The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

5 Mistakes to Avoid When You Sell Your Home Care Services

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 16, 2017 1:07:00 PM

 One of the industry experts I learn from every time we speak is Ginny Kenyon, principal at Kenyon Home Care Consulting.  Ginny helps open home care agencies and has given Ankota great inputs on our software.  We at Ankota strongly believe that keeping elderly people healthy and comfortable in their homes (and out of the hospital) is an important step in the evolution of healthcare.  Ginny is one of the pioneers driving moves in home health delivery.  Enjoy her post (below).

 

Iseptember2-partners.jpgs your home care agency selling its services to other vendors, programs, and providers? This is a valuable step in your growth process that can generate more revenue, but only when it’s done right. While it may take considerable time (and possibly monetary) investment, selling your services will maximize your ROI. But before you start, you need to make sure you’re not committing these costly mistakes.

Be a Partner — Not a Vendor

Position your home care agency as a partner, not a vendor. Being a partner is a very different relationship than that of a vendor. If you market your services as a vendor, you won’t show the other company what a valuable asset your agency can be. Also, if you position yourself as a vendor, negotiating pricing and obtaining referrals can be a lot more difficult because you are just one of many options. That is not the case when you are a partner who is there for mutual benefit.

Don’t Do All the Talking

While you might have a great sales pitch, now is not the time to use it. Instead, you need to listen to the needs and wants of your referral source. Find out what is important to them (e.g., if they are an independent/assisted living building, keeping their apartments full is crucial to their success). Helping them see you as a partner that can enable them do that is the right way to position yourself. This is a critical step and, if you cannot demonstrate this, you may not be appealing to your referral source.

Pair Your Services With Your Partner’s Needs

Once you know what the referral source is looking for, you can now pair your services with their exact needs. The goal is to fill the gap so that you’re the ideal choice for them. If you just sell your services as a general package, you won’t fulfill what they’re missing and they may be inclined to partner with another agency.

Don’t Guarantee What You Can’t Deliver

While you might have some services that align with your partner’s needs, don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Overpromising and then not fulfilling your promises will make you look unreliable. Also, if you promise a specific service to your referral source, you better be able to provide it. For example, if you offered Alzheimer’s care services, you should have adequately trained staff and the capability to provide the service before your partner starts referring business your way.

Be An Expert

If you advertise that you are a specialist in a disease like Alzheimer’s or CHF or Diabetes, provide the training and ongoing education to make it true. A one-hour in-service on the subject in orientation does NOT make your staff experts in the disease. Be sure that you are providing a strong basic education and ongoing education throughout the year that demonstrates your commitment to ensuring that your employees are indeed the experts in that area.

Partnerships are integral to the success of your home care agency, as long as they’re setup properly. If you position yourself as a valuable partner and help your referral source where they need it most, it can be a highly profitable relationship. If you’re not sure how to market your home care agency, schedule a consultation with a consultant at Kenyon HomeCare Consulting. Our team can help you sell your services and appeal to referral sources so that you can continue to grow your business.

This article, 5 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN YOU SELL YOUR HOME CARE SERVICES first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

7_habits_effective_home_care.jpg

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, Ginny Kenyon

3 Natural Ways To Improve Your Home Health Patient's Well-Being

Posted by Jed Hammel on Jan 10, 2017 11:15:00 AM

Home Health 3 Natural Ways To Improve Your Patients Wellbeing.jpgToday's guest post is from Emma Sturgis.  Emma is a freelance writing currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, you can connect on Twitter via: @EmmaSturgis2

If you're a home-based caregiver to a patient who is sick or terminally ill, there are a few steps you can take to increase the health of their environment naturally and easily. Let's explore 3 natural ways to improve your patient's well-being at home:

Install A Whole-Home Water Filtration Unit

Water is essential to your patient's health, and they need to drink plenty of it every day. Unfortunately, the tap water in many areas also contains chemicals and may not be the purest or cleanest for your patient. It's beneficial to install a whole-home water filtration unit to ensure that any contaminants in the water are removed before your patient drinks or bathes in the water.

