The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

What You Need to Know For A Successful Homecare Agency Start-Up

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 29, 2015 2:29:00 PM

Ginny_Kenyon_Home_Care_Consultant-2One 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).

Preparing to open a skilled home health agency is an intricate process that involves several important decisions and considerations. Just as with any organization start-up, the beginning business years of a home health organization are difficult. For this reason, it’s crucial when planning for your homecare agency start-up to have an effective business plan, sufficient funds to get you through the initial phase, support from others in the industry, and an understanding of relevant demographics and competition.

Creating a Business Plan for Your Homecare Agency Start-Up

The first step toward any successful business venture is to create a well-designed, strategic plan. But before you can do that, you need to research. Find out what’s required by state and federal agencies regarding licensing, as well as what the laws are about elder care in your area. Once you’ve done sufficient research, you can better plan for getting everything accomplished in a timely manner. Come up with a schedule based on when you want to open and the time frame of each required step. It’s often best to start with the items that will take the longest so that you can work on other items while waiting for feedback and/or approval.

Startup_Name_Tag_Ankota_Home_Care_blog

Securing Sufficient Funds for Your Homecare Agency Start-Up

Because licensing can take a substantial amount of time – sometimes up to a year – for skilled home health agencies, it’s important to have enough funds to cover not only start-up expenses, but also to cover the day-to-day costs of running your organization. While some states may complete the licensing process in a shorter amount of time – such as Florida, whose time frame is four months – there may be some time when you will care for clients without receiving reimbursement. Additionally, skilled home care agencies are required to see ten Medicare clients for free in order to establish services, so be prepared with enough cash flow to support this requirement.

To combat the potential problems that waiting for licensure can cause, consider paying for accreditation from Joint Commission or CHAP while obtaining your license. Agencies that achieve accreditation from such an organization receive deemed status and meet Medicare and accreditation requirements at the same time.

Seeking Support for Your Homecare Agency Start-Up

Through the challenges that come with muddling your way around legal requirements, Medicare and state standards, and other issues involved with a homecare agency start-up, it’s beneficial to be part of a support system. Look for and join both national and state organizations in the industry that provide a source of readily-available information. Doing so will ease your mind and help make the entire process go a bit more smoothly.

Evaluating Demographics, Competition for Your Homecare Agency Start-Up

Finally, before opening your doors you’ll want to research and evaluate the demographics in your desired area, as well as any existing competition. Is there a market for your home health agency? Is there room for your organization among competitors? Recently there has been a rise in both diversified hospices and private-duty organizations offering skilled home health care. Research the agencies in your area to determine which ones provide similar services so you can properly judge the amount of competition you’ll face.

With today’s competitive market, achieving a lasting homecare agency start-up is challenging. Research and planning are crucial steps toward success in your endeavors. Consider the points we’ve mentioned here, and the process will be much easier to navigate.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR A SUCCESSFUL HOMECARE AGENCY START-UP first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

Ginny Kenyon is the founder and CEO of Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, a home health consulting firm that gives agencies a market advantage, promotes creative product development, and offers viable ways to achieve and sustain organizational and fiscal success.

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Ankota's latest care transitions whitepaper, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is now available.  Please download click the link or the picture blow for tips on how to construct optimal care transitions offerings and sell them to hospital partners in your geographies.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Ankota_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

If you'd like to schedule an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

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, home care marketing

Services for the Elderly & Home Care are the Fastest Growing Industries

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 27, 2015 1:22:00 PM

According to data reported on the CareerOneStop website, the top growing industries in the US are 1) Services for the elderly and disabled, and 2) Home Health Services.  Here's the data: 

home_care_and_elderly_care_services_are_fastest_growing_industries

What Does This Data Mean?

 Readers of this blog know that I always look at the bright side of life.  Here's what this data means to me:

  • The doctors and researchers of the 20th and 21st century have done an awesome job raising the life expectancy

  • Elderly Care Services and Home Care are great industries to be in

  • This affords us a great opportunity, but also a great responsibility

Ankota_Home_Care_blog_-_growth

Thanks for sharing this great industry with Ankota!  If you're interested in learning some home care best practices, please download our free white paper, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies.  Just 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

Ankota_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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 Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions

Home Care Growth Projected at 7.8% Per Year by Grand View Research

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 22, 2015 2:39:31 PM

The article, Telehealth to Drive Global Home Healthcare Market to $355.3B by 2020 published in Mobile Health News, predicts a 7.8% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for Home Care from 2014 to 2020.  Note that Grand View is specifically looking at the broad range of equipment and services designed for exclusive use for home or other non-medical establishments by non-professional caregivers, family members, or the patients themselves.  The article further predicts that: Increasing adoption of telehealth and other emerging healthcare technologies are expected to drive market growth over the forecast period.

