The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

Inspector General: Fraud Vacating DME

Posted by Will Hicklen on Apr 30, 2012 8:21:00 AM

HME Business logo 

 

 

 

By David Kopf Apr 26, 2012

Testimony to Senate Finance Committee says DME/HME's anti-fraud measures are pushing fraudsters into other areas.

Efforts to push fraud out of the durable medical equipment sector have been successful, according to testimony made by HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson to Senate Finance Committee this week.

Echoing Levinson's comments was Wifredo Ferrer, from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Southern Florida, who added that criminal activity in Medicare has transitioned “from the DMEs to HIV infusion therapy to home health and now, community mental health,” according to a report from the American Association for Homecare...

click here for full article 

Topics: HME Delivery Operations, HME, DME

Home Care Culture of Excellence Starts with 1 Question

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 27, 2012 9:03:00 AM

Another gem of an article on Ginny Kenyon's blog is entitled "Creating a Culture of Excellence" in Home Health and you can access the full article here. The gist of the articleculture is that most all home care organizations talk about providing excellence but only a few really build that into their CULTURE.

What I truly loved, was how Ginny explains that culture begins with leadership and that as a Home Care Leader you can assess whether you personally are creating a culture of excellence by asking yourself one question:

 “If I was one of my employees, would I like working with me? Why or why not?"

Wow!  How powerful is that question?  I'm going to put it in my calendar to make sure that I ask it of myself every could of months (and hopefully I'll think of it every day).

Another gem in the article is the following definition of the ingredients of a home care agency culture:

Gareth Morgan describes organizational culture as: “The set of beliefs, values, and norms, together with symbols like dramatized events and personalities that represents the unique character of an organization, and provides the context for action in it and by it.” Beliefs and values are words that will pop up in other definitions, as well. Norms are described as traditions, structure of authority, or routines.” (From AdChoices)

As a final enticement for you to click through to Ginny's article, you can go there to read the The top ten reasons cited for why employees remain loyal to their companies.

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, Elderly Care, Home Care Best Practices, thought leadership

NPDA Is In The Private Home Care Social Media Conversation

Posted by Jed Hammel on Apr 23, 2012 11:24:00 AM

The warm weather that many of us have experienced lately might make us think of finishing up our studies, but in the Private Home Care field, there is always more to learn! 

Jed Hammel and Amy AccardiA number of educational and "trade show" events are coming up designed to help us innovate and grow our business.  I was directed to these events by Merrily Orsino (Twitter handle: MerrilyO).  She is a Home Care Marketing Expert from Corecubed and she focuses on Internet marketing, website design, SEO, and social media marketing.

Will you be attending any of these events?  If so, please let me know how they went for you or comment below about your past experiences!

Home Care Conferences, Live Events, and Web Events

Southwest Regional Home Care Conference & Exhibition

April 24-25, 2012 - Oklahoma

For more information and to register, click here: Register

Association for Home Care & Hospice Private Pay Conference: Think Big!

May 8, 2012 - Texas

For more information and to register, click here: Register

Executive Leadership Forum

June 5-6, 2012 - Dallas

For more information and to register, click here: Register

NetworkingNew York State Association of Health Care Providers’ 2012 Annual Management Conference & Exhibition

October 16–18, 2012 - New York State

For more information and to register, click here: Register

 

National Association for Home Care & Hospice Annual Meeting & Exposition

October 21–24, 2012 - Florida

This one involving Merilly seems particularly interesting.  From her website: "With my breakout seminar on, “Inbound Marketing: A Natural for Home Care with Mobile Apps, Website Resources, and Social Media,” I’ll be talking about all things mobile. More and more, the mobile phone and tablets are fast becoming the hub for much of home care sales and marketing. Growing a business is more about having the right information available in a variety of online ways, and interacting and responding appropriately. Attendees will leave ready to get social!"

For more information and to register, click here: Register

National Private Duty Association (NPDA) Webinar: The Agency Website as the Core of Marketing Strategy

April 25, 2012 - Online

Another interesting one from Merrily:  As more people search for resources online, the agency website has become the core for marketing services. Making the most of the agency website, not only in design, but in content, and having the search engines rank the site on the first page, are key goals for marketing. Learn the basics from Will Chatham and me, in this interactive webinar where live sites will be used as examples.

