“Elder Care Gets an Upgrade,” by Tomio Geron, Wall Street Journal

“Demand is growing for quality home-based care for the elderly, driven by an aging population. Most workers so far in this specialized field, however, haven’t experienced quality pay or benefits. Honor Technology Inc., a San Francisco-based startup, is attempting to fill both needs, offering quality service in home-based elderly care but also quality jobs for the people who make up this expanding workforce. The company offers a customized care plan for each customer and easy-to-use scheduling and communication tools that the seniors or their families can use through an app on a mobile device or by telephone. To its trained caregivers, or Care Pros, Honor offers paid sick leave, workers’ compensation, eligibility for stock options, and pay that is 10% more than the regional average for such work, company officials say.”

LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):
Can tech disrupt elder care? Not while most care is government-financed at less than cost. But private-pay assisted living disrupted nursing home care, so, well, maybe. The risk is that Medicaid/Medicare will draw companies like Honor Tech in with loss-leading reimbursement rates and then, as the costs mount, ratchet down payment levels. That’s what’s happening to assisted living facilities now as they follow the same primrose path of nursing homes—taking Medicaid to fill empty beds and then regretting the marriage of convenience.

Elder Care Gets an Upgrade

Reminder: The Wall Street Journal is gated.