Home_Care_Growth_per_Grand_View

Ankota generally looks at the over 80 population as the best proxy for the home care market size.  If you look at the graphic below published by AARP, it looks like this 7.8 percent market growth predicted by Grand View Research corresponds to a less than 4 percent per year growth rate in the over 80 population.

Why Is There a Difference?

I believe that the growth in the home care equipment market predicted by Grand View corresponds to their prediction that more telehealth technology will be deployed in this time frame.  Generally technology investments cost a bit more up-front but then result in savings for an ongoing period of time.

The Key Takeaway is That the Market Will Continue to Grow

Referring again to the AARP graph, take a look at the over 80 population after 2020.  According to this graph, the number of people living into their 80s is predicted to double between 2020 and 2040. While this is good news for the home care industry, there is also a big problem in that the number of potential caregivers will be shrinking over the same period.  This means that in order to be successful in the long term, agencies will need to find  ways to deliver care to more clients with less workers.  

Population over 80_Ankota home care blog

Does your home care technology position your agency to survive and thrive in this era of increased client demand and decreased caregiver supply?  If not, Ankota would like to help.  

 

 

 

Ankota's 3rd care transitions whitepaper, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is now available.  Please download click the link or the picture blow for tips on how to construct optimal care transitions offerings and sell them to hospital partners in your geographies.  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

Ankota_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

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

Hospitals Can Benefit From Home Care Partners for New Bundled Payments

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 20, 2015 11:22:53 AM

If this is the first blog article that you're reading related to care transitions, you've got some catching up to do.  Here's the run down:

  • Medicare spends around $26 Billion per year on readmissions

  • A readmission occurs when a person is treated and is discharged but they end up back in the hospital shortly after

  • It is estimated that at least half of these readmissions can be avoided

  • Transitional Care is the term most commonly used to describe the care that helps an individual move successfully from one care environment (such as the hospital) to another care environment (such as their home)

  • In order to reduce avoidable readmissions, CMS (the Committee for Medicare and Medicaid Services) instituted a readmission penalty program that is now in its third year.

  • The program has had a positive impact but not an overwhelming one.  The reason is that the penalties are somewhat small (averaging $250 per readmission) whereas the fees for the readmission are generally above $5,000.

  • There's a new announcement from CMS that starts to change this equation.  Read on...

CMS is proposing Bundled Payments for Knee and Hip Replacements

washington-post-logoThe proposal is to pilot bundled payments for hip and knee replacements in approximately 800 US hospitals starting on January 1, 2016.   The concept of bundled payments is to pay a fixed price for all expenses related to a procedure (such as a knee replacement) instead of paying for each of the individual services performed. There would not be an additional reimbursement for a readmission. A Washington Post article detailing this information further is available at this link.

On a personal note, I will be having a knee replacement myself. You don't need to be a radiologist to see the issues in my knee x-ray.

Knee_replacement_X-Ray_Ankota_Home_Care_Blog-1

What do Bundled Payments Mean to Home Care and Home Health?

Although this initial program is relatively small and only expected to save $150M, it represents a blue print for the future of reimbursement in the "Pay per Value" paradigm (as opposed to "Pay per Service").  There can be big ramifications for home care, including the following:

  • Hospitals will push for shorter home health stays to increase their profit

  • Similarly, hospitals may be inclined to cut home health out of the loop

  • But, hospitals will be highly motivated to avoid readmissions, because the money will come directly out of their profits.  They will look for partners in their communities and will also look at technology solutions like telehealth

  • Home health and home care agencies can win in this equation by providing affordable readmission programs that are proven to reduce readmissions

  • Home health, in particular will need to start shifting to shorter and less expensive episodes with same or better efficacy

New Whitepaper Available on Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals

Ankota's 3rd care transitions whitepaper, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is now available.  Please download click the link or the picture blow for tips on how to construct optimal care transitions offerings and sell them to hospital partners in your geographies.

