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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Bridging the skills gap: An analysis of Oregon's public policy initiatives to promote client employed providers in home health care

Marc Weinstein, PhD and Helen Moss, MA. Labor Education Research Center, University of Oregon, 1289 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR OR, 541-346-3063, marcw@oregon.uoregon.edu

This paper traces Oregonís public policy initiatives to promote the consumer-employed provider (CEP) model as the primary mechanism to increase the accessibility and quality of care in home settings. Oregon, with its early introduction of its CEP program, has been in the forefront for expanding homecare options for the elderly and disabled. As in other states, however, the success of Oregonís innovation has been threatened by a skills gap between the needs of consumers and the skills of the workforce. This unmet need for training contributes to a downward cycle of deteriorating job quality and client care that discourages workers from staying on the job. Indeed, the annual turnover rate for home care workers is between 40 and 100 percent nationally, and the current 70 percent rate in Oregon constitutes a serious threat to safe, high quality homecare. The emerging solution in Oregon began with passage Initiative 99 in November 2000. Among other changes, this initiative established Oregon Home Care Commission as the employer of record, opening the way for a successful unionization drive in December 2001. This, in turn, has led to a series of changes in the structure of employment that has created the basis for various stakeholder groups to place an increase emphasis on skills and health and safety training for the Oregon home care workforce. The analysis of Oregonís public policy will provide program participants with an opportunity to learn and discuss various options in building a resilient and successful homecare delivery model.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Home Care, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Health Policy and Aging

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA