Newsday published a comprehensive report yesterday on the demand for home care workers on Long Island. As part of the report, HCA and members noted some of the local dynamics, including competitive pressures from New York City (where the comparative ease of public transportation and higher state-mandated wage parity levels draw workforce from areas of Nassau County), as well as staff vacancy levels that exist system-wide due to policy and economic trends.
“Roger Noyes, communications director for the Home Care Association of New York state, said that starting in 2011-12, the state required higher wages for its Medicaid home care cases, with a $3-an-hour higher minimum wage in New York City compared to Long Island and Westchester, plus an extra $1 in benefits. The resulting wage differential made it harder to recruit for Nassau County, he said, in particular for home health aides, nurses and physical therapists.”
“Noyes said his group recently surveyed its membership of home care providers and found that more than 17 percent of home health and personal care aide cases went unfilled. It also found a 20 percent shortfall in nurses, and another 20 percent shortfall in therapists.”