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Home Health Notify

The Home Health Industry should address escalating Referral Rejection Rates

The Home Health Industry should address escalating Referral Rejection Rates

Referral Rejections

Introduction

A startling 75 percent of Americans over 65 live with multiple chronic health conditions, ranging from diabetes to dementia. Predominantly, hospitals have been able to refer patients to their network of home health agencies with the confidence of being absorbed by them until recently. The trends show that post-COVID 19, more and more patients opted for home health care where they get treated in the secure environment of their homes instead of visiting hospitals or nursing homes. Hence, The demand for home and community-based care has skyrocketed, unlike the supply creating high referral rejection rate than ever. 

According to an analysis by CarePort based on 1,000 home health Agencies

Reason for the high rejection rates

The Challenges of Health Care Costing

Accurate cost measurement in health care is challenging, mainly due to the complexity of its delivery. The patient enrolled with the health care agency is treated by various medical professionals and resources, each with different capabilities and costs. The patients go through clinical consultations, treatments, and administrative processes until the care is completed depending on their medical condition. Patients with the same conditions are often treated differently depending on their response, age, and current physical condition. Lack of standardization systems to some extent from the artisanal nature of medical practice makes it challenging to calculate and recover costs.

Shortage of skilled staff

It is challenging for HHAs to work on improving wages, training and recruiting, and retention efforts of the health care workers without proper funding from the government. The home health agencies will face an extreme shortage of millions of caregivers by the end of the decade, and they will be unable to compete with a much larger number of patients with each passing year.

Shortage of staff due to low wages

For a few years, the health care staff have seen no or very little growth in their wages in the past few years. The stagnation is blamed on the government’s health care policies. Instead of spending their well-earned money on themselves, the healthcare providers pay for higher health insurance premiums, deductibles, copays, and co-insurance. They get paid less as their efforts are also cashed by the doctors, hospitals, Pharma, device companies, and insurers. With low wages and stressful work, clinicians working for home health agencies seek different career options for monetary growth. New professionals who want to join the industry are discouraged due to lower wages and appreciation. 

Shortage of staff due to the booming elderly population

Ten thousand baby boomers in the United States turn 65 every day; the ageing population is expected to double in 20 years and swell to 88 million by 2050. The alarming growth of patients is unmatched, with projected figures of 41 % growth from 2016 to 2026, translating to 7.8 million job openings. 

Government policies (PDGM) and budgets

The most crucial area important for HHA is cost control while managing each patient’s care plan. The government’s PGDM policy has dramatically changed home health reimbursement since January 2020. The change has initiated a shift in CMSs; hence, care leaders are keen to evolve their organizations into value-driven and client / patient-centred providers. The HHAs only get paid 60 days after the approval of their reimbursement. The lack of a consistent national policy is a major overarching problem for home care that affects paid providers, care recipients, and their families daily. 

Inadequate health policies by Trump govt

The federal government and households were the most significant sponsors, contributing 28% to the total spending before the Trump Administration. The cost of health as a share of the economy decreased 0.2 points to 17.7% in 2018. Increased net costs drove up private health insurance spending by 5.8% to $1.2 trillion in 2018, faster than the 4.9% growth in the year before. Consumers also paid more out-of-pocket for retail prescription drugs, medical equipment, and dental services, offsetting a fall in hospital care expenses.

Impact on the Home Health Industry

Overworked and frustrated clinicians

Due to the extra work influx, every party involved started getting increased acuity. Labor crisis leads to prioritization, which works against the low acuity clients. This also results in a drop in the efficiency of patient care. 

Loss of new work hinders the growth of the agency

Declining new referrals has hindered home health providers’ ability to grow. Small Home Health Care agencies are feared to shut down due to a complete lack of staff, leading to further unemployment of the admin and office staff.

Sales and marketing strategy

Together with instantly impacting volumes and suppliers’ skills to develop, capability challenges have also impacted gross sales and advertising and marketing methods. Equally, they’ve influenced how operators handle their referral-source relationships. It is challenging to contact referral companions, have a wholesome combine, and serve the communities broadly.

Unfortunately, Home Care remains poorly understood, sometimes mistrusted, despite many stakeholders, caregivers, paid workers of various kinds and skill levels, employers, and communities in a broad sense. They collectively are trying to provide the best services with limited resources. Well-laid laws and procedures can prove like a shot-in-the-arm to the overburdened Home Health Care Industry.

How to combat referral rejection with technology provided by HHN

Eliminate unnecessary processes

Research shows that although inputs are more expensive in the United States, the higher cost in U.S. facilities is mainly due to lower resource productivity. HOME HEALTH NOTIFY APP (HHN) significantly improves productivity in the organization, improving staff performance. Home Health Notify gives you more time to work harder on what matters most.

Communication in Real-Time

Advances in IT and the introduction of online Apps have made communication extraordinarily swift and accurate. Communication Apps have specific features that cover the entire team working on a patient to get immediate information on them at the click of a button. This is a boon during times of emergencies.

Map-routing

The caregivers who are visiting houses of various patients in a day are well informed about the details of the patients and any alterations in the plan or situation in Real-Time. Technology also supports them with mapping the patients’ houses to save time on the road.

Recognition of intelligent patient clusters

Like route mapping, the HHN APP is a function where the caregiver can assign patients to the same area after choosing their first appointment. This way, clinicians do not need to ride across the city to visit patients. This practice saves a lot of time and effort, which can be utilized in acquiring and tending a few other patients. It proves to be a win-win situation for all the agency, clinicians, and patients, especially in the wake of high referral rejections. 

Adopt Home Health Notify (HHN), which works with all EMRs, takes a giant leap towards digitization and prompt communication, time-saving and cost-effective solutions. The App promotes process-oriented work ethics, a well-defined work schedule with Hourly | Daily | Weekly Calendars, and a detailed Workflow of each process.

Schedule a Demo to get a FREE virtual tour for more information on Schedule a Demo – Home Health Notify.

