2009 HME Industry Salary & Benefits Survey: Cold Comfort
It's the classic good news-bad news situation for home medical equipment providers: Salaries seem to be holding steady — but that's for employees who have kept their jobs.
Over the past 12 months, nearly one in three HME providers (31 percent) participating in HomeCare's Salary & Benefits Survey have had layoffs.
That stat and others across the survey show without a doubt that the industry's tumultuous conditions, worsened by the nation's sputtering economy, have extracted a heavy toll.
Take employee benefits, for example. Fifty-seven percent of providers reported they had made changes to their company's health care plans in the past year: 35 percent changed/modified plans to save the company costs, 16 percent have done so to save employees costs and 27 percent have increased employee premiums.
In a second telling example, 84 percent of providers in the magazine's 2008 survey gave employees raises averaging 5 percent. This year, the average raise was also 5 percent, but only 53 percent of providers handed them out.
|Over the past 12 months for providers
in HomeCare's survey group
|31%||have laid off employees|
|38%||have frozen salaries|
|33%||have left positions vacant|
|57%||have made changes to health benefits|
|14%||have reduced employees' work hours|
|53%||gave raises vs. 84% in 2008|
|29%||have dropped bonuses|
|26%||have reduced commissions|
Thirty-eight percent of providers in the 2009 survey group have frozen salaries, another 13 percent have reduced them and 14 percent have reduced the hours of some employees. Thirty-three percent have left an open position vacant. Twenty-nine percent have dropped bonuses for some (16 percent) or all (13 per-cent) employees. Twenty-six percent have reduced commissions.
The reasons for all this are exactly what you might expect. Here's a representative sample of answers providers gave when we asked why they had laid off staff, cut back hours and/or reduced salaries or commissions:
"Because Medicare allowables have been so cut and coverage items have been deleted. Also, the new regulations for oxygen are killing us."