For more information and to register, click here: Register

New Report Says That More Senior Living Communities Needed

From ALFA (Assisted Living Federation of America):

Presenting the results of the American Housing Survey, a new report describes the housing challenges presented by the increasing senior population and strategies for facing these challenges, including expanding affordable housing choices for older adults.

The report, created by the non-profit Center for Housing Policy, states that many of the senior housing challenges we are facing now, will be exacerbated in the coming years.

What are your thoughts on the article?  Any comments you'd like to share?

Please let me know if you have any blogs, articles, or other resources that you'd like to suggest to our readers.  Let's share the wealth of knowledge out there so we can all become more informed and more successful!

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: Starting a Home Care Business, Private Duty Home Care Blogs, Long Term Care, thought leadership, Leadership, Learning

Are you a Remarkable Home Care Boss?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 19, 2012 9:02:00 AM

Jeff Haden, author and leadership consultant, authored an article in Inc. magazine entitled Jeff HadenThe 5 Qualities of Remarkable Bosses.  The subtitle makes a bold claim:

"Consistently do these five things and the results you want from your employees--and your business--will follow"

If this claim is right, we should take a hard look at whether we can be great home care bosses.  Here are the five things:

  1. Develop every Employee
  2. Deal with Problems Immediately
  3. Rescue your Worst Employee
  4. Serve Others, not Yourself
  5. Always Remember Where You Came From

In home care we have the challenge that we don't see our caregivers every day, but that's no excuse not to do these things.  If we take ownership of problems, work to grow every employee, even those who have mis-stepped, and serve others as our top priority our teams will follow us and we'll be successful.

Inc. Magazine

Please be sure to check out the full article in Inc. magazine at this link.

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 Care, Leadership

Seniors Resource Is In The Private Care Social Media Conversation

Posted by Jed Hammel on Apr 16, 2012 6:27:00 PM

This week's Private Home Care conversations in social media for you are a bit different than what I've been sharing lately.  That said, I think that you'll find them both engaging and useful.  If you are a part of any conversations or are aware of any resources that you feel I should explore, please let me know!

Here are this week's colleJeremy Jed Hammelction of conversations that I found online that you may want to join or to learn more about:

"Who Will Take Care of Me?"

 Home Care Coach, (Twitter Handle: @SeniorsResource) directed me to this great article that offers advice to Boomers of how to plan for their future care.  It also gives information about: "Own Your Future, a nationwide campaign urging that they take a big step toward planning for their old age." 

Beyond the useful tips and digestible data, the article adds a personal touch by shedding some light on what it's like to be a caregiver.  All-in-all, I think it's an enjoyable and useful article...What is your take?  Is the article surprising to you or is it in line with your experiences and findings?

 Twitter Logo

Old Birds, New Tweets

Have you heard about Kraft Mac and Cheese's new social media marketing campaign?  Well, to sum up:  "To celebrate the brand’s 75th anniversary, Kraft Mac & Cheese has relinquished control of its social media network to Frankie and Dottie, two of the sweetest octogenarians you could possibly imagine."  LuAnn Smith (Twitter Handle: @myeldercare) from Myeldercareconsultant.com, shared this article that gives an overview of the campaign as well as a cute video of the ladies being interviewed.  Some extremely funny moments to be sure, but a risky and innovative ad campaign, don't you think? 

What social media marketing initiatives have worked well for you and which ones do you feel could have been more successful?  Dou you have any innovative campaigns coming up that you'd like to share?

 Study: Eldercare Best Practices

Karen Lawrence (Twitter Handle: @MatrixKaren) from Matrix Advocare Network shared this in-depth report based on the findings of a study conducted by The National Alliance for Caregiving for ReACT.  The 40 page document includes reams of data and ideas that you may want to consider for your business.  Do you have your own Best Practices document or one that you recommend for others?  Please share your knowledge!

What is next for the home health/home care industry and social media?  Do you project more of the same, or do you foresee some significant changes on the horizon?

