The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

How To Get Startup Home Care Business Support

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 22, 2017 1:34:00 PM

 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).

 

Start up Homecare Business

Whether you’re considering a startup home care business or you want to expand your current services, the road is often paved with speed bumps. You need the right support in order to see your dreams realized. In this article, we’ll discuss how getting help from a homecare expert is beneficial.

Support for Your Startup Home Care Business

Is it possible to succeed in the home care industry on your own? Sure, but there will be many obstacles along the way.

Working with a professional consultant is a sure-fire way to overcome those obstacles with ease and speed. Thereby helping your dreams become a reality faster with fewer expenses and less stress. Here’s how!

1. Help Getting the Required Tools

Yikes, startups must have employee handbooks, forms and the all important home care manuals. The amount of documents needed for running a thriving—and compliant—home care agency seems to be endless. Going it alone means you’re responsible for creating or compiling these documents, and for finding all the information required for each one.

Instead of spending hours upon hours researching, writing, and editing documents, consider purchasing customizable products from a trusted industry expert. A professional who know exactly what’s required for your business and has experience crafting the documents you need. This helps speed up the process for your startup or new business line so you can focus on other pressing matters.

2. Accreditation and State Licensure Preparedness

Before you can open the doors of your startup home care business, you must be licensed and, depending on your business plan, accredited. An experienced consultant leads you in the right direction, helping you with obtaining your license and becoming accredited.

Through policy revisions, on-site evaluations, and mock surveys, your home care consultant will guide you toward 100 percent preparedness for licensure and accreditation.

3. Industry Knowledge and Professionalism

A world of information is at your feet whether you’re brand new in the home care industry or attempting to grow or save your organization. But wading through all the available info is time-consuming and stressful.

Expert consultants gain extensive knowledge through working with startups and expansions of all sizes and types. They’re in the know about regulations for each type of agency and can steer you towards what works and away from what doesn’t.

4. Hiring and Orientation Assistance

One of the most stressful aspects of a startup home care business is finding the right team to support your goals. The hiring and training process is exhausting, but a trusted expert helps you streamline the process. Thus ensuring you hire people who truly fit your agency’s culture.

Once you’ve secured a team, it’s important to provide sufficient training and orientation. The right consultant offers guidance and tools for turning your employees into an elite staff.

5. Software Expertise

Selecting software that meets all the needs of your startup home care business is a crucial part of success. From client care to billing and scheduling, efficient software is paramount. It helps to keep your organization’s operations running smoothly with as little headache as possible.

When you partner with a knowledgeable home care expert, you receive advice and guidance on choosing the software that best fits your agency’s requirements.

6. Help with All Things Coding

Accurate and efficient coding is vital to the success of your startup home care business. When done correctly, it can mean higher reimbursement for your agency, but when coding falters, so does your revenue.

Obtaining a coding outsourcing partner is a great option for making sure there are minimal errors before billing or submitting claims. It prevents you from needing certified coders and provides documentation and coding education for staff. All while ensuring you receive maximum reimbursements!

7. Guidance for Staff Education

Many home care consulting firms, provide compliant, industry specific staff education and training. This education fulfills requirements, enhances client care, improves employee satisfaction, and sets you apart from the competition.

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting and Your Startup Home Care Business

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we offer everything outlined here, and more. Our consultants are experienced, professional, and knowledgeable. And our Aide University program is the only online continuing education program of its kind.  Schedule an appointment now to speak with one of our experts!

 

 

This article entitled, HOW TO GET STARTUP HOME CARE BUSINESS SUPPORT first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please 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.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

Using a Blog to Grow Your Home Care Business

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 15, 2017 11:11:00 AM

Today's article is by Jason Chagnon from Providentia Marketing.  Jason and Providentia's goals are to help to drive client referrals and attract caregivers to your agency.  He writes on how to utilize regular blog content to build your business.  Enjoy his post (below).

sapling - growth.pngAs your home care business grows, your to-do list likely includes networking, advertising, recruiting and generating leads and referrals. All of these tasks warrant your time and your best efforts. But if you really want to maximize the results of your work, you must have a blog. Now you might be thinking “Really? Do I need a blog?” The answer is NO. You don’t NEED a website either. In fact, you don’t really need a sales staff or home care software for that matter. You get the point. If you really want to be successful and grow to your full potential, a blog is a must have!