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

Ankota_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

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

What is Population Health Management (PHM)?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 15, 2015 10:56:00 AM

Today's guest blog is submitted by Daniel Schwartz .  Daniel is a content strategist, digital marketing specialist and a health IT expert who provides perceptive, engaging and informative content on industry wide topics including EMR, practice management, interoperability, revenue cycle management, regulation, compliance and security

What is Population Health Management?

Population_health_management_AnkotaToday, individuals checking into a hospital or doctor’s office will find the process segregated by wealth just like any other business in the service industry. High costs and limited availability within healthcare—along with the various inconsistencies among care providers—has forced Americans to rethink the current model.

With Population Health Management (PHM), the goal is to keep the majority of the population healthy in hopes of avoiding high-priced alternatives, such as unexpected emergency visits, long hospitalizations, or invasive procedures like risky surgeries. In addition to lowering overall costs, PHM will prevent healthcare from becoming sick-care by focusing on the prevention of certain chronic ailments. Progressive ideas such as a PHM strategy require automation to be successful.

According to Well Centive, PHM is “the aggregation of patient data across multiple health information technology, resources, the analysis of that data into a single, actionable patient record, and the actions through which care providers can improve both clinical and financial outcomes.” To summarize, it is important to understand that factors such as income, education, employment, culture, genetics, and environment cannot be recorded by a single entity. An act this massive will require many thinkers working towards the same goal.

Embracing and Defining Automation

Today, information-based technology can save time and money, much like creating an online search engine, linking together an ocean of information that was previously too tedious to sort. This medical automation also connects organizations directly to their community by filtering given clusters of demographics. By adapting an automatic approach to healthcare, providers reduce the need for continuous care management. This cuts out checks and balances while finding solutions to problems. Basically, certain routine tasks no longer need to be performed by specialists.

PHM_Ankota_Home_Care_Blog

PHM aims to improve healthcare for larger populations by examining individual patients and recording that data. Current models involve a business intelligence tool that gathersstatistics to provide an all-inclusive medical portrait. This will help suppliers track and process clinical results while lowering expenses. The best models today use analytics involving scientific and monetary statistics to improve the efficiency of individual patient care. Similar to the way big businesses track massive amounts of data within social media, medical facilities will need to setup a system of analytical inventory to improve global healthcare.

Organizing Data Across Competitors

Despite that most organizations track the same types of information, few use the same software, and even fewer use the same methods of physician billing, electronic health care recording, or medical claims. To be successful, a universal program will need to look closely at clinicians and administrators to better identify gaps in clinical care, especially among chronic illnesses. Like-minded healthcare organizations that seek the PHM model must do so in a systematic manner for the greater good. Single entities must work with current community resources, healthcare associations, education facilities, and local groups aimed at improving overall health in their given neighborhoods. This massive undertaking to combine health care with social services will take a great deal of effort but the forward progression will be monumental.

Such a global idea will require significant changes in current thinking and practices. Rather than continuing the capitalistic tradition of the current healthcare model, providers will need to be rewarded for proficiency rather than admission alone. Healthcare providers will need to care for entire populations instead of individual, wealthy citizens. Hospitals must shift from high-priced admission revenues to save money for all. This will perhaps be the most difficult step, as these same providers will need to work towards a mutual goal of exchanging health information while still competing with one another for clientele.

When thinking in such massive terms, it is possible to become concerned that such idealistic views could tend to overlook one-on-one care management. On the contrary, understanding that care management will vary from one association to the next, each group will need to integrate self-management from patients, treatment supervision from doctors, and cost reductionfrom providers for the same cost of admission.

Taking Action

take_action-580x386For this transition to take effect, leaders in healthcare will need to take the reins, specifically within information technology and execution. With such an ambitious program, steps must be taken in an incremental method of small strides. Primary care practices will need to begin with call centers with automated features on a small scale in order to test and collect results. From a management point of view, patients will be classified within levels of theircondition. Also, health insurers can use analytical algorithms to forecast which patients will be higher risks and thus more costly.

From a patient standpoint, the relationship with the physician will actually be stronger because of this automation. Those who lose touch with their providers will receive alerts, encouraging them to get in touch with their physicians to monitor their health. A strong doctor-patient relationship often encourages patients to change poor behaviors to achieve maximum results. An effective program can actually weave human interventions with robotic tools, such as automatic messages in call centers. Ongoing patient conversations can improve overall well being and avoid preventable deaths. This feedback benefits both sides of the relationship as it does with any business.