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Referral Rejections

A startling 75 percent of Americans over 65 live with multiple chronic health conditions, ranging from diabetes to dementia. Predominantly, hospitals have been able to refer patients to their network of home health agencies with the confidence of being absorbed by them until recently. The trends show that post-COVID 19, more and more patients opted for home health care where they get treated in the secure environment of their homes instead of visiting hospitals or nursing homes. Hence, The demand for home and community-based care has skyrocketed, unlike the supply creating high referral rejection rate than ever.

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Caregivers through the Holiday Season

Caregivers through the Holiday Season

Caregivers through Holiday Season

As the air temperature cools and the fall colors bloom, it is evident that the Holiday Season is round the corner. While the holiday season can be a time for planning, travels and festivities, with family to recharge our batteries, healthcare is one of the few industries exempted from downtime. Caregivers are expected to ‘give away’ the “season of giving”. Holiday Season referred to by most as – the most wonderful time of the year, can be anything but that for many in the Home Health Care industry.

The healthcare industry runs 24/7, for 365 days. Therefore, working holidays is expected. The festive season can bring on long hours, clinicians and other healthcare staff are often expected to work a rotating schedule of nights, weekends on holidays. Spending holidays away from family is not ideal, but it’s an unfortunate reality of the profession. This can leave them emotionally and physically exhausted, making their holiday season less enjoyable. Health care agencies should make it a point to spread holiday cheer with staff and patients. Clinicians do not have to miss out on favourite holiday traditions. Instead, create new ones and adjust old ones to work within available schedule.

This year also, COVID-19 adds new list of challenges, including low resources, crunched staffing, and overrun facilities. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that medical assistants are required to put in some extra time. These few suggestions can help caregivers manage stress during the holidays.

Plan Ahead and Set Expectations

Planning ahead is always a good idea, it’s perhaps never more helpful than during the holiday season. If you know that you will be working for the entirety of the holiday season, then it’s time to set expectations and plan ahead with your loved ones. Communicate with your family about which celebrations you can and cannot attend. While they may not fully understand your job’s demands, assure them that you still plan to celebrate and spend time with them, in person or virtually. While we’re pressured to be extra cheerful during the holiday season, keeping a realistic approach to the season can help manage expectations for these weeks. MIND YOUR MINDSET !

Celebrate Your Holiday Early – Be your own Santa

Start new traditions. If you can’t celebrate on the exact date, choose a different day. After all, the holidays are what you make of them. If your family and friends have a flexible schedule, plan a festive (and safe) get together, uphold traditions, and make the most of your time off. Taking simple steps to make to-do lists or getting things done ahead of time will help keep you more organized and present during the holidays. Finish your gift shopping, decorate your home, bake your favourite treats, whatever is on your list, get it done. Pamper yourself with some gifts or moments to look forward to. Pack your favourite meals or order in for your shifts. Book a spa day or other fun activity after the holidays. Whatever it is, make sure it brings you joy. The bottom line is that this time is precious. Savour the moments with your loved ones and make good memories you can cherish forever. CREATE YOUR OWN CHEER !

Connect with other caregivers

Your peer caregivers are feeling many of the same emotions you are, even when people around you don’t understand. Connect to share your feelings and get tips for holiday survival. If it’s difficult to get to a caregiver support group due to holiday business or weather, try online message boards or social media groups. SHARE YOUR EMOTIONS !

Listen to Your Body

The holiday season brings more stress, more travel, and generally less rest. Combined with the peak of cold and flu season, it’s incredibly important for caregivers to take extra measures to stay healthy. Staying active, hydrated, and well rested are key, but remember to take the time to stay centred and focused within yourself, whether it be through meditation or even just a quick 10-15 deep breaths and relaxation. Your mind and body know best so stay mindful of what you need. PUT YOUR HEALTH FIRST !

Review Your Holiday Shift Policy

The extra shifts and holiday pay can become enticing. Caregivers often become overly ambitious and sign up for multiple overtime or holiday shifts, only to become overfatigued and left scrambling to find a replacement at the last minute, inevitably creating stress for themselves and more so for colleagues, trying to fill the shifts. It’s important to remember that while you might have the best of intentions with earning extra pay by picking up overtime or holiday shifts, the gift of your time and your presence (as opposed to presents) is what your friends and family cherish most. GATHER MORE MEMORIES THAN MONEY !

Lastly and most importantly

Use Technology to Stay Connected

Technological advanced in the field of communication will help you stay connected both ways

Connect with your family virtually

Don’t miss to be a part of family celebrations. This year has been the year for Zoom and other virtual hangouts. If you can’t get together with your friends and family in person or you’re not comfortable with the idea, make your gatherings a virtual affair. Be there while your children open presents or while your family lights the next candle on the menorah—all from the nurse’s station or break room.

Stay connected with your patients with new technologies and advanced Apps

The Home Health industry is commissioned with extremely advanced Apps that helps the clinicians stay connected not only with the patients but their team. The medical team can keep up-to-date information and check on the patient with cutting-edge communication features. “In these times when high-tech solutions are available for every field, it is essential for a Home Health Care Agency to arm their staff with up-to-the-minute technology. Home Health Notify is developed keeping in mind challenging times, and how we can provide useful solutions to combat and reach a win-win situation for all, Patients, Clinicians and the Agency.” Says Salim Bhinderwala, Founder of Home Health Notify.

USE TECHNOLOGY TO ENRICH LIVES !

During these times, which are festive yet challenging, the Home Health Agencies should actively work towards creating opportunities for Inclusive observances. Aside from managing the many additional activities and hectic schedules, making sure associates are healthy and safe during the busiest time of the year is also a main priority. Promoting employee engagement can help caregivers feel a great sense of purpose and belonging – benefiting not only them, but the organization as well. Well decorated office, festive treats and goodies are huge mood lifters.

While building a schedule, skill mix of the staff must be taken into account to ensure the right caregiver is available to care for any need. Some people actually like to work the holidays, so begin by asking for volunteers. Then determine what staff is available to float or be re-assigned from other areas. Administrative staff need to remind managers to enforce the policy, following it closely to ensure fairness.

Thoughtful planning and positive mindset is the key to celebrate this festive season with a smile!

