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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

10 Ways to Save With A Customized Homecare Manual

Posted by Ken Accardi on Sep 29, 2015 8:48:08 AM

 One 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).

Creating resources, including employee handbooks and policy and procedure manuals is no simple task and keeping them up-to-date can be quite daunting. Many organizations believe creating their own manuals from scratch, rather than letting professionals do it – will save their agency money. But that assumption couldn’t be farther from the truth. In actuality, creating your own homecare manual, wastes valuable time and staff resources that could be spent improving client care. So instead of going it alone, consider purchasing a customized homecare manual.Time is money don't go waisting time, isolated clock with money

What is a Customized Homecare Manual?

With a customized manual – an employee handbook or a policy and procedure manual – you get a complete document that includes Medicare requirements and can be adapted to your specific organization, state, and accreditation details. The homecare industry is not a one-size-fits-all world. Legal, accreditation and state regulations vary depending on the type of organization you manage.

Benefits of a Customized Homecare Manual

Customized manuals are written and updated by professionals with many years of homecare industry experience. These professionals are familiar with government regulations and know what works for other successful homecare organizations across the country. Take a look at ten ways a customized homecare manual saves your organization money.

  1. Saves staff creation time – Writing a manual requires staff to be pulled away from their regular responsibilities. This means that either your client care suffers, or you spend money hiring caregivers to fill in. In the world of homecare, time is money.

  2. Saves time required for updating – With homecare manuals, you can’t just “write it and forget it.” Government regulations are constantly changing; paying someone to stay on top of these changes and keep your manuals up-to-date will be costly.

  3. Protects productivity Productivity will plummet for your team required to write, update, edit and stay abreast of constant changes when you attempt to manage homecare manuals in-house.

  4. Prevents errors – Let’s face it. It’s easy to make mistakes or leave out important information when those producing are inexperienced with the task. If homecare manual errors are made, you will spend time correcting them after an unfortunate survey.

  5. Ensures policy accuracy – It’s difficult to stay on top of ever-changing regulations while ensuring excellent client care. Failing to adhere to regulations will cost your agency money in repercussions, so it’s crucial to get your manuals right – and keep them accurate.

  6. Prevents lawsuits – Does your employee handbook contain enough information to prevent lawsuits resulting from employee issues? or termination? Using a professionally written employee handbook saves you from costly legal consequences.

  7. Improves client care – Ensuring your staff has adequate client care policies and procedures available is crucial for your success. If these are incomplete, outdated or misinterpreted, the cost will be lost clients and referrals.

  8. Ensures all are on the same page – Are your homecare manuals electronic and accessible online? With printed manuals, whenever updates are made, all copies must be reprinted. Most customized homecare manuals are produced and updated electronically reducing your costs significantly. ?

  9. Saves leadership time – Saving staff time was mentioned but what about management time? With a customized resource, instead of reviewing and editing – your time can be spending on agency growth and improvements, networking with referral sources, or building your brand.

  10. Gives you peace of mind – While peace of mind doesn’t cost anything, worry does. Worry causes you to become distracted, takes away your ability to think clearly and get things done in an efficient manner. Purchasing customized homecare manuals takes away some of that worry.

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we offer several different types of customized manuals including employee handbooks, policies and procedure manuals for non-skilled, licensed, and Medicare homecare and hospice to meet the specific needs of your organization. With many years of manual writing experience, we provide a customized manual you can depend on. To learn more, give us a call today.

CHRONIC DISEASE EDUCATION MAKES AIDES BETTER CAREGIVERS 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 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

Selling_Care_Transition_Services_to_Hospitals_Cover.png

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 technology report

3 Ways to Maximize the Value of your Home Care Software Vendor

Posted by Ken Accardi on Sep 25, 2015 1:24:46 PM

Your home care software vendor can be a great asset to your organization if you manage your relationship with them well.  If you don't, they can be a nightmare... Here are three ways to maximize your relationship value:

1) Be Nice

When you need help from your vendor, it could be a stressful time, like when you need to get billing or payroll out the door with a tight deadline.  There are some people who treat their software vendors (and other customer service people) with disdain and outright meanness. My advice is to consider the person on the other end of the line or the email as a partner who can help you and to treat them as such.  Here's an example of a nice interaction I had with a customer today, via email.  They had made some rate changes and one of their series wasn't billing correctly.  I copied and pasted the email exchange below:

Ankota Home Care blog - vendor exchange

In this case, the customer is super-nice above and beyond the call of duty, but as a result, she gets great and fast support every time.