Replace Chemical-Based Cleaners & Personal Care Products With Natural Organic Alternatives

Most cleaners and personal care products are loaded with chemicals that could potentially be harmful to your patient's health. There are safer alternatives readily available that may make your patient feel more comfortable. 

For basic cleaning tasks, natural substances like organic vinegar, organic castile soap, baking soda, water and essential oils are often all that's needed. If you’re having trouble finding natural cleaners, it's a good idea to source personal care products at specialty retailers like health food stores. It's also possible to find organic cleaners and personal care products online.

It's particularly important to pay attention to the ingredients of any product that your patient could accidentally ingest by breathing, such as sprayed-on cleaners.

It's also critical to be aware of any ingredients that will come into direct contact with your patient's skin. Anything that gets on your patient's skin is likely to be absorbed into his or her body, so soaps and skincare products must be free of harmful ingredients.

Detoxify The Air In The Home With An Air Purifier

An air purifier can help to rid the air in the home of many contaminants including cigarette smoke particles, airborne mold particles, dust and more.

 Since breathing secondhand smoke is harmful, this is a particularly important step to take if your patient lives in a household where a smoker is present. It's also a high priority if your patient lives in a home or apartment building where nearby neighbors smoke within close proximity of your patient.

These are just 3 simple steps home-based caregivers can take to help improve patients' well-being at home. If you're interested in caring for those who are sick or terminally ill, you may want to look into receiving further education and skills with an mha online

If you're looking for additional ways to expand your knowledge-base or business, consider downloading our free white paper, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry.  Just click the link to download.

If you're interested in learning more about our home care management software solutions, or about our Care Transitions component as a way to increase revenue, just click the button below: 

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_Why Care Transitions is the Next Big Thing in Home Care_White_paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Aging in Place Technology, Home Care Technology

5 Takeaways from a Deliotte Survey on Healthcare Tech

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 9, 2017 10:17:00 AM

Ankota's marketing director, Jed Hammel doesn't come from the home care world but instead is an expert is social media marketing, filmmaking, event planning and more.  We hope you enjoy this article recapping an article from Deloitte University Press on some in-depth findings pertaining to their 2016 Survey of US Health Care Consumers.

computer-767776_640.jpgIn Deloitte University Press' recent article, entitled, "Will Patients and Caregivers Embrace Technology-Enabled Healthcare?", a treasure trove a data and findings affecting the home care, home health, and overall healthcare ecosystem are laid out in detail.

I strongly suggest that you read the entire article here, but as usual, here's a taste of what the article has to offer:  To get you started, the article looks at a survey they condcted:

For the 2016 Survey of US Health Care Consumers, we tested consumer reactions to technology-enabled home care in 15 scenarios covering different types of technology and applications: telemedicine (four), remote patient monitoring/sensors (IoT) (six), and drones/robotics (five). We asked about reasonable cost and any concerns that technology developers, providers, or plans offering the technology should address.

From there, the article goes into their findings topic by topic and offers insight beyond the numbers.  The full article goes through the data with useful key points, graphs, and charts presented.  Again, here's a rundown to get you started:

Some Key Takeaways of the Survey

  • Consumers have an appetite for using technology-enabled care

  • Telemedicine, in which half of respondents show interest, is the most popular technology

  • Caregivers are a key population 

  • Heavier users of the health care system show the most interest in all technologies 

  • Consumers demand high-quality, personalized care and want assurance that their personal information will be safe

As I mentioned above, the article expands on these points further.  What this article continues to prove out is that tech in healthcare continues to evolve and change how we deliver care.  Because of these advancements, it is important for folks in the home care and healthcare space to keep current with the latest technologies, and we hope you find the full article recapped here to be useful to you, your clients or patients, and your business.

