The Potentially Dire Long-Term Impact Of Home Health Agency Closures

Home Health Care News | By Patrick Filbin

Back in October, Hospice and Home Care of Juneau closed after 20 years in business.
A month earlier, Trinity Health At Home in Springfield, Illinois, shut its doors and laid off 60 employees.
At the start of the new year, Oahu Home Healthcare announced it was shutting down, leaving just eight at-home care agencies on the most populated island in Hawaii.
More and more, small- to medium-sized providers are shuttering permanently due to staffing constraints and margin pressures. Home health insiders believe that this trend is troubling not just for providers in jeopardy, but for the industry as a whole.
“The industry got a reprieve this year from CMS,” Mike Dordick, the president of McBee Associates, told Home Health Care News. “If that doesn’t happen again, you’re going to start to see not just small agencies close, you’re going to see some of the large players say, ‘There’s no point in serving these rural markets and some of these areas because we’re losing money.’”
McBee Associates is a health care services and consulting firm that works with providers in a wide range of states. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, Dordick told HHCN that he believed there would be about a 30% reduction in the number of providers over the next several years.
Of course, the public health emergency changed projections. It gave providers financial stability and “masked” some of the financial troubles that were inevitable, Dordick said.
In the first quarter of 2019, there were 9,624 home health providers that filed at least one claim with CMS, according to McBee’s data. In the first quarter of 2022, that number was at 8,670, a 10% reduction.
That reduction is partly due to mergers, and partly due to closures.

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