Popular Article - Lifestyle Conditions
Referral Rejections

A startling 75 percent of Americans over 65 live with multiple chronic health conditions, ranging from diabetes to dementia. Predominantly, hospitals have been able to refer patients to their network of home health agencies with the confidence of being absorbed by them until recently. The trends show that post-COVID 19, more and more patients opted for home health care where they get treated in the secure environment of their homes instead of visiting hospitals or nursing homes. Hence, The demand for home and community-based care has skyrocketed, unlike the supply creating high referral rejection rate than ever.

Read More »
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As the air temperature cools and the fall colours bloom, it is evident that the Holiday Season is round the corner. While the holiday season can be a time for planning, travels and festivities, with family to recharge our batteries, healthcare is one of the few industries exempted from downtime.

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COVID-19 has been challenging to the Home health care industry. Yet it has showed us a way to unlock major growth opportunities for Home Health Agencies by using technology to their advantage.

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Home Health Notify

Equip Staff with New Technologies

Equip Staff with New Technologies

Equip Staff with New Technologies

Astute Formula to Grow Your Business

COVID-19 has been challenging to the Home health care industry. Yet it has showed us a way to unlock major growth opportunities for Home Health Agencies by using technology to their advantage.

Amidst the pandemic, the way Home Health Agencies have been dealing with patients, have gone through myriad of challenges. HHAs acquire partnerships, acquisitions and growth opportunities more than ever before. Patients, especially aging seniors have always preferred receiving care in the comfort of their own homes, now find them increasing in availability.

“We’re at a moment in history where the operation and execution of Home Health Agencies is going to change for ever,” says Salim Bhinderwala, CEO and founder of the path-breaking Software Application platform, HOME HEALTH NOTIFY. “Now is the time for Agencies to look inwards and focus on what they can do internally to grow their business. Find ways to diversify, adopt new revenue resources, while keeping expenses in check”.

The healthcare industry continues to make transition to value-based care, hence, clinical documentation becomes a greater priority. It also is a source of frustration for clinicians and adds to the problem of clinician burnout. What can home health agencies do to reduce clinician burnout and help restore work-life balance?

Modification and adapting new technologies enhance current capabilities of clinicians on the field. For instance:

  • Services that help care-givers connect with patients in Real-Time, especially during emergencies
  • Tracking availability of support staff with Road-Mapping
  • Prompt intervention with physicians during critical times
  • Well defined work processes which helps staff to replace colleagues when required

Technology should be user-friendly and scalable to ensure clinicians can perform all relevant tasks effectively and promptly. The platform must allow dissemination of critical patient data in real time to ensure inter-connectivity of the team. For clinicians, tying repetitive administrative tasks to their EHR means they can spend less time record-keeping and more time focusing on what matters most: Treating their patients.

Gone are the days of endless repetitive phone calls, hours wasted on the road and long waiting hours to receive approvals. Care-providers are increasingly incorporating virtual tools to their service offering. Now, with heightened pressure on the health care system, we’re seeing instant need for adaptation of smart technology. This can be a game-changer that accelerates clinician productivity and restores the work-life balance that clinicians desire.

Sustaining a team of skilled caregivers is essential to growth. Technology is vital for this: it’s truly what can create a phenomenal caregiver experience. Inefficient tools leave caregivers disappointed or frustrated and can detract from their most meaningful pursuit: providing good care to clients. Plus, elements like scheduling tools allow caregivers to chart their preferred routes and plans and avoid long drives and empty gaps in their day.

As a Home Health Agency, it is imperative to adopt suitable technologies to equip staff with effective tools for enhanced performance. The bar for professional digital solutions has been raised. The client, caregiver, and office employee experience are heavily influenced by micro-interactions within software tools. Good technology becomes the fabric that binds a team together, and supports an overall attraction and retention of efficient staff, with visibility into caregiver satisfaction. Technology also positions agencies to have the best chance to grow if they keep in mind their key strategies and extend best services.

Alliance with the right Technology Partner

Home Health Notify’s (HHN) unique platform offers home-based care agencies to thrive in a value-based care environment, which is where health care is headed. HHN stores and provides information that is updated and viewable for key decision makers anywhere, anytime. The App allows providers to focus exclusively on the care they are providing and growing their business organically.

A win-win for both; Agencies and Staff, the intervention of technology results in the same amount of work completed much faster. This allows clinicians to take on more patients in the same period of time, resulting in INCREASED PATIENT CENSUS.

“HHN has the potential to take your Agency to the next level and furthermore, with simple implementation of defined processes. The advance and slick communication tools are a game changer,” says Mr. Bhinderwala. “Adopting HHN, Home Health Agencies enter into a well-defined space of work culture with efficient and accountable staff. A leap towards growth in business.”

To learn more about how Home Health Notify can help your organization visit Homehealthnotify.com and book a free demo ASAP.

Popular Article - Lifestyle Conditions
Referral Rejections

A startling 75 percent of Americans over 65 live with multiple chronic health conditions, ranging from diabetes to dementia. Predominantly, hospitals have been able to refer patients to their network of home health agencies with the confidence of being absorbed by them until recently. The trends show that post-COVID 19, more and more patients opted for home health care where they get treated in the secure environment of their homes instead of visiting hospitals or nursing homes. Hence, The demand for home and community-based care has skyrocketed, unlike the supply creating high referral rejection rate than ever.

Read More »
Caregivers through Holiday Season

As the air temperature cools and the fall colours bloom, it is evident that the Holiday Season is round the corner. While the holiday season can be a time for planning, travels and festivities, with family to recharge our batteries, healthcare is one of the few industries exempted from downtime.

Read More »
Equip Staff with New Technologies

COVID-19 has been challenging to the Home health care industry. Yet it has showed us a way to unlock major growth opportunities for Home Health Agencies by using technology to their advantage.

Read More »
Categories
Home Health Notify

Home Health Care Industry Adapting New Technology

Home Health Care Industry Adapting New Technology

Home Healthcare Industry Adapting New Technology

Home Health Notify hand-holds Agencies to embrace and realize their full potential.