If you're seeking new opportunities in the healthcare space, ways to expand your current offerings, or if you are in need of management software to streamine your business, take a look at links below:

One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Selling_Care_Transition_Services_to_Hospitals_Cover.png

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions

5 Ways Private Duty Home Care is Like Startup Culture

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 4, 2017 10:21:00 AM

Ankota's marketing director, Jed Hammel doesn't come from the home care world but instead is an expert is social media marketing, filmmaking, event planningstartup-1018511_640 (1).png and more.  We hope you enjoy this article about how the home care industry and startups relate.   

I wrote a blog post a few months ago about the differences between working in a traditional corporate workplace and "startup culture." After thinking about it a bit more, I realize that the qualities one needs to thrive in a startup environment are very similiar to the qualities needed to excel as a private duty home care worker or at a homecare agency.

Take a look at the list below and feel free to comment below if you'd add anything to the list: 

“The Prime Directive”

When I worked in and later taught film production to students, mainly how to thrive on a 50+person film set, I always referred to a Core Value I hold, “The Prime Directive”.  A phrase taken from “Star Trek”, what it means to me is simply asking what is the Number One goal of why you’re on set?  Is it to prove that you’re the smartest, or most experienced?  Is it to get people to like or respect you?  Is to make sure you’re proven right?  Of course not.  The number one goal of filmmaking is simply: “Get the Movie Made”  With this way of thinking, you remove all the interpersonal nonsense and you focus solely on the task at hand.  

I feel that filmmaking, startup culture, and the home care industry share this core value...No person too big, no job too small, caregiving is all abut doing what is needed to care for your clients.

Teamwork

Generally speaking, I am comfortable in a leadership role. I also quite enjoy and thrive in a support role, doing whatever is needed, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done.  Either way, what I know to be true 100% is that nothing great ever happened without teamwork.  I love it when I’m part of a group of people who work together and achieve something bigger than ourselves.  

In home care, you may be working by yourself and the client, or with a diverse team as part of a broader agency.  But even if you work solo, working together with your client and their family members require a certain level of teamwork.  

Morever, whether you work for yourself or as part of a team, caring for another human being often requires to see the bigger picture and to feel that your work extends beyond just checking off tasks on a checklist. 

Problem Solving

I love looking at problems and finding creative ways to solve them.  Plain and simple.  Startups are based on solving problems as quickly and efficiently as possible so to have this as a skill is a boon if you’re part of a startup business.

I'm confident that homecare veterans can list pages of examples when they needed to use creative problem-solving with their tasks, client requests, maintaining their client's dignity, or navigating client/family interactions.   

Mission Based Work

I’ve been fortunate enough that all the sales, marketing, and promotion positions I’ve held have been for products, services, or events that I believe in and Championed wholeheartedly.  For me to spend all that time, energy, and money to promote a product I’m not passionate about…Well, I can’t see myself being very good at Championing a product, service, or company with a mission I don’t believe in.  The good news is that a great deal of startups are mission driven.  

The homecare folks I've interacted with take pride in and understand the need for the care of their clients.  Home care tends to be task-focused and not highly engaging work on the surface.  That said, successful homecare workers tend to look beyond the tasks themselves to see the value to their clients, and the appreciation clients and their families feel.

A Variety of “Jobs”

For me, reaching the set goal is my focus, what job(s) I need to do to accomplish the goal is of less interest to me. You do what you need to get the job done.  That, and I enjoy the variety, the ever-changing pace, and the different people and skills I can learn about along the way on the journey.

Though there are general work duties and a checklist to follow, day-to-day and client-to-client a home care worker's duties and "jobs" span a wide variety of responsibilities and requests.  Every day is an adventure, as they say.

What do you think of the list?  What would you add or expand on?  Do you have any interesting anecdotes or stories that exemplify the list?  Feel free to comment below! 

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Selling_Care_Transition_Services_to_Hospitals_Cover.png

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions

5 Ways to Improve Healthcare via the Visionary Founder of Athena Health

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 2, 2017 10:09:00 AM

Ankota's marketing director, Jed Hammel doesn't come from the home care world but instead is an expert is social media marketing, filmmaking, event planning and more.  We hope you enjoy this article recapping what one Health IT Thought Leader sees as opportunities for improvement in healthcare. 