2) Be Specific

As a software developer working on customer issues, there's a little catch phrase that comes to mind, which is "if we can recreate it, we can fix it."  So when you have an issue, the best thing you can do is to tell the customer support person exactly what to do to recreate the problem.  Doing this will enable customer support to identify and correct the issue as quickly as possible.

3) Be Strategic

Healthcare technology is lagging behind many other industries but is undergoing a technology revolution at the present time.  Also, there's a lot of new thinking and if you're managing your organization well, you probably expect to be dramatically different in two years than you are now.  My advice is to tell your software vendor what you have in mind and see if they can help you.  They might have some features you need that just need to be configured.  They might also be willing to invest in order to grow with you.  Give them the chance to grow with you!

Ankota Home Care blog - cooperation

What to Expect in Return?

If you follow the steps above, you should expect fast response time, access to leadership, influence on the road map and high satisfaction with your vendor.  If you find that you're trying to follow the best practices above, but you're not getting good service, then perhaps you should consider an upgrade.

How Do You Segment Your Clients or Patients?

Do you have clients who are mean to your caregivers and to your support staff, that consider everything to be your fault?  How do these clients make you feel as compared to clients who thank you frequently, give good actionable feedback (even when it's constructive), and let you know what would make their experience better?  Think about this when interacting with your software vendor and I guarantee you'll get better service. 

On a somewhat related note, Ankota has a new video outlining our software solutions.  If you're interested, take a look and let us know what you think!

Also, 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

Lessons Learned from my Hospitalization and Home Care Experience

Posted by Ken Accardi on Sep 23, 2015 2:10:04 PM

Ankota Home Care blog - knee X-RayAs I hinted in a recent blog post about bundled payments, I needed surgery and home care this month.  On Monday August 3rd, I had a total knee arthroplasty (TKA - but more commonly known as a knee replacement).  My situation was different than a lot of TKA and home health recipients.  I'm a lot younger and healthier.  I live with a family (wife, son and daughter) who can all drive and help me.  I live in Boston and had my procedure done at New England Baptist Hospital, which has been rated as the best orthopedic center in the country, and I'm highly motivated to recover quickly.  But I did learn some things that will help me to be a better home care professional.

The Hospital Part

As noted above, I was in a great hospital with great care.  Here were some observations:

  • There Was Nothing Left To Chance: Before my surgery, I came to the hospital for X-Rays, Labs, a full review of my meds with a pharmacist, a very comprehensive medical exam with a nurse practitioner, and a planning session with physical therapy.  I went home knowing exactly what I needed to do to prep.  Also, my doctor called me the night before surgery to make sure that I was all set.

  • Checklists Are Critical to Hospital Quality: Although I had different nurses and CNAs on every shift, they all were well trained on protocol.  I was always asked my name and date of birth before anything was administered. Care providers always washed hands and used gloves. Meds were always delivered on time and not a minute before.  Vitals were checked and monitored constantly.

  • Recovery is hHumbling: After surgery, my biggest issues were unrelated to my knee.  I couldn't void regularly for days, and part of that process required my CNAs to help me wash, change my bedding and give me every opportunity to relieve myself with dignity.  Aides are compassionate and great.

    New England Baptist Hospital

  • Nurses and CNAs Provided My Care: I met my physician for two minutes before surgery and for another 2 minutes at 5:30 AM the next morning.  Of course he did the surgery and did a fantastic job and I have no qualms with the lack of additional time we spent together.  My point is that nurses and aides, practicing at the top of their license, provided 90% of my care and  they were really excellent.  As avid readers of this blog know, my passion is about shifting the focus of health care towards chronic care and avoiding preventable hospitalizations,  Having first hand experience with nurses and CNAs convinced me that my vision can be fulfilled

  • Short Hospitalizations are Better: The role of the hospital has shifted focus to treatment and not recovery.  I was really happy to be able to go home less than 48 hours after my surgery.

The Home Health Part

I'm not sure why, but I didn't need a blood thinner (other than Aspirin) after I discharged, so I really didn't need home health nursing.  Most of my experience was with PT.  Here are the chronicles of my Home Health experience.

  • I was asked at my pre-admission visit whether I had a preferred home health provider. I didn't.

  • The discharge planner connected me with Care Group Home Health.

  • I had planned an Ankota demo with a prospect the day after I was discharged and informed the agency that I had conflicts on my first day at home.

