Trends, Crises, and Opportunities in 2017: Reviewing Home Health Care Industry Statistics

Home care is a fundamental service industry that began in the United States around 1880. Since then, a lot has changed. Nobody’s using leeches or trying to balance the body’s “humors” for one, but the industry itself has transformed even more than medical science could have predicted.

Today’s post illustrates the steady growth of the home care industry since its genesis, paying particular attention to policy changes and demographic shifts that helped entrench these services in the lives of those who need it most, and will soon create unprecedented opportunities for home care providers.

Reviewing the History of Home Health Care Industry Statistics

In 1965, the Medicare enactment began covering home health care services for the elderly, which galvanized this industry’s growth like never before. In 1973, this coverage was extended to benefit disabled Americans, so that more seniors than ever had access to the care services they needed.

Between 1967 and 1985, Medicare-certified agencies saw a three-fold expansion, right up until the NAHC lawsuits in 1987. These legal conflicts were centered on Medicare’s administrative burdens, limited coverage, and unreliable payment structures, and the court battle led to a brief plateau. But as soon as the dust settled around the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) legal presiding, the home care industry’s growth picked up right where it left off. Home care outlays were greatly increased, and the number of home care agencies doubled, with many freestanding proprietary agencies opening up to support the public healthcare services already at work. Current estimates suggest that freestanding proprietary agencies now make up over 60% of home health care service providers.

Today, more than 12-million individuals receive home care from more than 33,000 providers for assistance with acute illness, long-term health conditions, permanent disabilities, and terminal illness.

Reviewing Home Health Care Industry Statistics from 2000 to 2017 – Care Crises and Opportunities

As recently as 2000, the home health care industry looked to be in rough shape. The 2000 Home and Hospice Care Survey indicated that only 7.2-million individuals received the formal home care services they needed, representing a 5.8% drop from figures seen in 1998. But this decrease had nothing to do with a drop in demand for home care services – in fact, academics have been vocal about the healthcare crises and resource shortages we’ve faced for decades. Instead, these drops were largely attributed to a reduction in Medicare coverage, which imposed unexpected care costs on America’s elderly populations.

Informal care home health care industry statistics tell us how aging Americans dealt with this sudden loss of coverage. The 2009 Caregiving in the U.S. survey showed that more than one in three US households (estimated at more than 48-million caregivers over the age of 18) supported their loved ones as informal caregivers, which one third caring with two or more people.

In 2017, opportunities for caregivers and small business owners interested in the home care industry have never been better as the “Greying of America” takes place. As the Baby Boomer generation ages into their Golden Years, an unprecedented number of people will require home care. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 45-64 population grew 31.5% to 81.5-million between 2000 and 2010, and now accounts for 26.4% of the total US population. Each year more than 3.5-million Boomers turn 55, and by 2030, the number of seniors over age 65 will double that seen in 2000.

Is the Home Health Care Business Right for Me?

Home health care industry statistics illustrate the historic growth of demand for these services, along with the unprecedented supply shortages that the Greying of America will cause. The time is right, so why not visit to get a full breakdown of startup costs, franchising terms, and individual expectations?

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