Rising Caregiver Wages: How Much Should You Pay?

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Providing the right salary and benefits to caregivers is essential for your agency’s survival and growth.

Caregiver wages are premised on the growing shortage of professional caregivers and the hike in the minimum wage. Home Care is among the most in-demand professions, with industry professionals projecting that an extra 7.8 million caregivers will be needed by 2026, reflecting a 76% increase from 2014.

The shortage of caregivers in the past few years has driven up the cost of care. As a result, many agencies are finding it hard to attract and keep the right talent. The annual cost of a full-time (44 hours per week) caregiver now averages $27,918, with an hourly wage of $13, according to Zip Recruiter.

Why Are Caregiver Wages Rising?

You might want to start paying your employees above average because times have changed. It’s an employee’s market, and better salaries and benefits could be your only way of acquiring and retaining the best talent.

Caregiver Pay Ranges image pulled from *Home Care Pulse Benchmarking study.

median caregiver wage chart

Labor Shortage

The economy is growing, and for that reason, caregivers can easily land better-paying jobs in other sectors, including hospitals. On the other hand, the population is aging faster and many seniors are choosing to spend their sunset years at home.

The demographics of caregivers also play a role in rising costs. Currently, experienced home caregivers are aging out of the workforce.

Being a caregiver is demanding both physically and emotionally, and many are simply not interested in caregiving careers, leaving agencies with a small pool of employees to pull from.

Minimum Wage Hike

The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour for home caregivers, but more than 24 states including, New Jersey, Oregon, and Chicago, have raised their benchmark to $15. Following the House ruling in July 2019, all the states are required to have raised the floor to $15 in the next six years.

The pay hike may be a victory to low-income workers, but it is a big puzzle for agencies regarding reimbursement, hiring, and retention. How do you pay your workers more while keeping your bottom line unaffected?

The seemingly quick and easy answer to that would be raising fees for consumers. But that’s not possible in every case, especially where services are paid by Medicare and Medicaid.

Tightened Immigration Policies

Politicians forget that people living in the US are growing older, much faster, and developing more chronic conditions. Both agencies and elderly care homes are losing hardworking and dedicated individuals when there is an enormous demand for care services.

The Trump Administration has aggressively clamped down on immigration. In 2017 immigrants and no-citizens made up 18% of all healthcare workers in the US. That external resource for talent is drying up, and thus the only way to keep an agency running is to pay better home caregiver wages.

How It Affects Recruitment and Retention

Caregiver turnover rates are forever a headline and a dilemma for in-home care agencies. In 2018, the rate of attrition industry-wide was 82%, partly contributed to by low wages, an aging workforce, and inadequate training.

Through better home caregiver wages and a combination of other factors, the attrition curve is now flatter. A *benchmark study by Home Care Pulse reveals that the 2019 turnover rate in the industry fell to 64.3%.

caregiver turnover and wages chart

If you can’t offer the same high salary as your competition, ramp up the benefits, including paid time off, performance bonuses, and gas cards. *Home Care Pulse confirms that training opportunities and stronger benefits have significantly helped to flatten the curve of high attrition in the home care caregiving sector.

Further, there is a strong correlation between office staff and caregiver turnover. Agencies that retain office staff for longer have lower attrition rates for caregivers. *The Home Care Pulse study shows that you lose five caregivers for every supervisor or scheduler that quits.

How Much to Pay Caregivers in 2020

There is a massive demand for home caregiving services right now, along with a shortage of workers. There is competition not only from other home-care agencies but also from restaurants and retailers that pay better wages. Though not yet signed into law, the new proposed minimum wage for caregivers is $15. Dozens of states have already implemented this new benchmark, and many private agencies are paying their workers way more.

When deciding home care caregiver wages, consider your workers’ value in client experiences and their impact on smoother company operations and growth ambitions. Realize that when a single caregiver quits, it can cost you more than $14,000 from disrupted operations to missed shifts, new hiring costs, and impacted client experiences.

Can’t afford to pay much more but still want to bump up your compensation? Here are 47 ideas for employee benefits to give you some ideas!

*The Home Care Pulse Benchmarking Study (linked HERE) is an annual study done by Home Care Pulse, providing viewers with the most comprehensive report on the home care industry. 

Use AxisCare’s discount code for a 20% discount: axiscare20

Wyoming

Supported: YES

Wyoming has chosen to use an open vendor model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare has developed a direct integration with CareBridge, Wyoming’s EVV aggregator, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.


Illinois

Supported: YES

Illinois has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Illinois’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Minnesota

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with HHAeXchange, Minnesota’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to HHAeXchange. 

Michigan

Supported: YES

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Massachusetts

Supported: YES

Massachusetts has chosen an open model, but has not selected the aggregator.  AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.  

Maryland

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Maryland has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use ISAS to collect EVV required data.

 

Maine

Supported: YES

Maine has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Maine’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Louisiana

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with LaSRS, Louisiana’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to LaSRS. 