CEO and Co-founder at athenahealth, a company that provides cloud-based services for health care and point-of-care mobile apps.  Jonathan wrote an interesting article, entitled, "An Open Letter to Those Who Might Change the World by Fixing Healthcare."  In the piecem Jonathan describes 5 areas that he sees are in need of improvement in the Healthcare tech space.

 I suggest that you read the full article here, but as a start, here's his the list of opportunities:

  • Core Hospital Modalities Lacking Cloud-based Solutions

  • Virtualization of Ancillary Services

  •  Discharge Planning

  • Care Transitions and Handoffs

  • Medication Tracking

Care Transitions popped out to me since Ankota also feels that Care Transitions are a vital component to the healthcare ecosystem.  Moreover, we believe that Home Care can play a part in Care Transitions as a way to improve care for patients, expand home care businesses, and improve the cost and quality of healthcare in this country.

On that note, one of Ankota's whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Selling_Care_Transition_Services_to_Hospitals_Cover.png

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, January 2017 Newsletter

17 Qualities for Success in Home Healthcare Jobs

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 28, 2016 9:28:00 AM

 Today's guest post is by Kara Masterson.  Kara is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.  Enjoy Kara's article and feel free to comment below!

Healthcare Jobs.pngThe healthcare industry is a promising career possibility because of its positive job outlook and the variety of the types of jobs in that industry. In a list of the top 50 fastest growing occupations during 2014-2024 put out by the U.S. Department of Labor, 25 were from the healthcare industry. Specialty hospitals; physical therapy, nursing and physician assistant jobs; community care facilities for the elderly; ambulance services; and substance abuse facilities fell within the top ten on this list. However, another great job in the medical field is home healthcare.

How can you know whether working in home healthcare is what’s right for your career? The answer to this question depends on your knowledge of what it is that best suits you, in terms of your education, abilities, interests and personality traits. To assist you in answering your question, the following information highlights some of the important qualifications needed for being able to get involved with the in home healthcare industry. By following these guidelines you can figure out if there is a match between what you know about yourself and this great occupation.

Direct Care Of Patients

As a worker in any aspect of the medical field you have to directly care for and work with patient’s every day. That is especially true if you are going into home healthcare. In this field you have to be able to have and develop a great and trusting relationship with all of your patients. By doing that you can make sure that they feel comfortable asking you questions and seeking your help. Here is a list of just a few qualities needed in a home healthcare worker to help ensure that they have the best possible relationship with their patients.

  • Communication skills – communicating clearly with patients and other health professionals; includes listening, speaking, writing, explaining and understanding

  • Caring and Empathy – understanding and accepting what the other is thinking and feeling; compassion for patients

  • Openmindedness – readiness to absorb new information. This includes tolerance for differences among people

  • Thoroughness, accuracy and attention to detail – In medical care to patients, minute details are sometimes essential for recovery and errors can be costly

  • Problem solving abilities – quick thinking and problem solving are needed in critical situations

  • Emotional stability – In working with patients, the healthcare worker will encounter different emotions and must be able to retain calmness and composure

  • Physical endurance – In some jobs, strength is required in working with patients; long hours on foot require physical stamina

Administrative And Leadership Positions

The healthcare system requires extensive management and leadership at all levels. Besides those designated as administrators and managers, different functions within the system need leadership and coordination. If you would like to be higher up in home healthcare one day and manage more workers you also will have to develop quite a few skills. The following are some qualities of effective administrators and leaders.

  • Belief in service – good administrators want foremost to provide an excellent service to healthcare customers

  • Communication skills – an ability to listen and to clearly communicate

  • Organized; multitask – an orderly mind that can prioritize and is efficient

  • Analytical, problem solving - adept at seeing problems clearly and arriving at solutions

  • Technology knowledge/skills – understands how technology can help healthcare

Technology And Data Management Positions

If technology and the medical field are both things that interest you, you may want to look into data management positions for home healthcare. In this field there are tons of records and technologies that need to be used and tracked. It can definitely be hard to get professional care without professional technology, equipment and records. That is why it is so important for people in this field to have some of the following qualities.