    Home Health - Ankota Home Care Blog

  • Both the nurse and therapist called me and texted me to find times that were mutually agreeable

  • My nurse visit was short because my meds were organized and there was no blood thinner.  But I'd imagine that she had a bunch of work to do to fill out the OASIS for my episode.

  • The therapist who first visited me was pretty amazing.  She knew my physician and how he works.  She was able to explain to me how my incision was glued and then taped and how the lack of feeling on the left side of my knee would decline.  Up until this point, my quad wouldn't do anything.  She was able to start activating it for my first movement.

  • The PT assigned for my home health therapy was very good as well.  She had a good way of adding function and complexity with each session.

  • No paperwork was done in my presence (just signature capture)

As I write this, I've been discharged from home health and I start outpatient PT tomorrow.  I've been trying to walk over a mile on average each day.  I'm also to the point where I hardly use crutches at home.  I still need to strengthen my quad and increase my range of motion.

All in all, I'm thankful for the great care I received by so many folks throughout the process and I'm energized in a lot of ways by it to continue to play my part in helping improve healthcare. 

Also, 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

5 Ways to Spot Caregiver Stress and What Home Care Leaders Can Do About It

Posted by Ken Accardi on Sep 21, 2015 11:50:00 AM

 People who provide continual care for others, whether they be professionals or family members, are at risk for caregiver stress and burnout. This is why it is critical to learn the signs of caregiver stress and learn effective ways at dealing with it. If not dealt with, the stress will lead to burnout, and this can ultimately lead to a dissatisfied client for your home care agency.

Signs of Caregiver Stress

  1. Exhaustion. Being tired is one thing, but complete exhaustion, which interferes with daily chores, is a problem. Exhaustion is a type of fatigue that doesn’t go away after a good night’s sleep.

    Caregiver Stress - Ankota Homecare blog

  2. Poor Concentration. No matter how hard they try, the caregiver can’t focus on anything. Their attention is always on the person for whom they’re providing care.

  3. Anger and Frustration. Losing their temper with the one they are providing care for may be a sign that the care giver is feeling too much caregiver stress. You can find other signs of negative caregiver emotions in this guide.

  4. Escape. Drinking, smoking and over-eating are all used to escape the feelings of stress. If a caregiver finds themselves longing to engage in any of these activities, they may be reaching the end of their rope.

  5. Health. According to National Alliance for Caregiving, about half of caregivers reported a decline in their health since taking on the task. If a caregiver seems to be catching every little bug that comes along; it may be due to caregiver stress.

Ways That Home Care Leaders Can Combat Caregiver Stress

If you own a home care agency, make sure to perform supervisory visits to detect caregiver stress or other signs of a declining relationship between a caregiver and client.

Consider that it may be somewhat the client’s fault. While some clients may be easy to deal with, others may be more difficult, and it may be worth making adjustments so that the caregiver is in a more favorable situation, even if it means sharing the tough clients across a number of caregivers.

On long shifts, strive give your caregivers a break. If they can take a walk in the park, listen to music, or do anything that allows them to relax, it can be excellent therapy.

Educate your team. Help them to learn about the diseases of the person for whom they are providing care. The more they know about the diseases and their progression, the more they’ll know what to expect.

When you do in-service meetings, allow time for your care providers to talk among themselves to blow off steam, share ideas and ultimately relieve stress.

If you're interested in learning other 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

7_habits_effective_home_care-4.jpg

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 technology report

Chronic Disease Education Makes Aides Better Caregivers

Posted by Ken Accardi on Sep 18, 2015 8:42:40 AM

 One 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).

Chronic disease education  for aides is crucial to the success of your healthcare organization. When aides receive advanced training, they become better employees and, most importantly, better caregivers. Your clients trust you to care for them to the best of your ability, which means employing a group of elite aides who have the knowledge necessary to provide superior services.chronic disease education

Learning Through Chronic Disease Education

Knowledge and experience are your best friends when it comes to creating well-qualified caregivers. Chronic disease education provides both, so your aides can exceed your clients’ expectations. Here are several examples of the knowledge gained with advanced training:

  1. Condition Worsening Signs and Symptoms. When caregivers know what changes to look for based on each client’s specific condition, they can report these indicators to a supervisor or doctor before the client’s quality of life is affected.

  2. Medication knowledge. Aides need to know how the medications their client’s are taking work within the body, the possible side effects, and what adverse reactions to watch for and report.

