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Industry Lowdown business trends illustration
Anne Law

Industry Lowdown: Health Care Sector

by Anne Law | Dun & Bradstreet Editor

November 3, 2015 | No Comments »

Industry Lowdown business trends illustrationTake a look at some of the trends, challenges, and opportunities from industry profiles updated by D&B First Research editors in recent weeks, with a focus on the Health Care Sector.

Trend: Call for Higher Home Health Worker Pay
Growing demand for new home health aides is intensifying pressure on the industry to increase worker pay. Regulations extending minimum wage and overtime protections to 2 million home aides in the US took effect in October 2015; the new rules remove a previous exemption from federal labor laws for home care workers employed by third-party staffing agencies, according to The New York Times. The industry is expected to employ 1 million more people in 2022 than it did in 2012.
See our Home Health Care report for more on this and other industry trends.

Challenge: Medicare Finds Excessive Billing for “Ultrahigh” Therapy
Nursing homes are submitting claims for an increasing number of “ultrahigh” therapy cases, which bill at a higher rate, leading Medicare to consider changing its nursing home payment system. A report from the US Health and Human Services Department found excessive Medicare spending tied to the increase in claims for patients meeting the ultrahigh threshold of at least 720 minutes of therapy a week, according to The Wall Street Journal. The HHS Office of the Inspector General found that such claims accounted for 57% of billed days in 2013, up from 49% in 2011, even though resident characteristics remained largely the same.
Find more information in the Nursing Homes & Long-Term Care Facilities industry profile.

Trend: Number of Volunteer EMS Squads Dwindles
As funding declines and expenses rise, volunteer EMS organizations are struggling to continue operations. Some 120 volunteer ambulance companies in New Jersey have folded since the mid-1990s, according to EMS World. The costs for volunteer training, professional licensing, equipment, and other requirements have risen for community ambulance operators. At the same time, companies struggle to collect reimbursement from insurers and patients, and are unable to rely on the donations that historically funded most staffing needs.
For more insight, see our Ambulance Services industry report.

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