  • Accuracy with details – handles details easily; quick to identify errors

  • Critical thinking and analytical skills – a mind that looks at trends and problems and understands what went wrong

  • Innovation and creativity – finds new solutions to snags in the system

  • Systems and technical skills - thorough knowledge of computers and IT resources; applies systems thinking

  • Communications and presentation skills – In training healthcare workers on the use of the IT system or in understanding problems encountered in its use, the IT worker needs to communicate simply and clearly.

If your desire is to make some contribution that makes the world a better place, the healthcare industry is unparalleled in the depth and variety of opportunities provided. Whether entering the work force just after graduating from high school, or after higher education, there are career paths available to you. One possibility is to complete either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Health Science. This is a general program that will give you a basic foundation in health science and allows you to explore different health specializations. There will surely be a special niche for you!

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Increasing Profitability via Care Transitions"   is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Increasing_Profitability_via_Care_Transitions.jpg

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions

5 Ways Homecare May Be Affected by Proposed Chronic Care Legislation

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 26, 2016 1:10:00 PM

 One of the industry experts I learn from every time we speak is Ginny Kenyon, principal at Kenyon Home Care Consulting.  Ginny helps open home care agencies and has given Ankota great inputs on our software.  We at Ankota strongly believe that keeping elderly people healthy and comfortable in their homes (and out of the hospital) is an important step in the evolution of healthcare.  Ginny is one of the pioneers driving moves in home health delivery.  Enjoy her post (below).

On October 31, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s chronic care working group released a discussion draft for the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2016, which is being introduced this month. The draft includes stakeholders’ comments and feedback released in December 2015.

We’ve got the run-down on everything addressed in the chronic illness management draft and how it relates to home healthcare.

Proposed Legislation and Chronic Care

While the proposed legislation—which does NOT require Medicare Advantage Plans to provide hospice benefits—is complex and includes various providers of Medicare coverage, there are a few specific areas that may affect homecare organizations specifically. Here’s what you need to know!chronic care

1. Extending and expanding the Independence at Home (IAH) Demonstration Project.

This demonstration was created to test payment incentives and service delivery models to improve health outcomes for Medicare recipients suffering from multiple chronic diseases. Under the IAH, qualifying providers are eligible for incentives when meeting performance standards.

Originally, the demonstration was scheduled to end on September 30, 2017. The CHRONIC Care Act proposes an extension of two years and an increase in the number of participating beneficiaries. It also gives providers three years to meet standard requirements rather than termination from the program after two years.

2. Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans will offer chronically ill members an increased amount of supplemental benefits.

Meaning, MA chronically ill recipients may be able to receive additional services improving their overall health outcomes. And resulting in little to no out-of-pocket cost to beneficiaries.

In addition, MA plan enrollees will have greater flexibility and more benefits for telehealth services. The draft expands home telehealth payments for MA accountable care organizations and for stroke consults.

3. Government Accountability Department will perform a study leading to development of a Medicare payment code for a one-time doctor visit to create a long-term chronic care plan.

This study is crucial for determining and eliminating barriers to skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and hospice programs for chronically ill patients. Having the ability to better facilitate longitudinal chronic care will promote health care organizations to work together for the good of chronically ill Medicare beneficiary. And in addition, meet the goal of decreasing healthcare costs.

4. Improvement for payment accuracy for those providing chronic care services.

A new payment model will take into account various factors affecting beneficiary’s health, such as:

  • Total number of chronic diseases;

  • Impact of additional diagnosis codes reflecting mental health and substance abuse;

  • Diagnosis of chronic kidney disease;

  • And requires a minimum of two years of chronic diagnosis data.