Technology often has a reputation for creating distance. Fortunately, it has had an opposite effect in health care, making it easier to connect patients with providers. In Home Health Care, tech innovations have helped providers monitor patients with mobility, transportation or other issues that make getting to healthcare facility a challenge. Technology is critical to home health care, especially during these testing times of Pandemic. IT expertise and new generation Apps are proving to be of immense assistance to prevent Staff exposure to COVID-19-positive patients. Future advances in home health care skills have the potential to facilitate its role within the overall health care system and help foster community-based independence for individuals. Adapting new skills, HHAs can work closely with families and caregivers, to balance their safety and care.

 

Technology has become a beneficial alternative to connect and monitor patient who were otherwise isolated. It has also ensured ‘at-risk’ patients didn’t postpone important check-ups and evaluations. Information technology has been used in health care for a long time to bridge geographic distances and give people access to expert opinions without having to travel. Technology can be a wonderful tool, tech-based care can help to:

  • Reduce rehospitalization
  • Improve Patient Outcome
  • Keep patients more comfortable at home
  • Allow Clinicians to manage symptoms better
  • Provide immediate feedback and support especially during emergency

Technology has revolutionized and improved home health care immensely, most important aspects are:

  1. Communication in Real-Time: Advances in IT and introduction of online Apps have made communication extremely swift and accurate. Communication Apps have exhaustive features that cover the entire team working on a patient to get immediate information on them at the click of a button. This is a boon, during the time of emergencies.
  1. Support field staff manage home health tasks more efficiently: The care givers on the go, visiting houses of various patients in a day are well informed not just about the details of the patients but any alterations in the plan or situation in Real-Time. Technology also supports them with mapping the houses of the patients so as to save time on the road.
  1. Results in more patient visits per day: With seamless communication, mapping and instant information on every situation the clinicians on field are in control of the situation. Care givers get ample time to take-on more patients, since there is less paper work to tackle and minimum visit to the office to feed information. This proves to be a win-win situation for everyone, Patients, Clinicians and the

Need for HHAs to shift towards new technologies

During and after the COVID-19 crisis, success has favoured the innovators. Home Health Agencies that have adjusted their business operations accordingly and are keeping up with the sweeping regulatory changes have a massive advantage moving forward.

Home healthcare for a long time has been paper-based, and many companies are still figuring out what digital transformation will look like for them. Companies are looking at ways they can use technology to improve efficiency, facilitate clinician’s workflow, provide a better patient experience and potentially take advantage of reimbursement from the federal government. The pandemic has made clear the need to digitize, especially with telemedicine options. Modern telemedicine can now be a central part of an organization’s strategy for patient care, rather than an auxiliary, nice-to-have function.

The wider implementation of telemedicine has also put focus on the importance of investing in a strong technological infrastructure. An effective telemedicine strategy needs a strong digital foundation that is able to integrate with existing systems and provide more efficient service. Improvements in home healthcare IT will be a big support to clinicians and caregivers as well. Digitization can help clinicians focus on patients rather than spending time on data entry and sifting through stacks of papers.

Pandemic accelerated the technology conversation in independent living communities as many were not prepared for the high demand at the start of the health crisis. When residents became isolated due to safety restrictions, technology kept them linked to their health consultants and loved ones. The senior sector is growing the most in terms of adapting to new technologies, as they are used to being cured while they are in the comforts of their homes. The routine screenings and care that were postponed during the pandemic will cause ripple effects for years to come.

It is high time the HHAs understand the need of the hour and leverage technology for their patients, which will ensure reduced hospitalisation and increased patient census. Adopting well designed communication platform and cohesive technology will set your Home Health Agency in brick and mortar, with your sight firmly set towards a fruitful future.

 

Home Health Notify (HHN) is a Real-time HIPAA compliant Communication platform that is made by a Home Health Agency for the Home Health Industry. HHN works with all EMRs effectively and efficiently.

HHN is the ideal platform to adopt, while making the big leap towards digitization and prompt communication. The App promotes process-oriented work ethics, well defined work schedule with Hourly | Daily | Weekly Calendars and detailed Workflows of each process.

 

For more information, visit the link below and register for FREE virtual tour

Contact Us – Home Health Notify 

Popular Article - Lifestyle Conditions
Referral Rejections

A startling 75 percent of Americans over 65 live with multiple chronic health conditions, ranging from diabetes to dementia. Predominantly, hospitals have been able to refer patients to their network of home health agencies with the confidence of being absorbed by them until recently. The trends show that post-COVID 19, more and more patients opted for home health care where they get treated in the secure environment of their homes instead of visiting hospitals or nursing homes. Hence, The demand for home and community-based care has skyrocketed, unlike the supply creating high referral rejection rate than ever.

Read More »
Caregivers through Holiday Season

As the air temperature cools and the fall colours bloom, it is evident that the Holiday Season is round the corner. While the holiday season can be a time for planning, travels and festivities, with family to recharge our batteries, healthcare is one of the few industries exempted from downtime.

Read More »
Equip Staff with New Technologies

COVID-19 has been challenging to the Home health care industry. Yet it has showed us a way to unlock major growth opportunities for Home Health Agencies by using technology to their advantage.

Read More »
Categories
Home Health Notify

Advantages of CAHPS Survey

Advantages of CAHPS Survey

Survey of HHAs by Government

Home Health Notify helps achieve 5-star ratings

Home Health Industry in the US has a market size of $110 billion. There are 431,454 Home Care Providers businesses in the US as in 2021, an increase of 3.8% from 2020. The number of businesses in the Home Care Providers industry in the US has grown 3.7% per year on average over the five years between 2016 – 2021. Texas (4,204 businesses), California (3,423 businesses) and Florida (2,682 businesses) are the States with the most number of Home Care Providers businesses in the US according to www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/number-of-businesses/home-care-providers-united-states/

The remarkable share of Home Health Industry initiated the government to regulate and assess all the players in the industry. The Centre for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requested the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to create a survey in order to better evaluate and understand the quality of care provided by home health care agencies. In January 2015, AHRQ  developed Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Hospice Survey, which follows scientific principles of survey design and development. The well-researched exhaustive process of data collection was derived through Interviews, formative research, Input from experts, cognitive testing, field tests and endorsement of national quality forum.

