A 15% pay raise for direct care workers, which would come at a cost of $9.4 billion in 2022, would yield an “impressive return on investment, including concrete benefits for a variety of stakeholders,” according to a blog posted on Health Affairs. Authors include researchers from LeadingAge and the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston.

The ROI for a professional caregiver pay raise, according to the authors, would include consistent and reliable care for beneficiaries; financial security for direct workers; fewer staffing shortages, reduced turnover and higher productivity; and stronger local economies as direct care workers increase spending and depend less on government assistance.

“Our nation’s experience with the coronavirus pandemic sends another clear message: We must act now to stabilize the direct care workforce and professionalize the role of direct care workers,” the authors wrote after making several recommendations. “In the process, we will take a critical step toward helping the LTSS field navigate the current pandemic and prepare for the next.”