Why Should Your Company Blog?

The list of benefits of blogging is a long one, but most benefits fall into two categories: branding and lead generation. As you blog, you’re providing valuable information to your current and potential clients. Essentially you’re adding value to your services by giving readers information free of charge, as well as giving clients a piece of who you are as a company and what you stand for. Your blog also establishes your business as an authority and expert in the home care industry. This in turn elevates your credibility and bolsters your reputation, both of which are encouraging to potential clients shopping for home care services.

Blog posts are also a great opportunity for self-promotion. Each blog post will have a subject that ties in with your services in one way or another. For example, if you write about the various responsibilities of home care workers, you could mention that your home care employees receive ongoing training and are well equipped to provide the services you discussed.

If that’s not enough to convince you, maybe some statistics will. According to Hubspot, companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website (meaning more potential clients). Plus, marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive ROI (more profits). Aabaco Small Business says that small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that do not.

What Should You Write / Blog About?

Now that you’ve decided to seriously consider blogging, what topics should you cover? The possibilities are endless, but it is always a good idea to discuss industry news, innovations or any legislation that impacts home care. You can also use your blog as a platform to announce company news, events, new services or new employees. Your readers are likely reading your blog because they either use your services, or could potentially do so, so they will appreciate being kept in the loop about what is going on in your home care business. Finally, any tips and advice you can offer readers is valuable to them.

Example Ideas for Tips and Advice:

  • How to decide if a family member needs home care

  • How to discuss home care with a loved one

  • How to determine which home care service is right for your mother

How Can You Promote Your Blog?

Once your blog is up and running, you need to tell people it exists so that they can check it out! Your blog should have a link on your website (preferably in a main menu or header) so that readers can easily access it. Your next step is to announce your blog on all of the social media accounts that you created after reading our last post!  This allows your followers to read the news firsthand—don’t forget to provide a link that goes directly to your blog. Don’t be afraid to post this every few days, as a reminder to read your posts. You can also pay social media sites to promote your post that announces your blog. This ensures that more people will see the post. Of course, don’t forget that word of mouth has a lot of value, so let all of your employees, clients and referral sources know. Tell anyone and everyone that your company now has a blog. 

7 Ways Blogging Helps Your Home Care Agency

  • Blogging increases traffic to your home care website.
  • Blogging improves your rankings on search sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
  • Blogging helps with social media marketing by providing more content to share.
  • Blogging demonstrates your expertise in home care services.
  • Blogging helps your sales team by giving them more to share and talk about.
  • Blogging informs your caregivers by keeping them updated.
  • Blogging educates your clients by giving them tips and advice.

If you are not sure where to begin, give us a call at Providentia Marketing. We can help your home care company start a blog and can even provide content to keep it relevant and current. Even if you want to do it yourself, we would be happy to talk to you and point you in the right direction.

This article, USING A BLOG TO GROW YOUR HOME CARE BUSINESS, first appeared in the Providentia Marketing blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please 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.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

Education: Proven Key To Health Care Organizational Success

Posted by Ken Accardi on Feb 13, 2017 10:13:00 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).

All administrators in health care acknowledge that education is one of the keys to assuring quality care.  Educated staff are more effective and this ultimately leads to reduced costs for the entire health care system.

Health Care Education of the Past

Chronic Disease Educations

Fifty years ago, when I first started nursing, Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) were the focus of education as they were caring for patients at the bedside.  Nurses, as the primary care staff occurred in hospitals, nursing homes and home health.  Both home health and nursing homes had aides, but there were no standardized training requirements and each agency or organization developed and trained as they saw fit.  RNs and LPNs were still the primary caregivers in these areas.  But in the late 1980s, Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), now called Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS), established basic training for all aides. Training and certification in fundamentals of care, was now a requirement for all aides in federally funded agencies. Then as now, very little education about diseases or care specific to individuals with primarily chronic diseases is thought necessary.

Is Health Care Education Any Different Today?

Fast forward to today.  RNs and LPNs are no longer the primary caregivers at the bedside, particularly in nursing homes and home health.  The Certified Nursing Assistant or aide is the primary caregiver working under the direction of the RN or LPN. Yet they still receive only minimal training and education in the most basic fundamentals of care.