  3. Additional treatments. With education, caregivers learn treatment options other than medications for specific illnesses, including exercises and dietary restrictions.

  4. Ongoing Monitoring. Most chronic conditions require ongoing monitoring to be certain medications and treatments are effective. With advanced education, caregivers learn about the testing process, possible complications and how to answer potential client questions.

  5. Specialized Care. Care giving techniques are unique for each chronic disease, and the best caregivers are aware of these differences. Educated aides provide the specific, specialized care these clients need and expect.

  6. Signs of Emergency. Chronic disease emergencies, such as bleeding caused by blood-thinning medications, shortness of breath or a repeat stroke, can occur at anytime. Knowledgeable aides are aware of possible emergency situations and are trained how to respond.

  7. Real-life Experiences. Chronic disease education provides client case scenarios, preparing aides to be ready for similar real-life experiences.

Benefits of Chronic Disease Education

The knowledge provided with advanced education leads to numerous benefits for your employees, as well as for your organization. Here are a few of the ways chronic disease education is beneficial:

  1. Prevention of Client Distress. Observant aides aware of potentials symptoms changes, can report faster to their supervisors, before the client becomes panicked.

  2. Prevention of Hospitalization. Knowing warning signs of disease complications, adverse condition changes, medication reactions and side effects allows caregivers to take action before the situation escalates into a trip to the hospital.

  3. Improvement of Client Quality of Life. More caregiver knowledge leads to better all-around care, which improves your client’s quality of life and satisfaction with your organization.

  4. Set Your Organization Apart. Not all healthcare organizations are aware of chronic disease education or employ aides with the ability to provide specialized care. Doing so puts you ahead of your competition.

  5. Enhancement of Employee Satisfaction. When giving your aides the chance to increase their knowledge and improve their work performance, you increase confidence in their abilities. This leads to happier employees, which leads to improved employee retention.

Through chronic disease education, aides become elite caregivers, providing specialized services that keep clients happy and healthy. Additionally, it leads to more satisfied employees. There’s no better way to ensure the success of your health care organization than by facilitating the happiness of both clients and employees.

CHRONIC DISEASE EDUCATION MAKES AIDES BETTER CAREGIVERS 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 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

Selling_Care_Transition_Services_to_Hospitals_Cover.png

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 technology report

4 Huffington Post Suggestions to Accelerate Your Home Care Business Success

Posted by Ken Accardi on Sep 15, 2015 10:26:10 PM

Daniel_Burrus.jpg

The Huffington Post recently featured a story entitled See the Future of Your Business -- Right Now that is inspired by the writings of Daniel Burrus.  Daniel is the New York Times Bestselling author of Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible and 5 other books.  The article focuses on Mr. Burrus' advice regarding how to spot important business trends before your competitors do.  We'd encourage you to read the full article, which gives suggestions on how to spot trends for any business, but our focus below takes the ideas and interprets the concepts for home care.

 

the-huffington-post.png

4 Ways to Spot Important Home Care Business Trends

Here are the four suggestions:

  1. Cultivate Anticipation in your Organization: As a home care agency owner, you're likely to be agile and able to deal with issues on the fly, but what are you doing to anticipate changes that can disrupt your business? In home care, are you looking to have the technology advantage that new Silicon Valley Competitors like Honor will have?  Are you anticipating the need for home care in the health care continuum as bundled payments come into play? Are you making the changes that you need compete for caregivers at higher wages?

  2. Know the Hard Trends from the Soft Trends: In home care, the hard trends to focus on are the aging of the baby boomer population and older, and the shortage of available caregivers.  How are you preparing for these hard trends?

  3. If You Fail, Fail Fast: Blockbuster Video is a classic example of a company that failed very slowly because it didn't anticipate big changes like video-on-demand CDs by mail.  In your home care agency, it's likely that you've brought on team members who you could tell weren't going to work out, yet you kept them too long.  

  4. Use the Skip-it Principal: Before trying something new or big, there's often a tendency to set up a long list of proof points.  In order to accelerate, ask yourself why you can't skips some of these steps.  The article gives the example that the US military originally planned to capture all islands between Hawaii and Japan in World War II. Instead, somebody suggesting going straight to Japan...  What new products or services would you like to offer but you have too many obstacles in the way?

