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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

7 Tips for Marketing Your Home Care Agency with Public Speaking

Posted by Ken Accardi on May 27, 2014 8:55:41 AM

We often blog about how important it is for your home care agency to stand out from the crowd.  I've heard stories like "I visited 3 agencies and they all pretty much had the same 3-fold brochure so I just chose the least expensive one." Ouch!  I've also heard a number of fantastic ideas for differentiating your agency, such as the following:

  • Awesome gift baskets for the holidays
  • Making fall prevention the number one priority
  • Updating family members weekly on key aspects of their loved-one's care
  • Hyper-focus on caregiver selection

Public Speaking

Today's idea comes from Stephen Tweed's Leading Home Care Blog, where he proposes that Public Speaking can be a great way to differntiate your agency.  This could be a great idea... Stephen_Tweed_Public_SpeakingIf you're the person who is known for giving elder care seminars at your public library, or presenting at the council on aging, perhaps more people will turn to you as the name they trust when their loved one needs care.

7 Tips for Home Care Marketing via Public Speaking

Stephen's article shares the 7 tips that are bulletized below, but in addition it gives a lot of detail and advice on how to apply each of the tips.  I'd highly encourage you to read the full article.

  1. Develop a Powerful Persuasive Presentation
  2. Polish Delivery
  3. Select Audiences that have the Greatest Potential to Grow Your Business
  4. Support your Speech with Unique, Innovative Visuals
  5. Craft "Keeper" Audience Materials
  6. Follow Up with your Audiences
  7. Track the Results of your Speaking Engagements

 

What is Your Agency Doing to Differentiate?

If you have a best practice that you'd be willing to share, please comment below or send it to us!

 

Important Note: Content used in this blog is copyrighted by Leading Home Care ...a Tweed Jeffries company, all rights reserved.  Note that you can subscribe for email updates from Stephen's blog by visiting the original post.

Can we answer home care software questions?

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.

 

Topics: Home Care Entrepreneurship, Elderly Care, Home Care Best Practices

Is Medicare trying to Kill Home Health and Hospice Agencies?

Posted by Ken Accardi on May 19, 2014 10:46:00 AM

I read kind of a scary article on the Healthcare Market Resources website (www.healthmr.com) entitled Medicate Policy Makers Threaten the Viability of Home Care and Hospice.  The article is thoroughHealthmr_logo and well-written.  I encourage you to read it in its entirelty if you run a home health or hospice business, but I'll do my best to give you the executuve summary here.

  • Reimbursements are being cut by 11% over 4 years.
  • Many agencies don't have 11% in margin and the cuts will make thriving businesses become insolvent
  • This is being done deliberately for two reasons:
    1. Medicare can better overse a smaller number of agencies and reduce or eliminate fraud
    2. The number of new start-ups in home health make Medicare think that the business model is too attractive presently
  • Hospice payments will be reuced for patients who live beyond 180 days (presently this is 38% of expenses)
  • Hospice care is likely to move to Medicare advantage (whereas today it is mostly fee-for-service).  This is expected to drive the payers to negotiate better deals with hospices
  • Dual-eligibles (people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid) will likely end up with aligned payment structures that further reduce reimbursement

What must Home Health and Hospice do to Survive?

The article focuses on two suggestions to help agencies survive, as follows:

  1. Get Bigger: The article suggests that it will be necessary to merge and become larger in order to spread overhead costs over a broader number of patients.
  2. Get involved in Care Transition and Long Term Care services that ultimately save costs for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

Here at Ankota, we have software for managing care transitions, including the ability to receive referrals electronically from hospitals and ACOs.  We also believe that home health agencies should look into providing ongoing non-medical care (private pay and programs including Medicaid and local programs) and chronic illness care (reimbursed by ACOs).  

white paper describing care transition readmission avoidance opportunity     home care best practices

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.

 

Topics: Readmissions, Care Transitions, Accountable Care Organizations, Avoidable Readmissions, ACO, ACO Technology

Top News Sources Call for Healthcare / Home Care Tech Disruption

Posted by Ken Accardi on May 5, 2014 9:02:00 AM

Three important news sources have recently called for disruption in health care technology, and each of them talks specifically about the importance of technology for care at home.

Healthcare IT News

In the article Healthcare Due for Technology ‘Shake Up,’ Healhcare IT News managing editor Mike Miliard starts with a bold statement:

'Within a decade, the health and wellness business will look and feel like other consumer-oriented, technology-enabled industries,' says PwC

Healthcare IT News

Mike then digs into the PWC paper Healthcare's New Entrants: Who will be the industry's Amazon.com? where PWC predicts that our currently still siloed healthcare industry will become a wide open health marketplace in what they call a “new health economy.”

Information Week

Information Week

Mike and PWC aren’t the only ones thinking this way.  His April 14th article referenced above came just five days after Information Week’s April 9th article entitled “Healthcare in 2014: Innovate or Be Left Behind”where Richard Roth, the leader of Dignity Health’s Innovation Effort predicts that four significant trends will emerge for healthcare leaders, as follows:

  • Care Delivery Will Change
  • Use of Sensor Technology will Increase
  • We’ll all be relying even more on Big Data, and
  • There will be More Transparency

Home Care Technology Report

Closer to home for the readers of this blog (focused on the home care industry), the editor and staff of Home Care Technology Report (www.homecaretechreport.com) completed a conference in Arizona entitled Health Care in Transition.  Ankota’s Nancy Muckle attended and said that the key message was that businesses need to “change or die.”