Over the last ten years the readmission rate for hospitals, home health and nursing homes has been climbing. The data indicates that many of the readmissions are due to chronic disease. Some agencies or facilities have managed to reduce those rates with restructuring their delivery system, yet a total reduction eludes everyone.

When looking at data, the one missing link seems to be adequate aide education or lack thereof.  To address this issue, Kenyon Consulting developed a series of WA DSHS certified eight-hour chronic disease specific courses, appropriate for both aide and nursing education. While the initial focus was on aides, we soon learned the courses were equally valuable educational tools for RNs and LPNs.

Education Test Subjects

To test to see if chronic disease education would have an impact on care and reduce readmission rates, staff caring for patients on a nursing home subacute care wing agreed to test 2 courses, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Congestive Heart Failure (CHF).  The sample group of 32 full time staff includes RNs, LPNs and aides. For the first half of 2015 prior to completing the courses, the readmission rate for this unit was 32. Of the patients readmitted from the pilot unit, 13 were due to CHF and 3 for COPD. For the entire 164 bed facility, the readmission rate totaled 57 for the same time period.  Since 50% of all readmissions were for the two diagnosis of CHF and COPD, all 32 caregivers were to complete and pass CHF and COPD online courses to receive certification.

Chronic Disease Education and Hospital Readmission Results

Course completion and CHF and COPD certification occurred in June, July, and August of 2015. Data shows a decrease in hospital readmissions for the subacute wing during that quarter. By the end of the next quarter through December 2015, only 15 subacute readmissions were recorded with none for COPD or CHF. However, an unexpected result showed the entire facility experienced a marked reduction in hospital readmissions. Facility total readmissions for the last two quarters of 2015 was 29, with all 2015 readmissions equaling 87.

Nursing home data for 2016 indicates readmission reductions continue. From January through December 2016, only 27 readmissions occurred on the subacute wing, with none for COPD or CHF. During the same time, the entire facility also saw a reduction in readmissions totaling 71 or 13.4% for the entire year of 2016, with only one patient admission for COPD.

Chronic Disease Education Effects More Than Hospital Readmissions

The data demonstrates a significant benefit in educating all caregivers. However, to really improve care, all members of the caregiving team need chronic disease education. Nurses report that current education greatly updates their baseline knowledge. Aides report that the learning initially was difficult because the subject matter was entirely new.  We found it best for nurse educators to be available as aides complete their course work to assist with questions and areas difficult to understand. This is particularly true for aides for whom English is a second language.

After course completion, the aides expressed feeling much better prepared to care for the patients with COPD and CHF diagnoses. And all wanted to know when they could take other online courses! Management staff reported staff morale improvements. But best of all, readmission results prove that advanced chronic disease education, makes a difference in quality of the care!

Kenyon and Chronic Disease Management

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we make it simple for you to provide chronic disease management training. Aide University online courses deliver the knowledge and tools necessary for caregivers with to provide expert care to clients suffering from one or more debilitating conditions.

Give us a call at 206-721-5091 or schedule a time at your convenience to learn more about our chronic disease education program.

This article entitled, EDUCATION: PROVEN KEY TO HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONAL SUCCESS first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please 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.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

Healthcare Education Regarding Chronic Disease On the Rise

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 25, 2017 11:38:00 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 diseases are on the rise among the elderly, and serve as the leading cause of death and disability in the United States – killing over 1.7 million people each year. Approximately half of all adults in the U.S. suffer from at least one chronic disease, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, COPD, diabetes, or arthritis. It should come as no surprise that these are the most prevalent diseases requiring caregiver assistance in order to help those affected maintain normal function.

It’s imperative that those working in the healthcare industry understand the symptoms, warning signs, and treatments associated with chronic diseases. Healthcare education is the answer, but how do you implement it into your organization? Consider taking part in a chronic disease education program designed to prepare your staff to provide specialty care for individuals suffering from one of these a debilitating conditions.