Delegating Special Skills

At the heart of this idealistic approach is primary care. Primary care physicians are currently in short supply and existing chronic care providers must work long days to fulfill the needs in their given areas. Physicians with special skillsets can perform much of this work, freeing up those with special skills to perform what they do best. Teams led by physicians and nurse practitioners can manage larger patient groups, addressing the needs of the many by delegating to dieticians, assistants, therapists, coaches, and others as they see fit.

The ultimate goal of Population Health Management is to improve the level of care while reducing expenses. In addition, PHM will improve continuing care by using IT solutions to track and manage care. A fully integrated search tool will help to close the gap by allowing administrators and physicians to have real-time access to records and thereby aid individual patient needs. Once laboratory, billing, electronic health record and prescription data are within the same search engine, providers can begin to easily pinpoint the massive needs and data gaps to better serve the population. As with all advances in healthcare management, PHM is a win-win for all parties involved: physicians, providers, and patients.

Editor's Note: At Ankota we believe strongly in the importance of population health as a way to provide improved health outcomes at lower cost to the broadest number of people (thus achieving the Triple Aim).  Further, we believe that home care will play a key role in achieving population health.  The medically fragile people in our population are generally elderly people with multiple chronic illnesses.  These are people who often need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) that is provided by the home care industry.  We believe that the next extension will be to engage the health care industry in helping their clients to prevent avoidable hospitalizations.  Please consider downloading our free whitepaper, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry and look for further announcements from Ankota regarding the role of home care in population health management.

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

Ankota_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

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

A Valuable Reference for Home Care to Understand Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 13, 2015 3:40:00 PM

Activities_for_Daily_Living_Ankota_blogHome Care, Assisted Living, and other forms of care for the elderly provide their clients help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).  Like all industries, elder care has some of its own lingo, and ADL is an important term to know.  I came across a valuable reference guide for information about ADLs posted on the site www.AssistedLivingFacilities.org.

The page includes the following valuable reference items:

  • A definition of ADL

  • Examples of ADLs

  • The distinction between ADLs and Instrumental ADLs (IADLs)

  • Key statistics regarding ADLs

  • Daily Living Aids to Make Activities Easier

  • Family Caregivers Help with Activity Limitations

  • Sources of Help for Family Caregivers

Please visit the full page here.

What should Your Home Care Software Do Regarding ADLs?

The goal of in-home care services is to help clients with accomplishing ADLs that they might struggle with if there was not assistance.  Your home care software should allow you to establish a plan of care for each of your clients.  In general, caregivers are seeing the same clients repeatedly and should report on the completion of care items, however, the software should provide the ability to access the care plan at the start of a visit if they are substituting or if it has changed. 

ADL_tracking_Ankota_homecare_blogMost care plan items are "tasks" in the sense that the caregiver should be able to report whether it was completed or not and perhaps why not.  There should also be other types of care items such as numeric inputs and vital signs, other multiple choice questions and a mechanism to provide narrative inputs. Time and ADL tracking should be achievable via voice telephony and also via smart phone.

If your home care software doesn't strongly support plans of care and ADL tracking, perhaps Ankota can help.  Please click here to arrange a discussion or a demo.

If you're interested in differentiating yourself in the home care or home health marketplace, Ankota offers a free White Paper about the opportunity in Care Transitions, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry  Just 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

Ankota_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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 Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, home care marketing

Healthcare and Home Care Worker Shortage is Becoming Highly Problematic

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 8, 2015 11:45:00 AM

Demand for healthcare workers is at a 14 year high according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures shared in Cain Brothers Comments (Cain Brothers is an investment banking firm focused on the healthcare industry).  According to the BLS graphic below, there were 1.8 job postings for each job filled in the healthcare industry, whereas the national average for jobs in general shows that supply and demand are in balance.

healthcare_worker_shortage_Bureau_of_Labor_Statistics

Causes of Healthcare Labor Shortfall

According to the article, nursing is the most critical area of need.  There are several factors contributing, summarized here:

  • The last time the economy was strong, going into 2008, there was a similar issue with a 1.6-to-1 ratio of openings to hires.

