The Raise the Wage Act of 2021 (H.R.603), A Proposed Federal Minimum Wage Increase

Oct 15, 2021

The Raise the Wage Act of 2021, What are the Impacts on Long Term Care (LTC)?

An aid to decrease LTC staff burnout and improve LTC resident’s quality of care? Or does it include another cost measure for some already struggling LTC facility Administrators to balance into their labor/operational costs? Can and how would a LTC pharmacy service bridge the gap between LTC staff burnout and the added financial burden placed on LTC facility Administrators?

Wages Increase Decrease Poverty Levels

“The House and Senate legislation would gradually hike the pay floor ($7.25) to $15 an hour nationwide by 2025” (Gaivin, 2021).  One third of the 32 million potentially impacted workers are in the LTC industry and would receive pay increases. Of course many states, counties, and cities can and have already begun to get ahead of this legislation with their local minimum wage increases as a result of the federal wage increase. When the gradual or phased wage increase would be reached (in 2025), it’d comparatively provide an average increase of $3,300 to annual year-round workers. Coupled with a minimum wage increase, workers could move from poverty levels as well as reduce race and gender inequalities (“The Raise the Wage Act of 2021”).

Wage Increase Further Burdening LTC Facility Administrators

Long-term care facilities employ a large segment of their workforce at minimum wage (Lepore, Livingstone, Naden, & Feng 2020). It’s without reason to consider that LTCs facilities faced with increased labor costs will balance the increase. By increasing residency costs, or by adjusting workforce which could present a risk to maintaining a high quality of patient care and outcomes. Could the change also bring into question the risk for less scrupulous tactics such as fraudulent claims within the taxpayer-funded Medicare system?

LTC Pharmacy Service Providers

In the light of the battle for LTC administrator to balance minimum wage (staffing cost) increases and provide valuable support to LTC staff, is the utilization of LTC pharmacy services. LTC pharmacy service provide billing services to reduce costs associated with transactional inaccuracies, and limit the hours taken by clients to audit invoicing. Clinical considerations can reduce regulation-related penalties, reduce polypharmacy, and increase recommendations that result in better patient outcomes, and minimize use of high-cost and unnecessary medications. HeathDirect Services provides these services with the personal care and attention that uniquely separates us from our competitors. If you would like to know more about our services and how we can work together to provide LTC pharmacy services, please contact us at info@hdrxservices.com.

Refences:

  1. Gaivin, K. S. (2021, September 28). Raise the wage act would benefit almost 2 million direct care workers, analysts say. McKnight’s Senior Living. Retrieved October 4, 2021, from https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/business-daily-news/raise-the-wage-act-would-benefit-almost-2-million-direct-care-workers-analysts-say/.
  2. Lepore, M., Livingstone, I., Naden, D., & Feng, Z. (2020, June 29). Potential impacts of minimum wage increases on nursing homes: Issue brief. ASPE. Retrieved October 4, 2021, from https://aspe.hhs.gov/reports/potential-impacts-minimum-wage-increases-nursing-homes-issue-brief-0.
  3. The Raise the Wage Act of 2021 (H.R. 603). (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2021, from https://edlabor.house.gov/imo/media/doc/2021-01-26%20Raise%20the%20Wage%20Act%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf.

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