Healthcare Education and Chronic Disease

Chronic disease education is a form of healthcare education that teaches caregivers how to help their clients manage chronic illnesses while living a full life with their disease. Knowledge gained in this format includes:Computer Keyboard With Key Education, Internet Learn Concept

  • Specialty care clients with specific chronic diseases require

  • How to recognize red flags and warning signs of decline

  • When to report symptoms to a supervisor or doctor

  • Medication side effects and adverse reactions

  • Lifestyle changes or treatments needed

  • How to intervene before hospitalization is needed

Through this in-depth advanced training, healthcare staff members receive a comprehensive education that goes far beyond basic fundamentals of care. Why is this important for your healthcare organization? The benefits are numerous; just take a look below.

The Benefits of Healthcare Education Regarding Chronic Disease

Providing advanced chronic disease education for your healthcare staff is beneficial to your organization. Clients diagnosed with chronic conditions continue to rise and referral sources are looking for organizations with staff trained to provide specialty care. Other benefits include:

  • Improved client satisfaction – When caregivers possess an advanced knowledge of chronic diseases, they’re able to provide the specific care these clients require. This leads to healthier, happier clients with a better quality of life and more revenue for you as a result of increased referrals.

  • Decreased hospitalization and re-hospitalization rates – Before hospital admission, most clients experience symptoms that their condition is changing. With expertly-trained healthcare staff, those warning signs won’t go unnoticed. Your healthcare team will have the ability to catch and report potential problems before they escalate to the point of hospitalization.

  • Better employee engagement – Engaged employees are happy employees, and happy employees tend to stay at your organization. Providing the opportunity for staff to advance their careers and secure their futures with chronic disease education is a positive way to improve employee engagement.

  • Fewer legal issues – Because the majority of the yearly U.S. healthcare dollars are spent on chronic diseases, the government closely monitors the way organizations manage the care paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. If the government doesn’t think an organization is managing client care correctly, it issues repercussions. For example, hospitals with too many re-admissions can lose up to three percent of their Medicare reimbursement. Having a team knowledgeable about chronic disease care helps prevent issues like re-hospitalization and is a simple, effective way to prevent penalties.

Clients diagnosed with numerous chronic diseases continue to rise and the level of care these clients receive must match the seriousness of this issue. Through the many benefits of healthcare education geared toward chronic diseases, your organization can provide the advanced care your clients and referral sources demand. To learn more about why you should invest in advancing the chronic disease education of your staff, take a look at Aide University.

This article entitled, HEALTHCARE EDUCATION REGARDING CHRONIC DISEASE EDUCATION ON THE RISE first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please 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.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

5 Mistakes to Avoid When You Sell Your Home Care Services

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 16, 2017 1:07:00 PM

 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).

 

Iseptember2-partners.jpgs your home care agency selling its services to other vendors, programs, and providers? This is a valuable step in your growth process that can generate more revenue, but only when it’s done right. While it may take considerable time (and possibly monetary) investment, selling your services will maximize your ROI. But before you start, you need to make sure you’re not committing these costly mistakes.

Be a Partner — Not a Vendor

Position your home care agency as a partner, not a vendor. Being a partner is a very different relationship than that of a vendor. If you market your services as a vendor, you won’t show the other company what a valuable asset your agency can be. Also, if you position yourself as a vendor, negotiating pricing and obtaining referrals can be a lot more difficult because you are just one of many options. That is not the case when you are a partner who is there for mutual benefit.

Don’t Do All the Talking

While you might have a great sales pitch, now is not the time to use it. Instead, you need to listen to the needs and wants of your referral source. Find out what is important to them (e.g., if they are an independent/assisted living building, keeping their apartments full is crucial to their success). Helping them see you as a partner that can enable them do that is the right way to position yourself. This is a critical step and, if you cannot demonstrate this, you may not be appealing to your referral source.

Pair Your Services With Your Partner’s Needs

Once you know what the referral source is looking for, you can now pair your services with their exact needs. The goal is to fill the gap so that you’re the ideal choice for them. If you just sell your services as a general package, you won’t fulfill what they’re missing and they may be inclined to partner with another agency.

Don’t Guarantee What You Can’t Deliver

While you might have some services that align with your partner’s needs, don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Overpromising and then not fulfilling your promises will make you look unreliable. Also, if you promise a specific service to your referral source, you better be able to provide it. For example, if you offered Alzheimer’s care services, you should have adequately trained staff and the capability to provide the service before your partner starts referring business your way.