5. Eliminate Barriers to Care Coordination under Accountable Care Organizations

Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) are collaborations that integrate varying groups of health care providers. ACOs were created with the goal of ensuring patients receive the right care, specifically chronic care, in the right settings to optimize their treatment outcomes.

This proposed new program will make access to ACOs more flexible for beneficiaries and health care agencies. Thus leading to better chronic care across the continuum, and better communication between providers.

Preparing Your Agency to Provide Chronic Care

Chronic diseases are at an all-time high. The creation and proposal of new legislation is occurring regularly to keep up with this health crisis. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to equip your homecare staff to ensure they can properly handle these changes.

In order to take advantage of these proposed programs, such as the IAH demonstration and increased MA benefits, your team needs adequate chronic disease education and training. This allows you to provide top-notch care to clients suffering from one or more chronic illnesses. And also qualifies your agency to better participate in various government incentives.

Work with Kenyon HomeCare Consulting to Improve Chronic Care

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we offer numerous methods for streamlining your organization and getting the most out of your processes. One effective way to prepare for chronic care legislative changes is to participate in Aide University.

With Aide University, caregivers learn the skills needed to provide clients with the best chronic care available. This knowledge creates an elite staff and ensures employee as well as client satisfaction.

We are here to help! So, reach out to us to start providing chronic care staff education today.

This article, originally titled, CHRONIC CARE DRAFT LEGISLATION AND NEED FOR ADVANCED EDUCATIONC first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

7_habits_effective_home_care.jpg

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, Ginny Kenyon

8 Opportunities in Senior Care via a VC Investor

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 21, 2016 10:17:00 AM

Ankota's marketing director, Jed Hammel doesn't come from the home care world but instead is an expert is social media marketing, filmmaking, event planning and more.  We hope you enjoy this article recapping how a venture capital investor sees opportunity in the senior care market.

an Investor at Redpoint Ventures, published a lengthy article on LinkedIn, entitled, "The $740 Billion Senior Care Market is Ripe for Disruption, but Full of Challenges," that I suggest those in home care read.

 Whether your role is that of an investor, caregiver, home care startup founder, agency manager, or beyond, the article gives a lot of useful data and a birds eye view of the opportunities and challenges in the senior care space.

As I noted above, I suggest that you read the full article here, but as a start, here's some of what Medha offers:

Birdseye View of Senior Care

  • Not only is the senior healthcare market huge, but it’s also growing quickly.

  • It is a market fraught with outdated and inefficient processes and little or fragmented competition in most segments.

  • Seniors want to leverage technology to manage their health.

  • Seniors are a diverse group, with varying needs and preferences.

The author goes on to outline opportunities and challenges in the space and offers these just some of the areas that mentions in the article that she projects as interesting growth areas.  To see all of what she suggests, check out the full article.  But as a start:

  • Post-acute Transition 

  • Remote Medical Communication

  • Mental Acuity Apps 

  • Day Programs 

  • Hospice Transition & Care  

Home Care and Healthcare is expanding and evolving at an increased pace, which can mean more opportunity to help folks, more advances in care offerings, and more competition for your business.  What are your thoughts on the home care space?  Where do you see the industry headed?  

One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Selling_Care_Transition_Services_to_Hospitals_Cover.png

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, January 2017 Newsletter

10 Essential Tips for Home Care Startup Success

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 19, 2016 8:48:00 AM

 One of the industry experts I learn from every time we speak is Ginny Kenyon, principal at Kenyon Home Care Consulting.  Ginny helps open home care agencies and has given Ankota great inputs on our software.  We at Ankota strongly believe that keeping elderly people healthy and comfortable in their homes (and out of the hospital) is an important step in the evolution of healthcare.  Ginny is one of the pioneers driving moves in home health delivery.  Enjoy her post (below).

Whether you’re launching a new business line within your existing home care agency or initiating a startup home care, from scratch, it’s crucial to get all your ducks in a row beforehand. With that in mind, we’ve crafted a list of the ten most fundamentally important factors in pursuing your new endeavor.

