Frowning George on a weak dollar

An Addus HomeCare executive told investors Wednesday the company is optimistic American Rescue Plan Act dollars through expanded home- and community-based services will help alleviate the caregiver crisis. 

“As those monies come into certain markets, we can use those for recruitment bonuses, retention bonuses and in some cases even incentivizing some of our caregivers to pick up additional shifts and fill some of that demand that’s out there and alleviate some of that supply problem,” Brian Poff said during virtual healthcare conference hosted by investment back Jefferies.

Late last week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it was extending the deadline for states to spend $12.7 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds by a year until March 31, 2025. Many states still haven’t determined how they will use the funds to expand HCBS. HHS said states can use the funds to enhance, expand or strengthen HCBS through Medicaid programs. New York and New Jersey recently said they are using the federal funds in the upcoming fiscal year on higher wages and bonuses for caregivers.  

Poff said in recent weeks Addus has found it easier to recruit nurses as lucrative contracts for travel nurses have dried up alongside the weakening of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the company’s recent investment in new technology is also helping in the recruitment process.

“We’ve put in a new applicant tracking system, which is making it easier for people to apply to us and come on board and for us to communicate with us as well.  

Addus reported a nearly 5% drop in net revenue in the first quarter of the year due to ongoing turmoil from the pandemic, which sidelined caregivers and impacted home health and home care admissions. 

Although Addus pumped the brakes on acquisitions in 2021, Poff said the company was hoping to close more deals this year. He said Addus was interested in adding home health in markets where it currently has a strong presence in home care.