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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

Study Shows that Non-Medical Home Care Reduces Healthcare Costs

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 27, 2011 12:54:00 PM

Laura Sands, a professor in the Nursing School of Purdue University, published some very interesting (although to me not surprising) information about theLaura Sands Purdue benefits of non-medical home care on health care costs for the elderly.  In a nutshell, her study shows that elderly people who have access to the assistance of a home health aide for a couple of hours a day experience lower health care costs than those who don't have such care.  Her study continues to explain that the US government spends $132 billion per year on long term care and that the vast majority of this is for nursing home care.  Laura's article contends that part time non-medical home care can cost 1/3rd of the $30,000 per year that is typically paid for nursing home care.

All of this supports Ankota's position that Home Care is the key to Health Care Reform.   We believe that if a care manager is assigned to oversee and advocate for the patient that they can avoid many hospitalizations, which increases their quality of life while reducing health care costs.

I'd highly encourage you to read the full article on the Purdue website by clicking here, but here are a few key excerpts:

  • A research team, including Purdue nursing professor Laura P. Sands, has found evidence that older adults who qualify for nursing-home care because of their disabilities in daily tasks can continue to live in their homes provided they receive assistance with fundamental needs such as bathing, dressing and preparing food.
  • Elders who lived alone without such needed assistance were more likely to require hospitalization.
  • After a few weeks of help with daily tasks, however, the need for health care dropped off, implying that a little help with the basics goes a long way.
  • To examine what effect living with unmet needs had on the use of medical services, Sands' team studied 2,943 frail older people enrolled at 13 sites nation wide in the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly.

"Nearly 30 percent of adults aged 75 and older have one or more disabilities in performing basic activities of daily living," Sands said. "Additionally, of the more than 2.3 million older adults with severe disability, 84 percent receive some form of public health insurance. We wanted to find out what might be done to help this group more effectively."

Purdue University

Skeptics in home care will argue that these results have been known all along, but the problem is reimbursement.  But now there is a new payment mechanism that can potentially fund some of these costs.  It's called the Accountable Care organization (ACO) and it works by awarding a fixed price to the ACO for managing the patient's care and letting them profit via the savings they deliver.  Studies like this one will pave the way for ACO funds to private care organizations and also for ACOs to recommend private care services to their patients who can pay.  So the wise private care organization will start preparing for care coordination (which just so happens to be a feature of Ankota's home health aide software)

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: Home Care Entrepreneurship, Home Care Industry, Elderly Care, Care Coordination

Grow your Home Care Business with Concierge Services

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 25, 2011 10:40:00 AM

One of my favorite home care expert consultants is Ginny Kenyon from Kenyon Home Care Consulting.  Ginny helps to launch around 20 agencies each year and also helps exisiting agencies to grow.  Today's post comes from Ginny who offers the suggestion to take the "concierge" concept from high-end hotels and bring it into your home care business.

Kenyon Home Care Consulting

Ginny's article is entitled "Private Duty Concierge Services: Tips for Developing Your Own Concierge Service" and you can read it here.  Her article does the following:

  • Proposes the idea of home care concierge services
  • Gives an example of a service (see below)
  • Offers next steps to define the right concierge services for your agency

Here's an excerpt:

A good example of a concierge program would be a day surgery service. The service can be designed any way the agency chooses, but must address all the needs that the client may have before, during and immediately after theGinny Kenyon surgery. Usually the best source of information when setting up this service is the client. Additional sources of information would be a brief survey in a surgeon’s office or you or someone in your family may have experienced day surgery yourselves and know what is needed. In my research, I’ve found the biggest issue for clients having day surgery is the need to have all the details attended to so all they have to deal with is the surgery itself. This may mean the agency picks up the client at her home or the airport, transports her to the surgery suite, and arranges for after care, which would include picking up all the medications, arranging a place to stay, if necessary, and providing 24-hour care until she can manage for herself. However you gather your information, it is critical to develop a program customers perceive as valuable and are willing to pay for.

Calls to action:

  • Can you get a program in place to grow your business? If yes, great.  If no, contact Ginny here.
  • How easy is it to define, schedule and bill for a new service with your home care software?  If it's easy, great!  If not, perhaps Ankota can help. 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: Home Care Entrepreneurship, Starting a Home Care Business, Elderly Care, Private Duty Agency Software, Home Health Aide Software

Eliminate work that wastes time - A home health therapy case study

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 18, 2011 9:09:00 AM

Last week at the NAHC Financial Managers Conference, Ankota's CEO Will Hicklen spoke about productivity in home care businesses.  The key point that resonatedWill Hicklen, Ankota CEO the most with home care leaders was the idea to ELIMINATE work that wastes time.  We often ask ourselves how we can improve our work processes and procedures, which is great, but we should always remember to ask whether we can eliminate steps. 