Startup Home Care Fundamentals for Success

Startup home care fundamentals go beyond turning on your open sign. Here’s what you need to know to ensure your startup success.bigstock-151264370-300x200-1.jpg

1. Research

Before you can begin planning other aspects of the startup home care process, adequate research must be conducted.

This includes evaluating the competition in various locations, learning the needs of each community you consider, and settling on a final location(s). Doing this before moving forward ensures your organization is in a position to succeed.

2. Business Plan

This strategy maps out the path your agency will take in order to grow. It generally projects where you want to be in three to five years, as well as the steps and funds needed to get there.

Remember, it can take up to a year to secure your license, certification, and or accreditation. So, ensure your finances allow for this low-revenue period. The U.S. Small Business Association is a great resource for learning more about business plans.

3. Legal Requirements

Complying with regulations are a major part of any startup home care process. Obtaining licensure or certification is overwhelming and time consuming. Therefore, it’s always best to be familiar with and understand all federal and state requirements and if applicable, accreditation standards for your specific business type.

4. Resources

You may be surprised to discover how many resources are needed to adequately launch a new home care organization or service line. In addition to the obvious office space, you must also acquire the following:

5. Staff

A home care organization is only as successful as its staff. Consequently, that’s why it’s important to build an elite caregiver team from the beginning.

Before posting job openings, define the different positions you will needed, write a job description for each, and outline their responsibilities. Upon startup, it may be helpful to find employees who can take on multiple roles until you become more established.

6. Processes and Strategies

Don’t wait until you’re up and running before creating uniform processes for the many tasks happening on a regular basis. Part of startup home care fundamentals is establishing these strategies. Among others, you’ll need to plan for:

  • Staff orientation

  • Client admission and services

  • Billing

  • Personnel records

  • Client records

7. Employee Education

Educating team members is more than simply throwing a training manual at them and sending them into client homes. To really soar, your organization needs comprehensive ongoing training.

Determine what your staff needs to know for certifications and professional licenses, what competencies you’ll test for, and who will be charged with managing the education process.

8. Referral Sources

Referral sources are the lifeline of any successful home care organization. So, your startup process should include learning about all potential sources and determining how you can best meet their needs. Consider the following steps:

  • Understand who they are

  • Learn their service needs

  • Brainstorm how the referral source and your agency can partner

  • Set up recurrent meetings

  • Develop services around their needs

9. Marketing

Marketing is a vital part of any startup regardless of industry, including home care. Develop goals and a plan to meet those goals. Implement all avenues – radio, TV, social media and written materials.

When marketing, consider your services, what sets you apart, and what your referral sources need. It’s often best to bring in a marketing expert to get you started.

10. Professional Consulting

A professional home care consultant is helpful in many areas, from guiding the startup process to helping you maneuver through legalities. Look for a consultant who has abundant experience in all aspects of home care, can provide necessary resources, and is conscientious of your goals.

Startup Home Care Fundamentals and Kenyon HomeCare Consulting

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting is your one-stop shop for all your startup home care needs. Our services include everything from interim management to marketing to policy manuals. Give us a call to learn more.

This article, originally titled, 10 STARTUP HOME CARE FUNDAMENTALS I WISH I'D KNOWN  first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, Ginny Kenyon, January 2017 Newsletter

3 Ways Home Care Agencies Can Help Clients Avoid Financial Scams

Posted by Jed Hammel on Dec 14, 2016 10:15:00 AM

 Constance Brinkley-Badgett is an editor and writer at Credit.com. Prior to joining us, she worked as an editor for MSN.com, senior digital producer for CNBC, and digital producer for NBC Nightly News. She also is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York, has worked for chefs such as April Bloomfield and Jean Georges Vongerichten, and is the founder of Crave Personal Chef Services in Austin, Texas.

road-sign-464653_640.jpgAs the American population grows older and more of its wealth becomes controlled by senior citizens, home care agencies must be able to help their clients both recognize and avoid instances of financial fraud.