Ankota's Two Cents

At Ankota, we believe that "Healthcare at Home" should be viewed as the critical third leg of the health care stool, along with hospital care and physician care. This positioning is also endorsed by that National Association of Home Care and Hospice. The vast majority of health care spending is on chronic illness, and the best treatment for chronic illness is an approach that helps to avoid preventable hospitalizations.  The home care industry is best positioned to provide this care at the lowest cost.  Therefore we challenge home health to think beyond post-acute episodes, and we compel home care to think beyond helping clients to avoid nursing homes.  We want the approach to focus on avoiding preventable hospitalizations.  Doing this will achieve better care, at lower cost to the maximum population (also know at "the triple aim").

If we can help you with software for home care or care transitions, please contact Ankota.

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, home care technology report, huffington post

What Home Care Needs to Know from the White House Conference on Aging

Posted by Ken Accardi on Sep 9, 2015 10:15:29 AM

Chicago-based freelance writer Beth Kelly is our guest blogger for today. She has brought us interesting stories about fall activities for seniors, how to provide "green" senior care, a winter watch list for seniors, and compelling aging in place technologies.  Today, she provides us with a summary of this decade's White House conference on ageing.

logo-WHCOA2015-1Once a decade, politicians and experts gather in Washington for a once-in-a-decade event. The White House Conference on Ageing (WHCOA) is a chance for the President and others to address the issues and concerns facing older Americans. Since 1961, this conference has been held and generally featured multi-day conferences. For 2015, Congress did not approve any of the funding for the WHCOA event. This led many to fear it may not happen at, but thanks to some hard work, diligence and the help of groups like AARP and the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, the 2015 WHCOA was held on July 13.

Of the topics addressed at this event, one of the most important is a strong retirement and savings plan for middle-class Americans. Even though President Obama has attempted to pass legislation that would require employers to enroll employees in a retirement plan through the job, his efforts have not made it through the federal level. In the wake of this blockage, many states have forged the path ahead to require more and more employers to do something to help the future of their employees.

At yesterday's event, President Obama announced that he has directed the Department of Labor to help states find a way to help employees while still falling in-line with federal laws and regulations. This can help protect the savings and retirement plans brought by the state-based regulations. Going forward, the number of Americans over 65 will be one of the fastest growing demographics, making policies and changes like this even more important.

images-3This rising demographic also means that more stringent rules on long-term health care, healthy aging and elderly justice are needed. It’s especially important considering the fact that it’s estimated that two thirds of Americans over the age of 65 will need long term care in the future. This is why the President announced that new rules to both Medicare and Medicaid services will increase the quality and safety requirements of nursing homes and long-term care facilities. This is the first update in almost 25 years to bring the quality of life for those needing long-term care to a much higher standard. It’s also a timely topic considering this year marks the program’s 50th anniversary, leading many to analyze the shadow it’s become of the original program.

These changes will help Americans as they enter long-term facilities, but changes announced from the U.S. Department of Agriculture are aimed at helping those homebound and disabled get the nutrition they need, particularly those in underserved rural areas. The main change will affect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). A change proposed will allow elderly and disabled persons that are homebound to use these federal benefits towards services that allow these Americans to order food that can be delivered.

Clarifications were made to the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) by the Department of Justice. These clarifications help ensure that funds allocated to victim services will be extended to crimes against the elderly as well. These crimes include abuse, fraud, financial exploitation and more.

Finally, caregiver technology was another strong point addressed. Caring for a loved one that suffers from illnesses such as Alzheimer's or dementia can be trying and time-consuming. In our modern era, there are plenty of technological devices that can aid in this care like the internet of things, home automation, home security systems and telemedicine for remote treatment. Of all the tech that was discussed and has come out in recent years, items with sensors that alert loved ones are probably the most exciting. This sensor technology has many different and useful applications, including alerting caregivers when pill cases are opened, if a patient leaves their home or living complex and even when they are asleep and any sleeping patterns or changes that may occur. All of this new tech is another step towards the smart-home for the elderly. Using a simple smartphone app, caregivers can more easily monitor and control what happens within a patient's home.

With such a growing elderly population, we cannot put off caring for ageing Americans. The WHCOA event is Washington's way of showing how important each and every life is in this country. By making much-needed changes to elderly care regulations and highlighting some of the new tech available for caregivers, the White House has shown that they will stand behind Americans and help them stay healthier longer.

Thanks again to Beth for her post.  If Ankota can help you with software for home care or care transitions, please contact us!