Please let me know if you have any blogs, articles, or other resources that you'd like to suggest to our readers.  Let's share the wealth of knowledge out there so we can all become more informed and more successful!

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: Marketing Home Care, Home Care Blog, Elderly Care, Home Care Best Practices, Home Care

Six Key Technologies to Support Accountable Care

Posted by Will Hicklen on Apr 13, 2012 12:20:00 PM

John Glaser, Ph.D., is the CEO of health services at Siemens Healthcare in Malvern, Pa. He is also a regular contributor to H&HN Daily. This recent article does a terrific job of highlighting some of the shifts in thinking that are under way, and lays out 6 key areas that MUST be addressed by technology in Accountable Care models.

HH&N logo

Ankota addresses several of these six areas, with a critical focus on better coordinating and managing care that is delivered outside of hospitals. We strongly advocate many of the principles in Glaser's arcticle that focus on population health and care management, with a special interest in leveraging the "ecosystem" of post-acute care providers. Ankota's software helps individual providers optimize business operations for immediate ROI, and helps them coordinate care among multiple providers so that this "ecosystem" delivers better care with lower overall costs.

Fundamental accountable care processes will require a range of information technology components and capabilities — some of which will introduce new competencies for many providers.

Health care is the most complex, knowledge-driven industry in the world, representing one of our most significant economic challenges. While the transition to a system of more accountable care will be evolutionary, real challenges exist in building successful accountable care organizations or supporting ACO-like operations. One core challenge will be the diversity of forms of ACOs; the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services definition will be one of many.

What lies ahead is the reorientation of decades of organizational processes and structures that long have supported fee-for-service payments, competition among providers and strained relationships with payers. We are embarking on a transformation of epic proportions, one that requires the industry to come together with a common purpose. We need a laser focus on care coordination, quality improvement and cost reduction.

A key tenet of accountable care is to improve integration. ACOs are expected to implement a wide range of managerial, legal, clinical and other leadership structures. The goal is to ensure that the health and wellness of the population is managed, the most cost-effective care is provided, clinical processes are streamlined and follow the best evidence, the necessary reporting is in place, and the payments and reimbursement are appropriate.

Last but not least, the ACO must demonstrate, in a variety of ways, its commitment to being patient-centered and to engaging patients in managing their care and overall health.

Shifting Perspectives and New Competencies

Accountable care will require industry perspectives and health care delivery practices to shift:

  • from care providers working independently to collaborative teams of providers;
  • from treating individuals when they get sick to keeping groups of people healthy;
  • from emphasizing volumes to emphasizing outcomes;
  • from maximizing the use of resources and assets to applying appropriate levels of care at the right place;
  • from offering care at centralized facilities to providing care at sites convenient to patients;
  • from treating all patients the same to customizing health care for each patient;
  • from avoiding the sickest, chronically ill patients to providing special chronic care services;
  • from being responsible for those who seek services to being responsible for the needs of the community;
  • from putting forth best efforts to becoming high-reliability organizations.

Additionally, accountability will bring new performance and utilization risks to providers, as the focus shifts from optimizing business unit performance to optimizing network performance. At the same time, instead of maximizing the profitability of care, organizations will increase the volume of desired bundled episodes while controlling costs.

As providers assess their risk tolerance, they must also strengthen their ability to manage several core processes in an accountable care environment. These core processes include:

Identifying, assessing, stratifying and selecting target populations. It will become imperative for providers to store, access, maintain, derive and update population data and categories (stratification) from multiple sources. Additionally, within target populations, providers will select cohorts for specific programs based on predefined metrics (cost, utilization, outcomes).

Providing care management interventions for individuals and populations. This includes patient-centered management and coordination of care events and activities in multiple care settings by one or more providers (e.g., identifying care gaps and situations requiring additional interventions, as well as managing care transitions). The aim is to manage the most complex patients through the health care system, taking their preferences and overall situation into consideration. In addition, managing the overall health of a select population (diabetics, elderly, well, etc.) will require proactive care, communication, education and outreach.

