Health care providers are reacting to Governor Gina Raimondo’s budget proposal. Among them – home health care agencies, who say wage increases in the budget aren’t enough.
The average starting wage for a home health care worker is about $10.50. Raimondo’s budget calls for a 7 percent increase for home health care workers paid by Medicaid.
But that’s a drop in the bucket according to Nicholas Oliver from the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care. Oliver says his member agencies are having a hard time hanging on to staff.
“We have a revolving door of good quality staff members that are making just slightly above minimum wage whereas, eight years ago," says Oliver, "they were a couple of dollars over minimum wage.”
Some communities have reported waiting lists for home health care.
The Executive Office for Health and Human services says it had to make tough choices in this budget but remains committed to supporting home health care.