Note that from a quality perspective, the following are true: 

  • Processes with less steps cost less
  • Processes with less steps are faster and please customers more
  • Processes with less steps result in less errors

Let's look at a case study in the arena of home health therapy.  Ankota's home health thereapy software product TherapEZ was inspired by a home health therapy company, delivering physical and occupational therapy, who wanted to ELIMINATE work that wastes time.  Here is a short sampling of the results:

  • They eliminated time sheets, incorporating arrival and deprture times into visits and eval notes
  • They eliminated paper for the Therapists and TherapyTherapEZ Home Health Therapy Software Assistants by doing notes on tablet PCs
  • They eliminated the need for paperwork to be delivered by therapists to the office and by the offices to the contracting agencies
  • They eliminated manual calculation of billing and payroll
  • They eliminated the need for the office staff to search through the visits in order to identify follow-up work.  Instead, new referrals, completed evals, missed visits and discharges (or care plan extensions) go into a "workflow inbox" on their screen

They also reduced or improved tasks, such as providing visit notes to their customers (home health agencies) the day of the visit rather than weekly, but the key to success was the ELIMINATION of work.

If you'd like to learn more about TherapEZ for your home health agency or home therapy agency, click here.

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, Home Care Best Practices, Home Therapy, Home Health Therapy Software

12 Great Movie Quotes for Home Care Entrepreneurs

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 12, 2011 10:06:00 AM

The mark of a great movie is not only about how many tickets it sold, but also how memorable and "quotable" are the lines.  Inspired by the new movie "HorribleAlways Be Closing Bosses", Forbes magazine came out with a piece called "35 Best Business Quotes from the Silver Screen" which you can access in its entirety here.  We're pretty busy in home care so instead of 35, I bring you the 12 that I think are most relevant for home care entrepreneurs.  Here goes:

  • When you feel like you're at wits end, think about this gem from the 2002 film Catch Me If You Can - "Two little mice fell into a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned, but the second mouse, he struggled so hard that he eventually churned that cream into butter and he walked out. Amen."
  • When you need to step up to a new challenge, from the 1996 film Big Night - "I am a businessperson. I am anything I need to be at any time." (the original quote was businessman - but we have a lot of woman at the top in home care so I revised it)
  • For your home care sales team, from the 2000 movie The Boiler Room - "A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can't. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close?"
  • When sizing up your competition, here's one from the 1983 movie Scarface -  "Don’t underestimate the other guy’s greed."
  • Yoda sizes it up pretty well in the 1980 Film Star WarsYoda Episode V - "Do or do not, there is no try."
  • From the 2003 Film Finding Nemo - "Just keep swimming."
  • When your on the brink of losing your cool and severing a relationship, here's one from the 1988 film Working Girl - "Never burn bridges. Today's junior prick, tomorrow's senior partner!"
  • When it's time to get the deal done, remember the classic line from the 1972 film The Godfather -  “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
  • Woman leaders can always step up in any business, as evidenced by this great Cameron Diaz quote from the 1999 football film Any Given Sunday - “No intensity, no victory.”
  • For those of you starting new businesses, remember the 1989 film Field of Dreams -  “If you build it, he will come.”
  • If things aren't going well but you know you can straighten them out, here's a great line from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke -  “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”
  • And finally, nothing can be more true in home care than this quote from the 1996 classic Jerry McGuire - “The key to this business is personal relationships.”

Memo and Dory

Note that the picture of Alec Baldwin at the top of this post isn't included in the twelve listed quotes (because the key quote "Always be Closing" is part of the visual).  Do you know what movie it's from?  If so leave a comment!

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

Not Sure About Home Care Social Media? Dip your toe...

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 8, 2011 12:08:00 PM

Not Sure About Home Care Social Media?  Dip your toe in and test the waters.  It’s natural to be a bit leery of modern advertising methods.  The target audience is faceless, nameless and often more random than if an ad for services weredip your toe in the waters of social media placed in your local newspaper or a newsletter for the elderly.  But this is exactly why it works so well: a short blog post can reach not just your expected target audience, but a wide range of people who might not have considered home care otherwise. A line or two on Twitter might catch the eye of a daughter who just tweeted her confusion over how to care for her ailing father.  A webpage can include profiles of your caregivers, putting a personal touch on your offering, allowing a potential client to interact with such employees and alleviating their own wariness of hiring virtual strangers. A page on Facebook might provide clients a place to “meet” each other and not feel quite so alone, or for you to post photos of clients celebrating birthdays or family gatherings.

No more than ten years ago, family members had to comb the Yellow Pages and call every Home Care service provider listed. Often, providers whose names were at the middle or bottom of the list were not even given a chance, because the caller found what they were looking for in first third of the alphabet, or they got bored after a half dozen and picked from that partial list. Today, using Social Media, providers have the ability to get potential clients’ attention despite where they fall in the alphabet. 

Not sure about Home Care Social Media? Dip your toe in and write a blog posttwitter about anything from who you are to current elderly care concerns. Become more than just a name to your clients and their families: have a voice in this technological stream of consciousness and stand out to those searching for someone just like you. Set up a twitter account and tweet about a client reaching a significant birthday or achieving a health goal.

Still not sure about Home Care Social Media? Dip your toe in a Search Engine like Google and enter “home care” and one of the towns where you provide service. facebook logo Where does your name come up?  If other sites come up ahead of yours, use it as research: look at their websites for best practices.  Follow their blog links and go to their Facebook pages. See what they’ve been tweeting about.  If your name doesn’t come up at all, look at all those whose do….Don’t be the last name in the “Yellow Pages!”

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, Home Care Best Practices

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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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