Study Shows Link Between Health Care and Retention
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Impact of Health Benefits on Retention of Homecare Workers: Analysis of the IHSS Health Benefits Program in LA County (pdf) is a follow-up to four reports from 2003-2006, which showed that offering medical benefits to the IHSS home care workers reduced turnover.
The present study, a five-year longitudinal retention analysis, echoes those findings. It also teases out more detail, comparing work patterns for workers who enrolled in the benefits program with those who did not, identifying traits that predict who will enroll, tracking changes in enrollment over time, and more.
The findings are significant because “The success of any kind of in-home supportive services depends on having an experienced and well-trained and committed workforce – you can’t have people stay out of institutions if there’s no workforce to take care of them at home,” says Joanne Holland, a senior clinical specialist at RTZ Associates Inc. “It’s such important work, but it’s not a high-paying position. And a lot of people are able to stay in the work because of these health care benefits.”
The study found that nearly half (45%) of the workers who enrolled in the plan were still in the workforce at the five-year mark, compared with only about a third (35%) of those who were eligible for benefits but had not enrolled.
“The stability of the workforce means you have better workers because they’re been doing it longer,” adds Holland. “It also makes for better relationships with consumers, so it’s a better experience for them.” RTZ Associates wrote the report.
Elise Nakhnikian, PHI, Senior Online Editor