Providing high-quality care across the continuum. While this is an obvious goal for all providers, ACOs must facilitate cross-continuum medical management for active episodes and acute disease processes or for any patient outside of the defined goals of a target population. It also includes fine-tuning coordination among care team members, transition of care planning, targeting venues of care, establishing patient and family engagement initiatives, and monitoring and improving clinical performance.

Managing contracts and financial performance. With new payment models (bundled, shared savings) emerging, proactively understanding patient coverage and financial responsibility will be critical. Financial teams must have a solid handle on estimating reimbursement and associated payment distributions, carrying out predictive modeling for reimbursement contracts, measuring performance against contracts and predicting profitability, as well as integrating with other key processes to share information.

Monitoring, predicting and improving performance. With payment so tightly linked to quality and outcomes, tracking and measuring system performance in key areas become paramount in an accountable care environment. Under value-based purchasing programs, there will be real ramifications for poor care and rewards for improved care. Providers can work with their quality and clinical staff to adapt processes accordingly. In a value-based purchasing model, even low-performing areas can qualify for high payments if they demonstrate year-over-year improvement.

Across the risk spectrum, these accountable care processes will require a range of IT components and capabilities, some of which will introduce new competencies for many providers.

IT Building Blocks to Support Accountable Care

Several application systems will be essential for responding effectively to accountable care and new payment models. In addition to an electronic health record that spans the continuum of care, the following six key technologies will enable the core accountable care processes:

1. A revenue cycle and contracts management application that evolves to span the continuum of care. One could argue that the revenue cycle system forms the foundation of a provider's response to accountable care and payment reform. As the reimbursement environment becomes more complex, revenue cycle systems must evolve to support payments based on quality and performance, requiring new capabilities such as:

  • aggregating charges to form bundles and episodes, with the aggregation logic enabling different groupings for different payers;
  • managing the distribution of payment for a bundle to the physicians, hospitals and non-acute facilities that delivered the care;
  • streamlining transitions between disparate reimbursement methodologies and contracts when billing and collecting;
  • providing tools for retrospective analysis of clinical and administrative data to identify areas for improving the quality of care and reducing the cost of care delivered.

These new capabilities must complement routine activities such as registering patients, scheduling appointments and administering patient billing.

2. Care management systems that span the continuum for individuals and populations. Care management systems support proactive, preventive and cost-effective care for individuals and populations. Specific capabilities include care venue transition management, care coordination (utilization and case management), disease management, population management and wellness management.

These care approaches focus on preventing unwarranted emergency department visits and avoiding acute episodes. Additionally, disease registries will enable providers to identify cohorts of patients with focused care needs, review summary data sets and make necessary interventions when care is not up to standard.

3. Rules engines, workflow engines and intelligent displays of data that enable intelligent processes across the continuum, defined by best practices. Processes that are efficient, predictable and robust enable an organization to thrive in an accountable care environment. Workflow and rules engines can monitor process performance, alerting staff to missed steps, sequence issues or delays.

Workflow engines specialize in executing a business process, not just decisions made at a discrete point in time. The technology can assist greatly in clinical decision-making by not only presenting clinicians with alerts and reminders, like a rules engine, but also by encouraging teamwork in clinical decisions, assisting with the time management and task allocation in process delivery, stating changes in patient or operational conditions, and creating behind-the-scenes automation of process steps.

4. Sophisticated business intelligence and analytics. Analytics will facilitate proactive management of key performance metrics. For example, there will be a greater need to assess care quality and costs, examine variations in practice, and compare outcomes. As such, the application of business intelligence in health care will become the platform upon which the organization not only monitors performance, but also makes critical decisions to uncover new revenue opportunities, reduce costs, reallocate resources, and improve care quality and operational efficiency.

However, the industry lacks experience with the tools and techniques associated with advanced data analysis. Thus, enhancing an organization's competency in data management and business intelligence will become an essential requirement for internal purposes as well as for external reporting requirements.

5. Systems that enable interoperability between affiliated providers. Having information available is critical to the success of accountable care. A health information exchange platform will become increasingly important to enable the secure flow of data about patients and can, for example, facilitate access to information needed for:

  • performance metrics, such as care cost and quality;
  • patient events monitoring, such as a visit to the ED or a failure to show up for an appointment;
  • patient status, as in a hospitalization in a member hospital with a specific discharge destination;
  • ensuring that the care team has a comprehensive view of a patient's status and the care delivered by all members of the patient's care team.

