Over the past few decades, a handful of massive nationwide companies have come to dominate the home health care industry. A new report by grantee Jake Bittle for The New Republic shows how one of those companies, LHC Group, has managed to squeeze out big profits from a low-margin business.
Drawing on several employee interviews and hundreds of documents, the report reveals an obsessive focus on cost-cutting at LHC-owned agencies, and further shows how that focus has compromised the welfare of both workers and patients.
Because most home health care is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid, companies like LHC can increase profits only by cutting labor costs. Employees say this has led to a chronic staffing shortage at many LHC-owned agencies, with a few aides managing dozens of infirm patients who aren’t getting the care they need.
With the support of the Fund for Investigative Journalism, The New Republic was able to provide an unprecedented look at how the home health care industry operates.