STAR RATINGS

As a result of CAHPS Hospice survey, CMS created Quality of Patient Care Star Ratings to help provide transparency to consumers, by comparing the quality of care delivered by various Home Health Agencies (HHAs). The Star Ratings summarize certain data about the quality of home health care provided by various HHAs in a format that is easy to view and understand. The ratings are posted on www.medicare.gov: the official U.S. government site for Medicare, a primary tool to assist consumers choose a home health care provider.

There are two types of home health star ratings:

  • Quality of Patient Care Star Ratings: The Quality of Patient Care (QoPC) Star Rating is based on OASIS assessments and Medicare claims data. These ratings were first posted in July 2015 and is updated on quarterly bases.
  • Patient Survey Star Ratings: Patient Survey Star Ratings are based on the Home Health CAHPS Survey. They were first posted on January 2016 and is updated quarterly.

All Medicare-certified HHAs need to participate for Quality of Patient Care Star Rating. For this it is mandatory for HHAs to provide data for at least 20 complete quality episodes for each measure to be reported on Care Compare. Episodes must have an end-of-care date within the 12-month reporting period regardless of the start date, to have a Quality of Patient Care Star Rating computed. Each HHA gets preview reports showing the Patient Survey star ratings about one month before the ratings are posted on Care Compare. Agencies have a few weeks to review and request alterations with supporting documents and proof.

How does it benefit HHAs?

The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Hospice Survey empowers Home Health Agencies by attracting referral sources, driving business growth, and sustaining compliance requirements from their state departments of health as well as the federal Centre for Medicare Services. As value-based systems continue to impact the healthcare industry, publicly reported data becomes increasingly beneficial to organizations with optimal survey scores as they accrue referrals and industry partnerships.

CMS believes, the CAHPS Hospice Survey delivers valuable insights to the organizations for ongoing efforts to improve patient and family experiences. Additionally, Star Ratings stimulates improvement in the quality of care provided and incentivizes HHAs to maintain quality.

The survey play an important role as a quality improvement (QI) tool for health care organizations that use the standardized data to :

  • Identify relative strengths and weaknesses in their performance.
  • Determine where they need to improve.
  • Track their progress over time.
  • Cultivate an environment that encourages and sustains quality improvement.

Optimizing scores on the CAHPS Hospice Survey is ultimately based on an organization’s ability to deliver a patient- and family-centred care experience. This keeps the HHAs on toes as they are reviewed and examined consistently. Predictions of strong and steady revenue growth over the five years, as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and an aging population feels more comfortable utilizing industry services. The aging population will likely continue to foster revenue growth because this demographic not only requires more healthcare services compared with other age groups, but it also increasingly prefers home care. Payers are expected to progressively shift to home care because it is more affordable than inpatient care.

How Home Health Notify helps achieve 5-Star Ratings?

Improved patient care is the ultimate goal for every Home Health Agency. Early detection coupled with Effective intervention results in Improved patient outcomes. The golden rule for agencies, is to focus on improved patient care through efficient processes for consistent proficiency and results. This will eventually lead them to 5-star ratings on the CAHPS Hospice Survey.

Home Health Notify (HHN), has tailor designed communication tools to facilitate improved patient outcomes and prevents hospitalizations by early detection and immediate intervention. HHN works with all EMRs efficiently and proves to be the Catalyst you have been seeking to improve the work efficiency of your staff and instil culture of accountability through:

  • Organised detailed documentation
  • Progress chart of the patient from SOC
  • Clear Communication channels which can be recorded for audit

HHN’s advanced communication tools not only makes the intervention with patients very detailed yet quick but also keeps the clinicians abreast with all the critical information. The group of clinicians, physicians and patients, working as a team especially during emergencies is a sure shot winner.  Smiling patients and stress-free clinicians are a dream come true for a Home Health Agencies. HHN strives to aim towards this goal.

Home Health Notify (HHN) can transform and escalate the efficiency of your agency. We will be happy to explain, HOW? To learn more, schedule a free Demo of the App!

Contact Us – Home Health Notify

Popular Article - Lifestyle Conditions
Referral Rejections

A startling 75 percent of Americans over 65 live with multiple chronic health conditions, ranging from diabetes to dementia. Predominantly, hospitals have been able to refer patients to their network of home health agencies with the confidence of being absorbed by them until recently. The trends show that post-COVID 19, more and more patients opted for home health care where they get treated in the secure environment of their homes instead of visiting hospitals or nursing homes. Hence, The demand for home and community-based care has skyrocketed, unlike the supply creating high referral rejection rate than ever.

Read More »
Caregivers through Holiday Season

As the air temperature cools and the fall colours bloom, it is evident that the Holiday Season is round the corner. While the holiday season can be a time for planning, travels and festivities, with family to recharge our batteries, healthcare is one of the few industries exempted from downtime.

Read More »
Equip Staff with New Technologies

COVID-19 has been challenging to the Home health care industry. Yet it has showed us a way to unlock major growth opportunities for Home Health Agencies by using technology to their advantage.

Read More »
Categories
Home Health Notify

Home Health Agencies step up to combat the Covid-19 Delta Variant

Home Health Agencies step up to combat the Covid-19 Delta Variant

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Home Health Agencies step up to combat the Covid-19 Delta Variant

President Joe Biden called on Americans to get the COVID vaccine, stressing that the nation was prepared to deal with the surge in COVID-19 cases like never before. The news came as the highly contagious Delta variant is driving a coronavirus surge, with the nation reporting more than 85,000 cases a day.

Almost 70% of adults have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, a benchmark President Biden had hoped to reach nearly a month earlier, on July 4. According to latest figures from the CDC, 163.9 million people, or 49 percent of the total U.S. population, have now been fully vaccinated.

COVID vaccination of homebound persons present unique challenges

  • Homebound persons need the help of another person or medical equipment such as crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs to leave their home
  • However, medical providers believe that their health or illness could get worse if they leave their home. It might be too taxing to visit the hospital or Doctor’s clinic for such a small procedure.

Home Health Care Agencies are offering affordable and convenient on-call services, for vaccination at home. However, data suggests that the current design of the Medicare home health benefit is not sufficient to meet the needs of post-acute beneficiaries.