While there has been some success in the regional HIE movement, much of the focus now is on HIE capabilities at the integrated delivery system or ACO level. This enables providers to obtain a composite clinical picture of the patient regardless of where that patient was seen. In time, a provider will be able to request data about a patient from any other provider in the region, perhaps even in the country.

6. Technologies that support the engagement of patients. In addition to providing high-quality, effective care at the best possible cost, providers need to engage patients in staying well and managing their health. A system that allows patients to communicate with caregivers, perform self-care activities and participate in health screenings, for example, can improve quality of care and outcomes, especially for patients with chronic diseases.

While few are taking advantage of patient portals and personal health records, organizations are using other approaches to engage patients in their care, including texting and social media channels. Such engagement efforts will increase over time, and we will use these technologies in a variety of ways, such as:

  • providing patients with access to their data so they understand their current health status;
  • allowing patients to communicate with their care providers (ask questions, discuss symptoms, renew medications, requests appointments, and so forth);
  • enabling patients to enter their own data (ranging from correcting a medication list to entering data about their symptoms, particularly if there's been a change in treatment pattern);
  • providing patients access to health information and management tools (education, discussion forums with other patients who have conditions similar to theirs, and so forth).

Aligned, Focused and Moving Forward

A more accountable system of care supported by aligned incentives long is overdue in this country. Such a system creates shared accountability and incentives for managing a patient's health — a much different health care system than the one in place today. Accountability will require that care be accessible to the community and that providers deliver a high-quality experience focused on keeping patients healthy and engaged in their own care.

New payment models will be disruptive, and parts of the journey will be chaotic. Additionally, the long-term success of this transformation relies largely on building the robust, secure IT infrastructure to support the far-reaching goals of accountable care. However, thanks to a well-crafted federal health information technology agenda, which lays the foundation for payment and structural reform — a reform that encourages widespread meaningful use of interoperable EHRs — the industry is aligned, focused and moving forward.

Savvy providers will use the meaningful use mandates to help prioritize and plan for IT investments that also enable the core processes associated with accountable care. Even for providers that may not be participating in an ACO, building the organizational and IT competencies to support accountable care is critical to staying competitive. Organizations that fail to develop and demonstrate accountable care capabilities may not fulfill their obligations to the community they serve — in fact, they may not survive.

The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the policy of Health Forum Inc. or the American Hospital Association.

See also this related discussion in FierceHealth IT 

Topics: Care Coordination, Accountable Care Organizations, ACO, ACO Technology

Accountable Care to Force Hospitals to Close

Posted by Will Hicklen on Apr 13, 2012 11:29:00 AM

It just seems so fitting to talk about the pending closure thousands of hospitals on Friday the 13th -- But it's TRUE!

In a no-holds barred, tell it like it is piece titled, “Why One Third of Hospitals Will Close by 2020,” authors David Houle and Jonathan Fleece make the case—and soundly, I might add—that hospitals ain’t all they’re cracked up to be anyway. To equal the number of avoidable deaths that occur every year, Houle and Fleece contend, the airline industry would have to crash a 747 every day for 200 days. The uproar would be deafening and the humiliation among the carriers would be unprecedented. This may be so, but (dramatically) examining avoidable deaths only begins to scratch the surface of the real issue: the value hospitals play is very real, but the hospital is not always the right place to receive care that we need.  

Hospital disruptive change quote Houle

I would argue that this grossly understimates the problem and largely overstates the value of hospitals in taking better care of our population. The real story here behind the certainty that hospitals will close is that hospitals are useless for much of what we use them for today.

KevinMD.com logo

KevinMD.com reports, "Despite a history of strength and stature in America, the hospital institution is in the midst of massive and disruptive change. Such change will be so transformational that by 2020 one in three hospitals will close or reorganize into an entirely different type of health care service provider. Several significant forces and factors are driving this inevitable and historical shift."