  • Once the great recession hit and people became unemployed in many industries, nurses went back to work because they were in demand and in some cases their spouse became unemployed

  • Although not spelled out in this article, there was a decrease in demand for elective healthcare procedures when the economy went down

  • Now that the economy is getting back on track, nurses are cutting back on hours and in some cases retiring

What Does the Healthcare Worker Shortage mean for Home Care

This nursing shortage and a corresponding caregiver shortage is affecting home care agencies.  More than ever, it's becoming time to treat your caregivers well and encourage them to refer their friends for work with your agency.  It's also a time when different thinking will be required.  Home care generally serves a relatively wealthy population who either have personal funds or long-term care insurance and also a relatively poor population who are covered by Medicaid and programs.  In general, the Medicaid and program-sponsored care recipients receive less hours of care and sometimes are seen twice per day (in order to get their day started and their day finished).  This technique may become more widespread, but it won't be enough. 

Another part of the answer will come from technology such as home monitoring and route optimization so that care providers can spend more time with patients/clients and less time driving.  Our goal in the Ankota blog is to educate rather than to sell, but we do have solutions that can help.   Please contact Ankota to chat.

Thanks to Cain Brothers for the interesting article.  You can sign up for Cain Brothers Comments by clicking on the banner below.

Health_Care_Job_Demand_Cain_Brothers

If you're interested in differentiating yourself in the home care or home health marketplace, Ankota offers a free White Paper about the opportunity in Care Transitions, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry  Just 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

Ankota_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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 Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, home care marketing

Healthcare Reform Can Be Funded With Reduction In Overkill, per Dr. Atul Gawande

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 6, 2015 9:46:00 AM

We generally blog about very specific and actionable ways that home care agencies can thrive.  A lot of our content is about best practices and marketing, and we have a specific focus on managing care transitions, which we view as the right step for home care agencies to take now in order to position themselves for a broader role in the continuum of healthcare.Dr. Atul Gawande

But, the biggest conundrum with managing care transitions and the biggest question we're asked is how do we pay for it?  Everyone we talk to agrees that managing care transitions is a great way to avoid preventable hospitalizations, but the big question is always: "How do we get reimbursed or paid for care transitions work?"

It's tricky...  We've offered advice on this topic before, including in a very popular recent blog post entitled, "2 Steps for Selling Your Home Care Agency's Care Transition Services to Hospitals."  Today, we look at a totally different answer to that tough question.  Perhaps we can fund care transitions by avoiding overkill in Medicare spending.

Medicare Spending Overkill

One of my favorite writers is Dr. Atul Gawande who writes and talks about how health care can be improved.  He's written book that we reviewed called The Checklist Manifesto about how check lists, like the ones our home health aides use each day, are being used to save lives in critical care settings.  He also writes on healthcare for the New Yorker magazine and his most recent New Yorker article, entitled, Overkill, is the subject of our post today.

Overkill_-_New_Yorker_Article

Dr. Gawande's articles and books are really compelling and I encourage you to read the full article, but the gist is that there are a bunch of medical services that are being performed regularly that deliver zero value for patients.  Here are some key facts:

  • CT or MRI scans are often prescribed for lower back pain, whereas research shows that these tests are only useful if there are associated neurological disorders.

  • EEG exams are often prescribed for uncomplicated headaches, even though these exams are only useful for seizure disorders

  • Stents are routinely implanted in patients with stable cardiac disease, despite the fact that the likelihood of heart attack or death in five years is unaffected by the stent

  • The research cited by Dr. Gawande lists 25 useless procedures that are readily performed

  • In one year it was estimated that between 25% and 42% of the Medicare population (primarily made up of Americans over age 65) had at least one of these treatments

  • The amount of money waste on these procedures is more than America spends on K-12 education for the entire country

Perhaps eliminating this waste could fund all the care transition services that could virtually eliminate preventable hospital admissions?

What Can We Do Today?

Unfortunately, the problem described above isn't something that we can solve individually in our home care agencies, but there is something that we can do... We can start providing care transition services.  Ankota provides care transition management capabilities with our home care software and we'd love to help you to futureproof your agency with it.  Please download our free whitepaper "Why Care Transitions is the Next Big Thing for Home Care Agencies" (below).

Plus, please read the rest of the Atul Gawande article.

