Home care in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

Home care refers to medical treatment or assistive care for patients who do not require hospitalization or facility care, but do need additional support to live safely at home. Home care can involve medical treatment by medical professionals, but the largest segment of home care involves assisting individuals with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Such help is carried out by caregivers, or other licensed or unlicensed non-medical personnel. Most of those receiving home care in the U.S. are over 65 years old, with approximately 96 percent requiring assistance with bathing and 88 percent requiring assistance transferring in and out of bed.

In 2015, there were around 820,630 people employed as home health aides in the United States. The largest portion of home care workers are aged between 45 and 54 years and most work part time or only part of the year. As of 2015, it was estimated that 42 percent of home care workers were white, while 28 percent were Black or African American and 21 percent Hispanic or Latino. Over half of home care workers have a high school degree or less and only 18 percent have an associates’s degree or higher.

The number of home care agencies in the United States has remained relatively unchanged over the past few years and was estimated to be 13,314 in 2015. Almost all home health agencies are Medicare certified, while 78 percent are Medicaid certified. Home care agencies can provide various services for patients depending on a patient’s condition and medical needs. In 2015, 78.3 percent of home care agencies in the U.S. provided skilled nursing, 69.3 percent provided assisted living, and 53.8 percent provided speech therapy.

Home health care expenditure reached 88.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, growing from 83.6 billion dollars in 2014, and following an increasing trend over the last decade. In 2015, the home health care services industry reported revenue of over 74 billion dollars, around 70 percent of which came from public programs, mostly Medicare and Medicaid. The annual median rate for home health aide services was 49,192 dollars as of 2017, with the states of North Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming having some of the highest annual costs for home health aide services in the nation.

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