5 things closing hospitals

To see the future of Care Coordination, please contact Ankota today by clicking the big orange button below!

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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: Health Care Reform, Care Coordination, transitional care, Will Hicklen, Accountable Care Organizations, Avoidable Readmissions, ACO, ACO Technology

It might take 39 failures to ultimately succeed in Home Care

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 12, 2012 3:47:00 PM

A friend passed me the article below, which has nothing to do with home care, but everything to do with our battle between success and failure.  My article title is based on an anecdote from the story below - the product that we all know called "WD-40" was named that because it was the inventor's 40th attempt.  We might argue that we're "cursed" in home care because of all the challenges we face with regulation changes, reimbursement cuts and the like, but we should also acknowledge that we're "blessed" to have these challenges in a growing market where we can afford to take some risks and make some mistakes before finding our ultimate success.

The Dirty Little Secret Of Overnight Successes

BY EXPERT BLOGGER JOSH LINKNER | 04-03-2012 | 11:30 AM

 

Angry Birds, the incredibly popular game, was software maker Rovio’s 52nd attempt. They spent eight years and nearly went bankrupt before finally creating their massive hit. Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing websites in history, but struggled for a long time. success failurePinterest’s CEO recently said that it had “catastrophically small numbers” in its first year after launch and that if he had listened to popular startup advice he probably would have quit.

 

James Dyson failed in 5,126 prototypes before perfecting his revolutionary vacuum cleaner. Groupon was put on life support and nearly shut down at one point in its meteoric rise. When looking at the most successful people and organizations, we often imagine geniuses with a smooth journey straight to the promised land. But when you really examine nearly every success story, they are filled with crushing defeats, near-death experiences, and countless setbacks.

 

We often celebrate companies and individuals once they've achieved undeniable success, but shun their disruptive thinking before reaching such a pinnacle. Before Oprah was Oprah, before Jobs was Jobs, they were labeled as misguided dreamers rather than future captains of industry. In your life, you've probably had a setback or two. When you stumble, it's tempting the throw in the towel and accept defeat. There's always an attractive excuse waiting eagerly, hoping you'll take the easy way out. But the most successful people forge ahead. They realize that mistakes are simply data, providing new information to adjust your approach going forward. The ubiquitous WD-40 lubricant got its name because the first 39 experiments failed. WD-40 literally stands for “Water Displacement--40th Attempt.” If they gave up early on like most of us do, we'd sure have a lot more squeaky hinges in the world. 

 

You have a mission to accomplish and an enormous impact to make. You will inevitably endure some "failures" along your journey, but you must realize that persistence and determination have always been primary ingredients in accomplishment. Don't cave to your mistakes, embrace them. In fact, mistakes are simply to the portals of discovery. There's an old saying that "every bull’s-eye is the result of a hundred misses." So the next time you feel the sting of failure, just realize you're likely one shot closer to hitting your target. And who knows? Maybe after a few dozen failures and months or years of hard work, you might just be that next "overnight" success.

 For more insight on creativity and innovation, visit joshlinkner.com.

Josh Linkner

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, Health Care Reform, thought leadership

AgingCare.com Is In The Private Home Care Social Media Conversation

Posted by Jed Hammel on Apr 11, 2012 8:44:00 AM

Another week and another diverse and interesting batch of conversations for you to peruse!  Thanks to the many of you who have reached out and have helped me connect with others in the private care industry.  To others who may be reading this, I'd love t hear from you!  If you have any more suggestions for resources online that I should check out, let me know!

Jeremy Jed Hammel

Here are this week's collections of conversations that I found online that you may want to join or to learn more about:

"Cognitive Reserve" and Dementia

AgingCare.com (Twitter handle: @AgingCare) offers this insightful article about fighting Dementia by using "cognitive reserve."  Here is a short excerpt from the article:

"Gary Small, M.D., professor of psychiatry and director of the UCLA Longevity Center, likens cognitive reserve to, "having an extra mental battery." He says that a person with a high amount of cognitive reserve can compensate, somewhat, for the brain damage caused by disease and old age."