Unfortunately, financial scams targeting older adults remain one of the most common forms of fraudulent criminal activity. Elderly individuals are frequent targets, due to the effects of age on memory, cognition and social participation. And while that situation can be exacerbated by a revolving door of strangers entering an elderly person’s home, it’s also an opportunity for care agencies to provide safety measures to ensure clients aren’t taken advantage of.

“As it is with any employed position, caregivers will come and go,” said Joy Loverde, author of The Complete Eldercare Planner and the upcoming Who Will Take Care Of Me When I'm Old? “Caregiver burnout is a significant industry problem with high rates of annual staff turnover — between 40 and 60% in home care agencies, according to research conducted by the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute.”

The only steady relationship most clients have with the home care agency is with the owner of the agency and the designated care manager assigned to the case.

That’s why an extra layer of “scam security” is needed to ensure both your staff and clients are safeguarded.

Loverde suggested the following best practices for home care agencies to help their clients avoid financial scams against the elderly like those noted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation:

Safeguard Finances, Correspondence & Valuables

key-hole-1262417__340.jpgDuring the initial home visit, ask clients specific questions about their financial-management and mail-management systems.

“Ask clients: Who manages your finances and your incoming mail? Who is directly responsible for paying your bills? Importantly, the goal is to find out if clients have an existing system in place for averting financial abuse,” Loverde said.

Ascertaining such details as who is responsible for paying credit cards and other bills or who balances the checkbook can help determine not only if the client has already been a victim of fraud (like debt collection scams) and if they are still at risk.

“Experts say most people don't realize they’ve been scammed right away. It’s only later they feel something ‘wasn't right.’ Intelligent, well-read and accomplished people have succumbed to slick sales pitches, fearing exposure of the incident might bring their competence into question,” Loverde said. “Some victims choose to forget about the loss and keep it a secret.” 

Also during the initial home visit, “put the topic of valuables on the table,” Loverde said. “It is not uncommon for home care workers to be unjustly accused of stealing. Discuss with clients and family members the importance of putting away private papers, cash, and valuables in a safe place.”

Provide Documentation of Caregiver Vetting Process

“Among other questions, clients deserve to know: Why are you recommending this particular person for this job?” Loverde said. “What kind of background check did you conduct on this person?”

You can obtain forms online that will help you identify and organize the documents providing proof of a potential caregiver’s skill set. A personal care agreement, or contract between the individual who agrees to provide caregiver services and the person receiving care, can serve to protect your loved one should they need a legal advocate.

Provide Training for Designated Managers and Caregivers

Loverde suggests providing certain staff members with sensitivity training around financial scams and providing clients with written documentation of this training.

“Care managers and caregivers should be aware of how the client manages their incoming mail, unexpected visitors who pose as healthcare or home repair representatives, use of internet, and incoming telemarketing phone calls, among other scam tactics,” she said.

Determining if elder clients have already been victimized can be difficult, but Loverde recommends observing their behavior when the subject is brought up. Do they clam up? Become standoffish?  She suggests watching for other clues such as:

  • Overdue bill notices and bounced checks

  • Unusual activity in bank accounts and cash withdrawal machines

  • Withdrawals of large amounts of cash

  • Unrecognizable signatures on financial documents

  • Conflicting accounts of incidents

  • Forgetfulness regarding the whereabouts of checkbooks, bank and credit card statements

  • Frequent trips to gambling casinos

  • Recent changes in wills or the creation of a new will

  • Increased frequency of incoming telephone calls

  • Large volume of mail that promotes prizes or free trips

  • Valuables such as artwork, silverware, and jewelry going missing

By putting these measures in place, you can help ensure that clients, family members, staff and your agency are all scam-aware and, hopefully, scam-free.

If you're looking for additional ways to expand your knowledge-base or business, consider downloading our free white paper, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry.  Just click the link to download.

If you're interested in learning more about our home care management software solutions, or about our Care Transitions component as a way to increase revenue, just click the button below: 

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Aging in Place Technology, Home Care Technology, January 2017 Newsletter

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Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Reeadmisison avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.

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