Topics Nichole discusses include:
– Her personal story and how she ended up in long-term care.
– The learning curve involved in home health care.
– Recent cuts in payments by the government.
– Being flexible with staff in today’s market.
– Recruiting through community engagement.
– Personal mentors she has met throughout her career.
– The future of home health and hospice.
Rapid fire Q/A
Talk about the learning curve you faced with home-based care.
The biggest learning curve was dealing with insurance for intermittent services. It’s not structured like regular care. With intermittent services, you have to change the way you look at insurance.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face?
Labor is a problem for everyone, but here in Idaho, we are facing a particularly strong labor shortage. Boise is growing and that means the cost of living is rising and some caregivers have to move or look for another line of work because of those economic reasons.
Why do you think politicians changed and cut the payment model?
I think their motivation was in the right place. Some agencies were making money on visits that probably weren’t necessary. Now the agency has to handle a lump sum of money and decide where the patients’ priorities are. It’s a challenge.
What is your approach to recruiting staff?
This is something I’m very passionate about. Most caregivers want to work in a hospital or institutional setting. I focus on education of the workforce and making sure that people know there are other options, like home care or hospice, available as career choices.
Do you have any unique channels you use for recruiting?
We do a lot of community engagement to educate people who may not already be in the home care profession that it is a viable career choice. We may find someone through social media who is caring for an older relative and we’ll let them know that they can do that as a career.
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