I find the article particular fascinating.  Give it a read it and post your reactions below in our "Comments" section!Change Ahead

 "Facebook Is For Old People"

AgeTek.org (Twitter Handle: AgeTek) lead me to this article from Techpinions.com, regarding Facebook's recent purchase of Instagram.  It illustrates just how ephemeral "Cool" is and how that concept relates to businesses reaching out to their customers.  Businesses grow and change and social media platforms do so at an accelerated rate...Are you familiar with the newest platforms and are the leveraging the ones that your customers use the most?

Legal Issues of Social Media and Healthcare

Recommended by Healthcare 3.0 (Twitter Handle: Healthcare_3.0) comes this Article from KevinMD.com, "The Legal Landscape of Health Care Social Media."  KevinMD.com, "Social Media's leading Physician voice," offers a number of resources in different areas of the health care field.  This article gives a nice general overview as well as some Key examples of how social media is being used by the health care industry.  Do you have your own list of "Do's" and "Don'ts"?  Where do you see social media taking the health care industry in the future.  How do you feel about the direction we're going with social media? 

Please let me know if you have any blogs, articles, or other resources that you'd like to suggest to our readers.  Let's share the wealth of knowledge out there so we can all become more informed and more successful!

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: dementia, Age Tech, cognitive reserve, Instagram

Expert Alzheimer's and Dementia Advice for Home Caregivers

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 9, 2012 12:22:00 PM

Back in December, Ankota co-founder Marc Ottinger shared a great piece on the blog called "Choosing the Best Elder Care for Your Loved One" which pointed readers to some strong guides about assisted living, home care, memory care and more from Assisted Living Today (http://assistedlivingtoday.com/).  Today's post introduces a very powerful series, also by Assisted Living Today that talks about Dementa and Alzheimer's care.  They've assembled a panel of 20 memory experts who have contributed content.  Here's a collage and the list of experts (I've cleverly left out their bios so you can read them all here):

assisted living today memory experts

  • Judy Berry
  • Tom and Karen Brenner
  • Carol Bursack.
  • Emily Caldwell
  • Ruth Drew
  • Holly Eburne
  • Merilee Griffin
  • Eric J. Hall
  • Cindy Keith
  • Lori La Bey
  • Gary Joseph LeBlanc
  • Joy Loverde
  • Terry Lynch
  • Miller Piggott
  • Jan Robson 
  • Michael Smith 
  • Karen (Karle) Truman
  • Lauren Watral
  • Lisa Wawrzonek 
The panelists share their expertise on critical questions like Advice for Alzheimer's Caregivers.  I highly recommend that you give it a read!
assisted living today
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 Blog, Alzheimer's, Blogging, Elderly Care, Home Care Blogs

Home Care Software Geek Introduces Google Glass

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 6, 2012 11:31:00 AM

The Home Care Software Geek posts in this blog don't talk about Home Care Nursing Software, Private Duty Telephony, DME Delivery Software, Home Infusion Care Management or the other topics we focus on regularly at Ankota. Instead, these posts are intended to keep our readers up to date with technology trends that might be useful to your agencies, such as social media technologies, mobile devices, and what's happening from the big-boys like Microsoft, Google and Apple.

Many of my home care software geek posts are intended to inform home care about what's going on in the technology world that might affect you.  Examples are when weGoogle Glass talk about smart phones, or tablet computers.  Today's post, perfect for a Friday, is to show you something really futuristic, fun, and super-geeky: Google Glass...

Google glass is a technology that brings the internet to your eye glasses and let's you select things by looking at them, as well as give voice commands.  This isn't a technology that I'd expect us to be using in home care any time soon, but hopefully it will inspire your imagination.  You can get an idea of what it's like in this two and a half minute video.

What new technologies (not necessarily on the bleeding edge) are on the radar screen for your home care organization?

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 software geek, Home Care Technology, Video

Senior Living News is in the Home Care Social Media Conversation

Posted by Jed Hammel on Apr 4, 2012 10:39:00 AM

Hello everybody!  After posting a few of these articles and aggregating the private duty home care conversations happening online, it's been very exciting and helpul for me to connect with and learn more about a number of you!  Whether you are a social media maven or a private duty dynamo in the industry, I'd like to hear others out there!  I'd like to keep this great flow of feedback and outreach coming!

