fleet for dangerous driving like hard braking and speeding. Customers using the GPS program have seen a 19% reduction in loss frequency versus fleets without PHLYTrac. Since it was rolled out in 2018, it has been proven to significantly cut claims, and loss frequency and severity, Canci said.

To learn more about Philadelphia Insurance Companies’ home health care program and how we can help you, call Tony Canci at 800 873 4552, email [email protected] or visit https://www.phly.com/products/homehealthcare.aspx.



This article was produced by the R&I Brand Studio, a unit of the advertising department of Risk & Insurance, in collaboration with Philadelphia Insurance Companies. The editorial staff of Risk & Insurance had no role in its preparation.

Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY) offers product-specific resources, alliances, and service capabilities to achieve a multi-faceted approach to risk management, including safety program development, site audits, and training (including interactive web-based training). We offer a wide range of products and value-added services at financial terms to be agreed upon to help you achieve your risk management goals.

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