Benefits Of Vaccination At Home

Vaccination is a simple procedure and can be easily administered at home under the care of a trained nurse. Benefits of getting vaccination at home are:

  • Saves senior citizens from travelling all the way to the hospital
  • Vaccinations cause a lot of stress among elderly. It is better to get them vaccinated in the comfort of their homes, where they can also be handled by family members
  • This allows luxury to the elderly, to choose the day and time of vaccination.

Pre-vaccination planning for vaccination of homebound persons

Providers vaccinating homebound persons should carefully pre-plan to understand how they can most efficiently prevent vaccine wastage and ensure safe and effective vaccination by:

  • Estimating number of doses needed as accurately as possible
  • Plan to use all doses in a vial transported for home vaccination to minimize wasting vaccine doses, such as having contingency plans for vaccination of caregivers, or other persons in the home.
  • Providing information in a variety of accessible formats (e.g., American Sign Language, multiple languages, braille, large font, low literacy, materials with pictures or visual cues)
  • Mapping out travel plans to ensure vaccine is utilized within the approved time frames for use of vaccine at different temperatures, including factoring in pre-vaccination preparation time, and post-vaccination observation time.
  • Ensuring readiness to maintain, monitor, and report temperature of the vaccine from the time vaccine is taken out of a clinical facility, during transportation, and up to the time the vaccine is administered.

It is essential that home health care professionals receive effective training to meet demands of their roles. They should get proper guidance for storage, handling, preparation, and administration of each COVID-19 vaccine product. Home health care professionals as well as non-clinical staff, administering COVID-19 vaccines should be knowledgeable about requirements and best practices.

Staff should be thoroughly trained for accessibility-specific issues, such as working with people who are blind or have limited vision; those who are deaf or hard of hearing; those who work with service animals; and those with various language, physical, social, or sensory needs.

Role of HHAs during the Covid-19, Delta variant outbreak

As our nation confronts COVID-19; the Delta outbreak is a more infectious strain of Coronavirus that continues to spread across the U.S. The home health community is working aggressively to protect patients, home health care providers, and communities. As an industry of highly skilled professionals caring for vulnerable populations with multiple chronic conditions, home health agencies are uniquely qualified to play an active role in treating individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. Especially with increased hospitalizations, frontline staff are trained for crucial aftercare of patients as per government norms.

Agencies are geared with experience and learning from challenges encountered last year during the COVID-19 outbreak. They are better prepared with strategic planning, trained staff, vaccination drives and well-defined execution this time, ensuring the safety of both, Home health staff and patients.


Home Health Notify(HHN) is a HIPAA compliant Communication platform that easily works with all EMRs

HHN is tailor-built by a Home Health Agency for the Home Health Industry. Real-time data and interactive communication are key to efficient clinicians and physicians leading to satisfied patients. The App is a shared platform between the entire team.

Click here to book your Free Demo, NOW!

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Role Of Home Health Industry Fighting Covid-19​

Role Of Home Health Industry Fighting Covid-19

Role of HHA fighting Covid

In the future, 2020-21 will stand out as the year that homecare truly shined out. From taking the burden off overtaxed hospital intensive care units by providing around-the-clock clinical care at home, to supporting seniors facing isolation. There have been countless instances over the past year when, care coordination helped optimized resources which resulted in better outcomes as a whole. This proved that, Home Health care services are crucial to bridging these widening gaps between hospitals and patients. Propelled by home health care’s participation at the forefront of the COVID-19 response, is a shot in the arm for providers to continue make quality health care accessible to our communities’ most vulnerable.

Role of HHAs during the Pandemic

Older adults and individuals with underlying chronic health conditions are at greater risk for complications and death from COVID-19, the very population served by Medicare’s home health benefit. This calls for more trained nurses and practitioners to visit patients’ homes, their demand is constantly escalating with passing days. Pandemic has changed home health care forever.

As we are aware, visiting hospitals during the Pandemic days is not a practical solution for senior citizens suffering from different ailments. Patients at home are anxious visiting hospitals due to the situation, and are seeking for Medical aid at the comfort and safety of their homes. Moreover, the Individuals who are just out of hospitals after the COVID-19 treatment are in immediate attention of Home Health care.  Home health industry has a big role to play, in caring for the ones out of hospital and for the ones preventing hospitalisation.

Moreover, the agency is concerned about protecting their workforce. During the pandemic, HHAs experienced new, substantial challenges in order to maintain services while keeping clients and aides safe from COVID-19. Specific needs to improve future pandemic resilience include more complete information on the infection status of clients; ready access to affordable PPE; and guidance, tools, and training from government and research agencies that are tailored for the industry and its workforce. The impacts of COVID-19 found in this study highlight the need to incorporate HHAs more fully into future healthcare and public health pandemic planning.

Meeting the Demand

Home health care is becoming one of the leading sources of medical care in these troubled times, with the eminent need to keep the elderly patients out of hospitals, or caring for the ones out of it. The medical attention and care given through Home Health staff is more preferred by the family of patients, as it is, more personal, peaceful and slow paced. This also gives the staff opportunity to connect with the patients personally and comfort them in these difficult times. They need medical attention to keep them afloat. This causes for a significant demand for trained nurses and practitioners across the country. 

Unfortunately, the demand is met with acute shortage of CNAs, LPS’s, and RNs in this space is witnessed which is alarming due to immense need during these troubled times. The turnover of patients handle by staff has become much higher in number. It leaves no time and zero personal life for overworked and tired and staff of clinicians. The pandemic highlights licensing barriers that predate COVID-19, but many believe it can serve as a wake-up call for state legislatures to address the issue for this crisis and beyond. Already, five states — Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey and New York — have adapted their licensing guidelines to allow foreign-trained health care workers to lend their lifesaving skills amid pandemic-induced staff shortages.

Here are a few steps necessary for a Home Health agency to follow:

  • Maintaining appropriate staffing in healthcare facilities is essential to providing a safe work environment for healthcare personnel (HCP) and safe patient care. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, staffing shortages will likely occur due to HCP exposures, illness, or need to care for family members at home.
  • Healthcare facilities must be prepared for potential staffing shortages and have plans and processes in place to mitigate these, including communicating with HCP about actions
  • Be in communication with local healthcare coalitions, federal, state, and local public health partners (e.g., public health emergency preparedness and response staff) to identify additional HCP (e.g., hiring additional HCP, recruiting retired HCP, using students or volunteers), when needed.