Jeremy Jed Hammel

My ultimate goal is to present a few conversations that can help folks following Ankota build their business, offer a different perspective, and perhaps inspire them.  Here are a few conversations happening online that you may want to join or to learn more about:

 

Encouraging News for the Long-Term Care Industry

This article comes from Boomer To Boomer Online, "a toolbox for confronting ‘old age’." (Twitter Handle: BoomertoBoomerOnline).  It is a clear, consice, and useful list for those with Elderly parents.  For those of us in the industry, it is a helpful way for us to see the process through the eyes of our customers.  What do you think of the list?  Any thoughts you'd like to share?

Many People Are Unprepared to Care For Their Elderly Parents

This article from USA Today reports that: "More than 42 million Americans provide family caregiving for an adult who needs help with daily activities, according to a 2009 survey by the AARP. An additional 61.6 million provided at least some care during the year.And many are unprepared."AARP

The article goes on to offer some helpful tips and suggestions on how to navigate what can first be an overwealming process for many.  I feel that the article provides a lot of useful information to help us in the indusrtry better understand and to reach more customers.  Are there any insights you'd like to share to help people acclimate to the concept for long-term care?

Reccommended Blog: BMA Management

Congratulations to BMA Management for their recent "ALTY" award! From their website:

BMA Management, Ltd., has been honored by Assisted Living Today with a 2012 “Blog of the Year” Award.

The ALTY Blog Awards program is an annual event that is designed to recognize the best blogs and articles being produced by thought leaders and industry experts, says Ken Lyons, a Co-founder of Assisted Living Today, which serves as a source on information on topics related to senior living.

This exciting news was brought to my attention by Senior Living News (Twitter Handle: @Alfa@_Online), the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA).  Their Twitter feed offers: "articles and news, and helpful resources on senior living and elder care."  It really is a fantastic resource for news and perspectives surrounding the vast array of "Senior Living" topics being discussed. 

Take a look at their sites and let me know what you think of it!

Would you like to suggest any industry web pages or online resources to our readers?  What conversations are you currently engaged in?  Please let me know so I can share your suggestions in future posts!  Let's share the wealth of knowledge out there so we can all become more informed and more successful!

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: Baby Boomer, AARP, Long Term Care, Senior Living

What can Health Care (& Home Care) Learn from the Newspaper Industry

Posted by Ken Accardi on Apr 2, 2012 10:42:00 AM

On a few occaisions I've had the chance to meet Tom Boyd and Tom Nicholas, whose company Boyd & Nicholas brands themselves as the home care cost report people.  Their office sends a weekly email newsletter with information from across the spectrum of healthcare and I learn a lot from it.  In their most recent email, they shared a very interesting comparison between the US healthcare Industry and the Newspaper Industry, which is shared below.

HEALTHCARE DISRUPTION: PROVIDERS ARE MAKING NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY MISTAKES (excerpt)
 
Since the latter half of the 90's, the handwriting has been on the wall for Newspapernewspaper companies that media's future was digital. Heck, the newspapers' own business sections reported on this trend. Despite this, the majority of the industry focused on traditional strategies such as taking on debt to acquire other newspapers or investing in new printing presses, leading to disastrous consequences.
 
Now consider healthcare in the U.S.: There's a clear understanding that the industry must shift its focus towards outcomes from "do more, bill more" orientation. If ever there was an industry that should understand that it's more effective to address underlying conditions than treating the symptoms, it should be healthcare. Prevention-focused countries such as Denmark have dramatically lowered the need for hospitals. Once at 155 hospitals, they are at less than a third of that today.
 
Whether they don't know these facts or are ignoring them, the fact is there are incredibly large capital investment projects on the docket for many health systems.  Since 62% of hospitals are mission-based, non-profit organizations, it's astonishing that they are more focused on capital projects than addressing the overall health of their communities. No one has made the case, for instance, that chronic conditions that consume 75% of the $2.6 trillion tab in the U.S. is best addressed by building more buildings.
Boyd and Nicholas home health cost report
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, Elderly Care, Health Care Reform, Care Coordination

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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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