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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

Hospitals to Patients, "Get Out-Don't Come Back!" Solution? Home Care

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 29, 2011 10:27:00 AM

What should health care reform be, really?  I'd suggest that it should be an initiative that provides better care at lower cost...  So the next question is HOW?  My answer is to build a healthcare system that keeps people healthy, and living in their home...  Let's face it, the hospital is the most expensive place for people to be and people don't want to be there anyway - so it's a win-win. 

The inspiration for today's post is an article from the June 7th edition of the WallWall Street Journal Online Street Journal entitled, "Don't Come Back, Hospitals Say".  You can read it here.  The article explains how cost cut backs have minimized the time people stay in a hospital when they are there for a procedure.  But as a negative side affect, a lot of them don't receive the care they require when they go home and they end up being re-admitted to deal with the complications. 

There are estimates cited in the article that 4.4 million medical procedures per year aren't needed, and that this results in 10% of the health care costs in the country.    Focusing on the elderly demographic that is the primary clientele for home care, there is an astounding 20% readmission rate in the first month after discharge.

This creates an opportunity for home care to step up and play a key role in lowering the readmission rate, and in fact, a home health agency's ability to do so (and to prove it) may results in a significant increase in referrals as hospitals (who will begin to be penalized in 2012 for an above average rate of readmissions) base their home health selection criteria.

Enjoy the WSJ article, and take action!

Health Care Reform Hope and Change

Note to hospital discharge teams or primary care physicians who may be reading this article: Ankota has excelled in delivering care coordination software to home care agencies so that their referral sources can get HIPAA compliant access to information about their patiens.  Ankota's Care Coordination Portal can also be used to connect hospital discharge to their home care partners, or to connect primary care physician practices with home care providers who enable your practice to become an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).  If you are interested in piloting Ankota's technology for your discharge operation or ACO, please contact Ankota. Click me

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota 

Topics: Elderly Care, Health Care Reform, transitional care, Home Care Technology

Home Care 100 Roundtable Sets Industry Strategic Direction

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 23, 2011 8:07:00 AM

Home Care 100 brings home health industry leaders together to set share bestBeth Carpenter Home Care Consultant practices and lessons learned and ultimately to set strategy for the industry.  Today we share the executive summary from a roundtable held in Atlanta with 14 home health company leaders.  The poignant executive summary by home care consultant Beth Carpenter is compelling in both clarity and simplicity.

Among the key takeaways presented in the report are the following:

  • Home Care needs to focus on the image of the industry: Despite the compelling potential of home care to provide improved outcomes and reduced costs, the perception of the industry among policymakers is that it is growing unchecked and fraught with abuse.  This needs to be turned around.
  • The key is to Demonstrate Value: The way to win referrals in home health is changing.  It used to be that relationship building with discharge planners was the key.  Now hospitals care dearly about readmission reduction, so the winners will be those who can prove
  • Eliminate inappropriate care: The industry needs to provide services that result in high quality outcomes and band together to eliminate fraud and unneeded care

The two page executive summary is available here or by clicking on the image below.

home care 100 executive summary

 

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota 

 

Topics: Home Care Industry, Home Care Best Practices, Health Care Reform

Home Care Startup Lessons Learned from Ginny Kenyon

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 2, 2011 3:03:00 PM

Sometimes we proudly share the wonderful work of others on our blog and today we share a compelling post from my friend and mentor Ginny Kenyon.  Ginny does a wide array of consulting work to get agencies off the ground and on track.  I'm pretty sure that she'll help at least 20 home care start-ups this year so her lessons learned (below) are not to be missed!

Home Care Agency Startup: Hard Lessons Learned

Do you remember how exciting it was when you started your home care agency? Do you recall all the dreams you had for theGinny Kenyon future of your business? Do you also remember those times when it didn’t go exactly as planned? Those are the heart-wrenching times. And, the biggest cause for the inability to actualize a dream is the failure to take time to do a thorough due diligence during the home care agency start-up phase.

With the increasing number of elders in the US, many people view Private Pay Services as a preferred business investment or a way to give more meaning to their work life. Regardless of the motive for a home care agency start-up, significant barriers exist. It’s good to know them to better plan for success.

Many people, in their enthusiasm to launch their home care agency start-up, go into a business without doing a thorough due diligence of the opportunities for the type of business they want to start. This seems to be especially true for the private pay industry. To conduct a thorough due diligence, you need to know the following:

• Who is the competition in the area you are planning to provide services?

• What do the other agencies offer for services?

• How much does your competition bill for their services?

• What do other agencies pay their employees?

Additionally, you need to know the financial status of the existing population. This ensures your private pay start-up is financially viable. Performing due diligence takes little time, but yields rich information. It gives you, the prospective private pay agency owner, an understanding of the kinds of services to offer, and helps drive the proforma and budget for your new agency.

An additional barrier to success is the lack of working capital. A successful private pay business requires between $45,000 to $80,000 in start-up capital. The wide variance in cost is related to states that require licensure. The double whammy for individuals starting up in some licensed states is the requirement that the new agency be located in a commercial space. If the state is backlogged on applications, it may take 6 – 12 months to get to the application for the start-up private pay agency. Meanwhile, the new private pay owner must pay rent on a space for which there is no generated revenue. Louisiana currently has an issue with Certificate of Need for private pay business. The lesson learned? Do your due diligence for your state, know the rules, if any, and have access to capital to carry you until your private pay business is up and running.

Another hard lesson learned is that starting a private pay company is a full time job that requires the undivided attention of the new owner. Many people think that they can hold a full or part time job while getting the business up and running. Lack of undivided attention to the new business can delay the private pay agency start-up by as much as a year or more.

That is the reason for working capital for the private pay agency. Much of the working capital covers salary for the owner while the new private pay company is in its start-up phase.

An additional lesson is the need to have at least two people in the private pay agency. One person works outside the agency doing all the marketing and sales and opening new clients to services. This position is best filled by the owner, who has more of a vested interest in selling the services of the agency. The second person needs to be the inside “jack of all trades.” The person in the office takes applications for employment, screens potential applicants for field services, administers tests, and conducts the first interview when tests are passed. The inside person also provides all the clerical support for the agency, including scheduling shifts for clients, payroll submission, client invoicing, preparation of the weekly dashboard/scorecard results, and maintenance of internal communications with all members of the agency.

These are just a few of the issues that arise when starting a private pay agency. Performing due diligence, along with having the capital to support your operations increases your likelihood of success.

If you are starting a private pay agency and have hit some bumps in the road, feel free to call Kenyon HomeCare Consulting for assistance.  Editors Note: If you'd like to not worry about the software for your private care startup, contact us at Ankota.  We have a great offer for private care start-ups that can get you up and running (securely on the web) in just a few days.

Kenyon Home Care Consulting

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital.  Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care.  To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota 

Topics: Home Care Entrepreneurship, Starting a Home Care Business, Elderly Care, Private Duty Agency Software, Home Health Aide Software

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About Ankota

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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