Overview

Over the past few years, there has been a steady uptick in the requests for home health care services. As the number of seniors, the number of chronic conditions to be managed, and life expectancy increase, so does the desire to safely age in place. Both the health care industry and the federal and state agencies that oversee the industry’s many moving parts need to recognize the home health care community for what it is: an indispensable service that will make health care as a whole stronger and more resilient.

As we enter our new normal, many Home Health agencies are being praised for their hard-work and determination during this difficult time. Many of them are being rewarded by their local towns, peers, and employers for their commitment with their patients. This sends a message to the medical industry that, becoming a home health care staff has similar recognition to the hospital staff, and probably on a greater level.

The core shift for home health organizations is visible in the overall healthcare industry. Organizations need to move from producing volume to creating value. Across the country, all healthcare disciplines are moving towards value-based care. Home Health caregiver’s appreciation and demand can be, foot in the door to help the shortage of home care nurses nationwide.

TRY A FREE VIRTUAL TOUR OF HOME HEALTH NOTIFY

We are keen to understand the challenges during these difficult times, and see if our platform can help progress your agency.

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Growing Your Business in 2021

Growing Your Business in 2021

Growing your business

The healthcare landscape has changed dramatically over the past two decades due to advancing digital technology, population changes and evolving federal policy. For the home health industry in particular, Medicare’s payment policy has moved away from Fee-for-Service (FFS) to Managed Care. This shift has initiated Home Health agencies to adapt and change their business model towards more efficient and effective care providers. It has also fundamentally transformed how agencies present themselves to physicians and get referrals. 

Work culture at HHAs, Circa 2006 

Let’s quickly remind ourselves what Home Health marketing looked like circa 2006. The physicians’ selection criteria for a HHA were simple. HHA’s team routinely visited physicians’ offices and presented strategy alongside an elaborate luncheon. For selection of the agency, physicians relied on their “gut” feeling along with a few questions: “Can I trust these people?”, “Will they take care of my patients?”, and “Did I like their presentation.” If the presentation and food impressed the Physicians, agency was assured to see a few patients trickle in from their office. The referrals were based on a one-on-one, trust-based relationship. Once the right equation was in place concerning quality of work and trust, the relationship grew with more referrals and increased patient census.  

Back then, Medicare’s payment system, FFS, was simple. Home Health Care agencies got paid hefty money per visit. However, this system did not always incentivize the right behaviours from healthcare providers and was often abused by agencies. By 2011, the system was in need of some big change. 

Introduction of PO and ACO in healthcare  

Around 2011, new legislation was passed to substantially improve care and reduce costs, Medicare brought in big changes. The new legislation was centred around three goals: 

  • Improve patient care 
  • Improve patient outcomes 
  • Reduce costs 

In order to achieve goals, the legislation pushed physicians to join Physician Organizations (POs) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Under the new law, these organizations aimed to attain huge cost savings while alongside the defined key goals.

The POs were not keen to deal with many home health agencies. they wanted to build a preferred network of few providers they could trust. Main objective was excellent care with reduced costs and reduced hospitalization of patients.  The writing was on the wall; getting referrals and strong relationships with individual physicians could no longer sustain a growing agency. 

Preferred Networks 

To get patients and referrals agencies needed to invest in marketing to the newly formed POs and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Livelihood of POs’ and ACOs’ depended on keeping patient costs low, their selection criteria were entirely on statics. They required evidence to join hands hand with your HHA, and assurance of lower  cost of medical care. HHAs were carefully scrutinized regarding their processes and procedures, to ensure highest quality of patient care.  

Guidelines for a successful HHA

I am eager to briefly share some tips to reach-out the POs and ACOs and ensure that your agency not only survives, but thrives under the new paradigm. 

  1. Home Health Compare: Home Health Compare is Medicare’s repository of information on health care providers. The website displays your star rating. It is the first thing any organization looking to partner with you, will evaluate. Get to know this tool, and make sure your numbers reflect the standard of care you provide. 
  2. Documented Processes and Procedures: 50% of healthcare costs comes from 5% of the patients, so you must show POs, your process to identify that 5% at mitigated the patient risks. Also show the organizations what your agency does to manage high-risk patients.
  3. Involve the physician: Doctors need to have visibility into the care of their patients. Show them your process of regular updates, and how this helps prevent hospitalizations through fast, effective intervention. At our agency, we use HOME HEALTH NOTIFY to keep our physicians up-to-date in real-time. 

Field staff is the life-line of your organization, make sure they are of the superior quality. At TONE HOME HEALTHCARE SERVICES, we only use the highest level of clinicians, no LPNs or PTAs. They communicate with patients, physicians and represent your company in every interaction. Ensure, that they have the right resources and training to accomplish their job. Educate your staff on Medicare policy, else there will always be struggle during execution no matter the best of intentions. 

Execution 

Smooth marketing may get you into a preferred network, but only great performance will keep you inside one. If you want a sustainable stream of referrals from your partners, you must perform and your HHC numbers will reflect that Make sure you have effective and efficient staff, processes, and tools to follow through your promises made to the POs and ACOs.  

We wish you all the best in your Home Health adventure. Please reach out to us with any questions or comments!

TRY A FREE VIRTUAL TOUR OF HOME HEALTH NOTIFY

We are keen to understand the challenges, and see if our platform can help progress your agency.

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A startling 75 percent of Americans over 65 live with multiple chronic health conditions, ranging from diabetes to dementia. Predominantly, hospitals have been able to refer patients to their network of home health agencies with the confidence of being absorbed by them until recently. The trends show that post-COVID 19, more and more patients opted for home health care where they get treated in the secure environment of their homes instead of visiting hospitals or nursing homes. Hence, The demand for home and community-based care has skyrocketed, unlike the supply creating high referral rejection rate than ever.