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 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 in the Future Will Have Lots of Tech and $15/hour Caregivers

Posted by Ken Accardi on Sep 7, 2015 6:00:06 PM

Silicon ValleySilicon Valley and Wall Street are getting excited about caring for the elderly.  A few pieces of evidence are as follows:

  • Aging2.0 is a San Francisco based innovation platform for aging and senior care.  They're running a conference in November and a series of 30  "start-up pitch events" in 30 different cities over a 30 day period starting in September.

  • Kinnser, a home care software company, has received $40M in funding from Insight Venture Partners

  • Clear Care, a silicon valley based home care software company, raised an $11M series B from Bessemer Venture Partners.

  • Honor, started by Seth Sternberg, A Yale graduate who sold his previous company to Google, received $20M in equity funding in a round led by Marc Andreesen (the guy who started Netscape)

  • Recently, I met with two promising start-ups.  MeetCaregivers is providing a caregiver matching service for consumers to meet  vetted caregivers who haveundergone background screening.  I also met with Careify, who is working on a new approach to electronic visit verification. (Careify hasn't launched their web site yet).

What Does This Investor Attention Mean for Traditional Home Care?

Investors get interested in markets where there's a lot of opportunity for growth and to disrupt the status quo.  What this means, being blunt, is that there is strong belief that homecare can be done better than it is today and that technology can play a big part in it.  So if your home care agency still sees technology as a necessary evil, you can be in trouble.

What Advantages Does Money Bring to the New Wave of Disruptive Innovators?

DisruptionSeth Sternberg, the aforementioned founder and CEO of Honor was recently a featured speaker at the White House conference on Aging.  Even though he's only been in this industry for roughly a year, his Ivy League pedigrees and silicon valley success have thrust him to the forefront of industry thought leaders in home care.  As summarized in the article Why we need innovation in care for the aging, Sternberg, talks about the importance of the industry, the role that technology can play, the need to pay caregivers better (e.g.,$15/hour as opposed to $9.50) and he pledges that his company will provide $1M in free home care across 10 cities. This is the new normal for competition in home care.

Are You Ready to Up Your Technology Game in Your Home Care Agency?

If you're ready to up your game, consider partnering with Ankota.  We have an innovation pipeline designed to keep you ahead of competition and to tie your home care agency into the continuum of care.  More importantly, we are interested in incorporating your innovation ideas into the technology.  We listen, we care, and we're able to innovate rapidly.

If we can help you with software for home care or care transitions, please contact Ankota.

Also, 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

7 Ways Home Care Must "Dare to be Different" In Order to Win

Posted by Ken Accardi on Sep 3, 2015 11:17:00 AM

Stephen_Tweed-2015-2Stephen Tweed has been a leader in home care strategy and consulting for over 30 years.  I've had the privilege to meet Stephen several times and hear him speak.  I also had the chance on one occasion to meet Stephen's son Jason Tweed, who is not only a home care expert, but who has been a life long recipient of home care services.

One of the key messages that is at the core of Stephen's teaching is the need to differentiate your agency from competition.  Stephen just released a new white paper, in collaboration with Delta Health Technologies, entitled: Dare to Be Different:Seven Steps to CreatingCompetitive Advantage inHome Health Care, Hospiceand Private Duty Home Care.  You can download the paper here

Daring to Be Different

I won't give you a lot of the meat of Stephen's paper but instead encourage you to read his full report, but Stephen bluntly shares the following in his opening:

  • Most home care services are perceived as the same

  • Most home care companies are perceived as the same

  • Most home care sales reps are perceived as the same 

Ouch!  This doesn't bode well for your agency.  He then goes on to discuss seven key areas of competitive advantage and how to differentiate within these.  The seven areas are as follows: 

Home-Care-Dare-to-be-Different-Stephen-Tweed

  1. Product Differentiation

  2. Service Differentiation

  3. Narrow Market Focus

  4. Relationships

  5. Exceptional Customer Experiences

  6. Common Values

  7. Low Price 

Does Your Agency Offer Care Transition Services as a Source of Competitive Differentiation?

One particular area that Ankota recommends for differentiation is managing a care transition program within your agency.  We see this as being very important because there will be a day in the not too distant future when hospitals and health plans engage home care agencies in helping prevent avoidable hospitalizations for their at-risk populations.  By starting a care transitions program now, you will establish a track record for your agency as a strong player in the continuum of care.  We talk more about this in our white paper "Why Care Transitions is the Next Big Thing for Home Care"

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

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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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