 

Kentucky

Supported: CONTACT US

Kentucky has chosen an open model with Tellus serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Tellus for Kentucky yet (AxisCare supports Tellus integration in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

 

Kansas

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Kansas has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use Sandata to collect EVV required data.

Iowa

Supported: YES

Iowa has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, CareBridge) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with CareBridge, Iowa’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Indiana

Supported: YES

Indiana has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Indiana’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


Idaho

Supported: YES

Idaho has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Idaho’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Missouri

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Missouri’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


Hawaii

Supported: YES

Hawaii has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Hawaii’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

 


Georgia

Supported: YES

Georgia has chosen to use an open vendor model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare has developed a direct integration with Tellus, Georgia’s EVV aggregator, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.

 

Alaska

Supported: CONTACT US

Alaska has chosen an open model with Therap serving as the aggregator.  Therap has not provided the detailed specifications yet, but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us.

Florida

Supported: YES

AxisCare currently provides direct integration with HHAeXchange and Tellus, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.

 

Delaware

Supported: Coming Soon

Payers in Delaware have selected Sandata and AxisCare is completing the necessary development. We are planning on being fully compliant soon.

 

Connecticut

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Connecticut has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.  Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use Sandata to collect EVV required data.

 


Colorado

Supported: YES

Colorado has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Colorado’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


California

Supported: YES

California has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, California’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


Arkansas

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed integrations with HHAeXchange, AuthentiCare, and CareBridge, Arkansas’ contracted aggregators, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Arizona

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Arizona’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to Sandata.

Mississippi

Supported: YES

The Mississippi Department of Medicaid has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Montana

Supported: YES

Montana has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Wisconsin

Supported: YES

Wisconsin has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Wisconsin’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Rhode Island

Supported: YES

Rhode Island has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Rhode Island’s contracted aggregator, which allows agencies to easily send required visit information.

West Virginia

Supported: CONTACT US

West Virginia has chosen an open model with HHAeXchange serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with HHAeXchange for West Virginia yet (AxisCare supports HHAeXchange integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Washington DC

Supported: CONTACT US

Washington DC has chosen an open model with Sandata serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Sandata for DC yet (AxisCare supports Sandata integration in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Washington

Supported: YES

Washington has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, ProviderOne) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with ProviderOne, Washington’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Virginia

Supported: YES

Virginia has chosen to use an open vendor model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare has developed a direct integration with Tellus, Virginia’s EVV aggregator, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.

Vermont

Supported: CONTACT US

Vermont has chosen an open model with Sandata serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Sandata for Vermont yet (AxisCare supports Sandata integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us.

Utah

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an export with UEVV, Utah’s aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information. 

Texas

Supported: CONTACT US

Texas has chosen an open model with TMHP serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with TMHP for Texas yet, but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us.

Tennessee

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Tennessee has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use Sandata, Healthstar, and Time4Care to collect EVV required data.

South Dakota

Supported: CONTACT US

South Dakota has chosen an open model with Therap serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Therap for South Dakota yet, but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

South Carolina

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

South Carolina has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use AuthentiCare to collect EVV required data.

Pennsylvania

Supported: YES

Pennsylvania has implemented an open model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also integrated with Sandata and HHAeXchange, Pennsylvania’s two EVV aggregators, which allows agencies to easily send required visit information.

Nebraska

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Tellus, Nebraska’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to send required visit information.

Oregon

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an export with eXPRS, Oregon’s aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information. 

Oklahoma

Supported: CONTACT US

Oklahoma has chosen an open model with AuthentiCare serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with AuthentiCare for Oklahoma yet (AxisCare supports AuthentiCare integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Ohio

Supported: YES

Ohio has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Ohio’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

North Dakota

Supported: CONTACT US

North Dakota has chosen an open model with Sandata serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Sandata for North Dakota yet (AxisCare supports Sandata integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

North Carolina

Supported: YES

North Carolina has implemented an open model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers and MCOs may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also integrated with Sandata, HHAeXchange, and CareBridge, North Carolina’s EVV aggregators, which allows agencies to easily send required visit information.

New York

Supported: YES

New York has implemented an open vendor model in which the state selects a single vendor while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

New York has chosen to work with three EVV aggregators: eMedNY, HHAeXchange and CareBridge.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have developed integrations eMedNY, HHAeXchange, and CareBridge which allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

New Mexico

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

New Mexico has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use AuthentiCare to collect EVV required data.

New Jersey

Supported: YES

New Jersey has implemented an open model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also integrated with HHAeXchange and CareBridge, New Jersey’s two EVV aggregators, which will allow agencies to send required visit information.

New Hampshire

Supported: YES

New Hampshire has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Nevada

Supported: CONTACT US

Nevada has chosen an open model with AuthentiCare serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with AuthentiCare for Nevada yet (AxisCare supports AuthentiCare integration in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Alabama

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with HHAeXchange, Alabama’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to HHAeXchange.