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Catalyst for a Successful Home Health Agency

Catalyst for a Successful Home Health Agency

Catalyst for Successful HHA

Improved patient care is the ultimate goal for every agency. Agencies should focus on improved patient care through efficient processes.  It is important to infuse a culture of accountability and efficiency throughout the company for improved care coordination. The golden formula that works for efficient Home Health Agencies towards improved patients’ outcome is:

EARLY DETECTION + EFFECTIVE INTERVENTION => IMPROVED PATIENT OUTCOMES

Patient issues should be detected and diagnosed quickly, and should be provided immediate and appropriate treatment. For a budding home health agency with less than 20 patients, this formula is all they need to remember.  That’s the responsibility that we take on as a Home Health Agency and a promise we make to our patients and physicians.

But in order to scale this formula to hundreds and thousands of patients, we need to make some tweaks. As your agency grows, you have to ensure that you must apply the formula to every single patient that your agency takes on. How can you achieve that?

In chemistry, in order to accelerate and tune a reaction, we use catalysts! Catalysts dramatically speed up actions, while ensuring that they materialize reliably.  The Catalyst for a bigger Home Health Agency is REAL-TIME COMMUNICATION. This is the catalyst that connects your clinicians, patients, and physicians so that they can work as a team, anywhere, anytime to produce improved and accelerated outcomes.

Let’s explore some examples so we can understand this catalyst’s “mechanism”.

Facilitating Early Detection

It is extremely difficult to closely track each patient’s status, make sure there are no gaps in care, and keep everyone on the same page. Using a real-time communication app builds a culture of teamwork and accountability especially when managing a remote team with remote patients. 

Every time, when a visit is made, the clinicians can notify about it via our communication app, Home Health Notify (HHN). It only takes 30 seconds for them to check-in with the office.  This ensures that our agency is on top of the patient’s care. On the flip side if the clinician has not made the Start-of-Care or Eval visits of the patient, we can quickly resolve that.

Routine visits are the key to early detection.  HHN ensures that we are checking up on our patients all the time as a routine, and can catch issues at their onset and treat them instantly. Home Health Notify makes this easier by making your patient’s care completely transparent to all the parties involved.

Facilitating Effective Intervention

Once the medical issue has been noticed, the agency has to ensure that the care team makes an effective intervention, the clinicians can make relevant messages visible to the physician, resulting in real-time involvement. This enables physicians to provide timely and optimal care for your patients. Home Health Notify, works as a catalyst for an effective intervention.

Efficient and real-time communication is also very important while the patient is showing effective progress during the treatment. The follow-ups are as important as the initial visits. In short, communication is essential throughout. There are several options available for real-time communication platforms that are HIPAA compliant. 

Home Health Notify is tailor built for the home health industry by a Home Health agency. It improves patient outcomes and prevents hospitalizations by early detection and immediate intervention. The App will prove to be the Catalyst you have been seeking to improve the work efficiency of your staff and instil a culture of accountability. 

Reach out to us for more information on how you can “catalyze” your patient outcomes and business growth!

Book a free demonstration and virtual tour of Home Health Notify.

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A startling 75 percent of Americans over 65 live with multiple chronic health conditions, ranging from diabetes to dementia. Predominantly, hospitals have been able to refer patients to their network of home health agencies with the confidence of being absorbed by them until recently. The trends show that post-COVID 19, more and more patients opted for home health care where they get treated in the secure environment of their homes instead of visiting hospitals or nursing homes. Hence, The demand for home and community-based care has skyrocketed, unlike the supply creating high referral rejection rate than ever.

Read More »
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Effect of PDGM on HHAs – Home Health Notify to Your Rescue

The Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) is the biggest change for home health agencies in over two decades. The shift to the new model requires agencies to examine patient needs, comorbidities, and referral sources to determine if their case-mix optimizes reimbursement. CMS describes PDGM as an alternative case-mix adjustment methodology that will further the shift to a value-based payment system and ultimately reduce the cost of home healthcare delivery. “The redesign of the home health payment system encourages value over volume and removes incentives to provide unnecessary care,” says Seema Verma, SMC administrator and consultant for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “This home health rule focuses on patient needs and not on the volume of care.”

CMS estimates LUPA rates will drop from 8% to 7.1% with PDGM implementation. The policy has dramatically changed home health reimbursement since January 2020. Most crucial area that is important for HHA is cost control while managing care plan of each patient. The change has initiated a shift in CMS’s; hence, care leaders are keen to evolve their organizations into value-driven and client / patient-centred providers.

What it means for HHAs:

The change from 60-day episodes to 30-day periods means that agencies must plan, deliver, document, and bill for care twice as often. The first 24-48 hours from start of care (SOC) will be critical to optimize reimbursement: a HHA clinician must assess the patient’s needs and document a plan of care (POC) as soon as possible.

Today, successfully implementing PDGM requires agency leaders to flex their projecting, planning, and execution muscles. In essence, it’s all about your HHAs ability to manage and execute change effectively. Since the Patient-Driven Groupings Model has taken effect, home health agencies across the country are trying to keep up and maintain compliance. The largest change facing home health agencies in over two decades has many organizations evaluating and updating internal processes. Others are expanding their service lines to serve more clinically complex patients.

PDGM is affecting each agency differently, providers should prepare by adjusting their practices and rebalancing their patient populations. To maximize reimbursements and stay compliant with the model; your organization must have a plan for how to provide effective and efficient care.

Do you have the tools you need to thrive as regulations continue to evolve?

– YES

There are many documented toolkits and programs to train your agency to become PDGM ready. Added pressures from COVID-19 have exacerbated intake challenges. Common issues include missing information in referrals, hard-to-reach referral sources, and gaps in staff knowledge about clinical groupings. You can make your HHAs PDGM ready, but turning them PDGM effective is more vital. It is critical and need of the hour to implement accurate systems to optimise the results of the toolkits and strategies.

The most pertinent option to adopt in these times, when effective change is required, is HOME HEALTH NOTIFY. This e-platform works as a game changer in implementing a much-needed transformation. It is the most organic solution for all HHAs for a revolutionary turn around in efficiency and accountability of staff. This tailor build App will contribute not only in changing the work ethos but also prove an excellent solution for PDGM standards. The Home Health Notify App progressively shifts your agency towards process-oriented systems and efficient staff. Transparent work ethics and real-time results are most favourable to all the levied parties, the patients, the agency and the PDGM policy.

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