Illustration of COVID-19 vaccine vials on a blue background

As the government prepares to release specifics regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates, one large home care provider, Addus HomeCare, said it is actively working to increase vaccinations among staff.

Various state and city mandates in effect “make it imperative we get as many of our employees as vaccinated as possible,” Dirk Allison, chairman and CEO of the Frisco, TX-based personalized care, home health and hospice firm said Tuesday during an earnings call.

Dirk Allison headshot
Dirk Allison

While the company has not made vaccinations mandatory, it has encouraged employees to take the shots. Initiatives include a stipend for getting vaccinated, ongoing communication around the theme of “be a hero” and a program that provides prize opportunities, according to Allison.

The company is “well-positioned” to respond to upcoming mandates, he said.

Roughly 93% of the company’s New York caregivers have been fully vaccinated or have received one shot, he said. New York is the largest state with a vaccination mandate, he pointed out.

Companywide, he provided the following vaccination figures among caregivers: 79% in home health, 71% in hospice and 56% in personal care. But he noted that based on the company’s experience in New York, “we believe these numbers could be understated,” he said.

One challenge that makes knowing about vaccinations hard is that caregivers tend to be dispersed.

Despite challenges related to the pandemic, Addus on Monday reported stronger earnings per share on higher revenues for the third quarter of 2021.

Allison noted a couple of state developments affecting earnings. For example, the company has stopped referrals to New York’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program because of a revenue decrease and uncertainty over the future of the program. And an expected reimbursement increase in Illinois, which is set to take effect this month, will positively affect fourth quarter financial results.