Surveys of Home and Community-Based Providers Reveal Several Employment Hurdles
On May 9, PHI Michigan announced the results of statewide surveys of home and community-based (HCBS) providers reimbursed by Medicaid. PHI Michigan conducted the three surveys in 2012, encompassing 1) the Medicaid MI Choice HCBS Waiver (MI Choice); 2) the Community Mental Health (CMH) Waiver; and 3) the Home Help personal care program.
In total, 300 provider organizations responded to the surveys, which in turn represented approximately 17,000 direct-care workers. The providers overall felt that low wages, part-time hours and the lack of training were significant barriers to recruitment and retention.
Low Wages: The surveys revealed average starting hourly wages was $8.73 in the CMH program, and $9.09 for both the MI Choice and Home Help programs.
Part Time Hours: Sixty percent of direct care workers - averaged from all surveys - were working part-time, with those workers working less than 36 hours per week.
Lack of Transportation Reimbursement: Two-thirds of HCBS providers surveyed did not reimburse direct care workers for transportation costs travelling between participants.