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Counting the Cost of a Home Care Minimum Wage

A mandated $15 minimum wage for state workers might be less of a stumbling block for New York health care providers if subsidies to absorb the costs came with it.

Health care providers are warning that the proposed New York State wage increase, reaching full effect in 2021, will impact hospitals and health care organizations at a crippling $2.9 billion per year.

Health-care groups testified in a budget hearing on Monday. Dennis Whalen, president of the Healthcare Association of New York (HANY), which represents hospitals, claims health care is more affected by a wage increase than other state labor sectors because “they can’t just pass the cost on to consumers because of regulatory hurdles, such as Medicaid and Medicare payments.”

Whalen also claims that tax breaks to offset these increased costs do not help non-profit providers because Medicare and Medicaid pay for the care of most hospital patients in New York. HANY’s testimony argues that projected costs to home care agencies alone would reach $1.7 billion per year. For hospitals and nursing homes, the proposal would cost $570 million and $600 million respectively.

Source: Home Health Care News. Proposed Minimum Wage to Cost Home Health $1.7 billion.