Report: Advancing the Home Care Workforce

provider integration. The program also developed an empowerment tool for home care workers and their consumers to help facilitate communication with case managers and physicians. Workers received a $95 stipend for completing program training but no wage increase. An extensive formal evaluation was a required component of the grant, as discussed in the next section. The St. John’s Enhanced Home Care Pilot Program (CA) was a one-year pilot based in Los Angeles to enhance care coordination, chronic disease management, and paramedical task training. As part of the program, consumers allowed HCWs to become part of their patient-centered health team, including attending all medical visits throughout the program. Specialized training was developed with expert and worker input within California’s In Home Supportive Services System program to prepare HCWs for care team integration. Modules focused on quality-of-life issues and paramedical tasks, as well as mental health. Additionally, a care coordinator position was developed to serve as the primary contact and support person for participating HCWs and coordinate clinic-based services and other integration activities. Ninety-seven HCWs participated in the 6-week specialty training and care team integration program. Program completion was not associated with a wage increase. 2.1.4. Soft-Skills The fourth type of program approach aims to set HCWs up for success by providing vocational and soft-skills training for entry-level workers. These programs potentially improve provider retention and success through the provision of training that builds foundational competencies in life and professional skills. The Transformational Healthcare Readiness through Innovative Vocational Education (THRIVE), which operates out of the Cleveland Clinic (Northeast OH), Ascension Michigan (Southeast MI), and Catholic Health (Western NY), represents one example of a soft-skills approach to advancing the home care workforce. Funded by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, the program aims to ensure long-term success and retention of HHAs and PCAs by providing new workers with life skills support, enhanced training, and a dedicated Workforce Coach during their first year of employment. Skill-building areas emphasized throughout the first year include conflict management, interpersonal and communication skills, and resiliency. The program also helps workers problem solve issues like child-care or transportation difficulties that may hinder employment success. An evaluation is underway, led by the RAND Corporation. Federal initiatives have also supported the role of soft-skill building as an integral component of PCA workforce development. The HRSA-funded Personal and Home Care Aide State Training (PHCAST) demonstration project, mandated under the Affordable Care Act, funded six state demonstration grants (CA, IA, ME, MA, MI, NC) to support the development of competency- based training for PCAs. State grantees had the freedom to design their training curriculum but were required to cover nine core competency areas that included soft-skill building. Grantees


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