HomeCareTechReport2014 resized 600

If you believe that “where there’s smoke, there bound to be fire,” then you can’t ignore the words and actions of these three key news sources in the past week.

Is Your Vision in Line with these Industry Experts?

The first question is, how compelling is your vision? 

  • Are you planning for 90% or more of your future business to come from the business models that you’re in today (like 60-day post acute home health episodes or non-medical home care)?  If so, then the sources above are saying that you run the risk of becoming a dinosaur. 
  • Instead, we hope that you’re envisioning an ecosystem where the most medically challenged and expensive patients are being proactively managed and cared for so that hospitalizations can be avoided.  In this world, your agency will be providing services collaboratively as a participant with payers, hospitals and primary care patient-centered-medical homes in the ecosystem.  And that’s just the start.  The next frontier will be effective prediction of the next members in the medically fragile community where your agency will be part of proactive outreach services and ongoing care that starts before a first expensive episode.

What are You Doing About It?

Our suggestion is to picture your home care organization as a critical player in this future healthcare ecosystem, and then ask yourself what to do to be ready.   Here are a few questions to ask about your home care software and technology:

  • Does my software allow me to take referrals electronically from other players in the ecosystem?
  • Am I sharing electronic health records and providing visit notes, care plan progress, and other escalations to these other ecosystem members in a HIPAA compliant way?
  • Do I have the basics like good scheduling software and simple billing and payroll so that my office staff can focus on exceptions and collaboration?
  • Do all my care providers capture notes in real-time at the point of care using a tablet, telephony or a smart phone with GPS?

If you can’t answer yes to all of the above, make this your new technology imperative. 

If you’d like a demo of Ankota’s software, we’d be happy to oblige.

Contact 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.

Care Transitions Coaching Available by Applying to BOOST

Posted by Ken Accardi on May 1, 2014 10:55:00 AM

I came across an interesting care transitions success story out of Houston via this article published on the website www.the-hospitalist.org.    Unlike most similar articles that explain the changes that the hospital put in place, this article focusedBOOST Care Transitions Program on how the hospital was able to get best practice methodology coaching from excellent physicians.  They did so by applying to a project called BOOST that has a cadre of excellent mentors on board.

Even better news is that this program is still accepting applications and you can learn more at the website www.hospitalmedicine.org/boost.

Some of the testimony from participants is as follows:

  • “I recommend Project BOOST enthusiastically and unequivocally. If implemented efficiently, it could result in a ‘win-win’ situation for patients, the hospital, and the healthcare providers,” says Manasi Kekan, MD, MS, FACP, who serves as HMH’s medical director. “As a hospitalist, at times, I have found it challenging to ration my times between patient contact and documentation to meet the goals set by the healthcare industry. Being involved in BOOST and watching tangible improvements for my patients has provided me with immense personal and professional gratification!”

The mentor spoken about in the article was Dr. Jeffrey Greenwald, MD, SFHM, one of the founding developers of Project BOOST.  Speaking specifically about the Houston Hospital, Dr. Greenwald indicated that they were a “well-oiled machine” when he started working with them and had a lot of the key ingredients in place.  But the article specificallyDr Jeffrey Greenwald talks about the ability of the BOOST program to work with hospitals starting at many levels of capability.  Dr. Greenwald is quoted as follows:

  • “I wish I would have had someone like that when I got started,” says Dr. Greenwald, who tries to fill that role for others now. “Hopefully, each group moves down the path of making sure they have the right stakeholders, the right communications styles and skills in how to look at data and work with front-end staff.”

What can Home Health Learn from this “hospital internally focused” program?

If you’re a reader of this blog, you’ll know that one of our key missions is to get the home care industry more actively involved in the care transitions arena.  We believe that this will help the hospitals in their areas to reduce readmissions.  We also believe that home health is ideally suited to be the key provider of care transition services.  This is due to their clinical expertise with care and meds, ability to travel to the home, provide transportation, ensure compliance and home safety, and collaborate effectively with the hospitalist physicians who are the focus of the boost initiative.

The key takeaways that we recommend for home care to glean from this article are as follows:

  • The hospitalists and discharge teams are perhaps the best contacts in the hospital for you to collaborate with
  • You can go in equipped with the knowledge that excellent hospital care doesn’t necessarily translate to fewer readmissions, case in point is this article about Beth-Israel Deaconess in Boston
  • You might also bring this article and make your local hospitals aware of the BOOST program

If you’d like to learn more from an expert hospitalist who has successfully run numerous care transition programs, check out Ankota’s webinar archive of Dr. Marc Greenwald (only coincidentally sharing the same last name as Dr. Jeffrey Grenwald referenced above.  You can see Ankota’s care transition webinar archive at this link.

If you would like to learn more about the care transitions opportunity, click for the video or whitepaper below:

Care Transitions Video      Care Transitions White Paper

 

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

 


Topics: Readmissions, Care Coordination, transitional care, Care Transitions

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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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