If you're interested in differentiating yourself in the marketplace, Ankota offers a free White Paper about the opportunity in Care Transitions, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry  Just 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

Ankota_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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 Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Coordination, Care Transitions, medicare

The 3 Things That Bring Traffic to Your Home Care Website are Content, Content, and Content

Posted by Jed Hammel on Jul 1, 2015 1:48:28 PM

marketing_traffic_-_AnkotaI recently attended a free home care sales and marketing webinar presented by Valerie VanBooven RN BSN from Home Care Daily and Steve "the Hurricane," from Hurricane Marketing Enterprises.  One of the many take-aways I got from it was that 80 percent of home care customers come from their website and their referral partners.

Here on the Ankota blog, we have shared a number of stories that illustrate how important your website/mobile “presence” is to your marketing and sales success.  Here are just a few examples of those articles:

Do You Have Strong Landing Pages on Your Home Care Agency Web Site?

Does Your Home Care Web Site Accept Referrals?

Home Care Software Geek Explains the Importance of Mobile Friendly Web sites

Content, Content, Content

One other key point to learn is how important it is to provide useful and consistent content to your prospects and leads.  This short video from Steve illustrates just that.  Give it a look:

 

Steve also has a Home Care Marketing Bootcamp coming up in August that we suggest you also consider.  You can learn more about it via this Boot Camp sign up link.  

If you use the code: ANKOTA50 (all caps) when you sign up for the Home Care Marketing Bootcamp, you will save $50 off individual tickets.  If you're interested in differentiating yourself in the home care or home health marketplace, Ankota offers a free White Paper about the opportunity in Care Transitions, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry  Just 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

Ankota_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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 Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, home care marketing

Don’t Turn a Deaf Ear to Unusual Requests for In Home Care Services

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 29, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Ginny_Kenyon_Home_Care_Consultant-2One 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).

The temptation for some health care agencies is to decline requests for unusual in-home services because they are out of the mainstream and staff may not be trained to handle such requests. But there are reasons why these requests are worth a second look! In a saturated home care market, there are few things that can distinguish one organization from another, other than providing superior service. So the scramble to secure clients for in home care services should, at the very least, include an evaluation of the special services requested.

Unusual or Special In Home Care Services

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While there are countless home health care situations that require skilled medical care, some areas considered to be niche markets are described below.  These should be considered if you specialize in home care services to gain a greater share of the competitive home care market.

  • Safety in the home. Assessments can be done by therapists and caregivers knowledgeable in home safety while providing recommendations for needed home modifications. Understanding specific chronic diseases and how prone these clients are to home accidents is a plus.

  • Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care. Specialized care for these clients requires a high degree of knowledge when providing in home care services. Because these clients require special monitoring and care, your staff will need advanced chronic disease education. Currently, there is a huge market for caregivers certified in chronic disease management.

  • Assisted living. Clients who are safe at home but require various levels of assistance with medications, personal care and other aspects of care usually prefer in home care services as opposed to living in a nursing home.

  • Psychiatric care. These services require caregiver education, expertise and experience in caring for those with psychiatric illnesses. With many institutions being closed, caregivers trained to provide quality in home care services for these clients are in great demand.

  • Pediatric care. Caregivers skilled in specialized pediatric care are in great demand to provide in home care services for ill and high risk children.

Getting a Jump on the Competition

Survival in the fiercely competitive home care industry is becoming more difficult each year as more organizations jump into caring for baby boomers. With most of these agencies concentrating on the traditional areas of skilled home care or private duty, one of the best strategies for expanding your in home care services is to take a close look at niche markets such as those described above.

One drawback is that specialized services require advanced knowledge and experience for the caregivers assigned to those clients with special needs. Staff education is always a good investment and once your caregivers acquire the training and skill sets needed, your organization can penetrate specific niche markets.The education dollars will be money well spent as you watch your referrals soar. For new start-up agencies, researching what specialized in home care services are lacking in your service area is a must. Providing unusual specialized in home care services is a great way to ensure agency success.

DON'T TURN A DEAF EAR TO UNUSUAL REQUESTS FOR IN HOME CARE SERVICES first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

Ginny Kenyon is the founder and CEO of Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, a home health consulting firm that gives agencies a market advantage, promotes creative product development, and offers viable ways to achieve and sustain organizational and fiscal success.

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If you're interested in differentiating yourself in the home care or home health marketplace, Ankota offers a free White Paper about the opportunity in Care Transitions, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry  Just click the link or the picture below to download.

If you'd like to schedule an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

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Ankota_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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, home care marketing

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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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