Be An Expert

If you advertise that you are a specialist in a disease like Alzheimer’s or CHF or Diabetes, provide the training and ongoing education to make it true. A one-hour in-service on the subject in orientation does NOT make your staff experts in the disease. Be sure that you are providing a strong basic education and ongoing education throughout the year that demonstrates your commitment to ensuring that your employees are indeed the experts in that area.

Partnerships are integral to the success of your home care agency, as long as they’re setup properly. If you position yourself as a valuable partner and help your referral source where they need it most, it can be a highly profitable relationship. If you’re not sure how to market your home care agency, schedule a consultation with a consultant at Kenyon HomeCare Consulting. Our team can help you sell your services and appeal to referral sources so that you can continue to grow your business.

This article, 5 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN YOU SELL YOUR HOME CARE SERVICES first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please 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.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

5 Ways Homecare May Be Affected by Proposed Chronic Care Legislation

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 26, 2016 1:10:00 PM

 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).

On October 31, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s chronic care working group released a discussion draft for the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2016, which is being introduced this month. The draft includes stakeholders’ comments and feedback released in December 2015.

We’ve got the run-down on everything addressed in the chronic illness management draft and how it relates to home healthcare.

Proposed Legislation and Chronic Care

While the proposed legislation—which does NOT require Medicare Advantage Plans to provide hospice benefits—is complex and includes various providers of Medicare coverage, there are a few specific areas that may affect homecare organizations specifically. Here’s what you need to know!chronic care

1. Extending and expanding the Independence at Home (IAH) Demonstration Project.

This demonstration was created to test payment incentives and service delivery models to improve health outcomes for Medicare recipients suffering from multiple chronic diseases. Under the IAH, qualifying providers are eligible for incentives when meeting performance standards.

Originally, the demonstration was scheduled to end on September 30, 2017. The CHRONIC Care Act proposes an extension of two years and an increase in the number of participating beneficiaries. It also gives providers three years to meet standard requirements rather than termination from the program after two years.

2. Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans will offer chronically ill members an increased amount of supplemental benefits.

Meaning, MA chronically ill recipients may be able to receive additional services improving their overall health outcomes. And resulting in little to no out-of-pocket cost to beneficiaries.

In addition, MA plan enrollees will have greater flexibility and more benefits for telehealth services. The draft expands home telehealth payments for MA accountable care organizations and for stroke consults.

3. Government Accountability Department will perform a study leading to development of a Medicare payment code for a one-time doctor visit to create a long-term chronic care plan.

This study is crucial for determining and eliminating barriers to skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and hospice programs for chronically ill patients. Having the ability to better facilitate longitudinal chronic care will promote health care organizations to work together for the good of chronically ill Medicare beneficiary. And in addition, meet the goal of decreasing healthcare costs.

4. Improvement for payment accuracy for those providing chronic care services.

A new payment model will take into account various factors affecting beneficiary’s health, such as:

  • Total number of chronic diseases;

  • Impact of additional diagnosis codes reflecting mental health and substance abuse;

  • Diagnosis of chronic kidney disease;

  • And requires a minimum of two years of chronic diagnosis data.

5. Eliminate Barriers to Care Coordination under Accountable Care Organizations

Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) are collaborations that integrate varying groups of health care providers. ACOs were created with the goal of ensuring patients receive the right care, specifically chronic care, in the right settings to optimize their treatment outcomes.

This proposed new program will make access to ACOs more flexible for beneficiaries and health care agencies. Thus leading to better chronic care across the continuum, and better communication between providers.

Preparing Your Agency to Provide Chronic Care

Chronic diseases are at an all-time high. The creation and proposal of new legislation is occurring regularly to keep up with this health crisis. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to equip your homecare staff to ensure they can properly handle these changes.

In order to take advantage of these proposed programs, such as the IAH demonstration and increased MA benefits, your team needs adequate chronic disease education and training. This allows you to provide top-notch care to clients suffering from one or more chronic illnesses. And also qualifies your agency to better participate in various government incentives.

Work with Kenyon HomeCare Consulting to Improve Chronic Care

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we offer numerous methods for streamlining your organization and getting the most out of your processes. One effective way to prepare for chronic care legislative changes is to participate in Aide University.

With Aide University, caregivers learn the skills needed to provide clients with the best chronic care available. This knowledge creates an elite staff and ensures employee as well as client satisfaction.

We are here to help! So, reach out to us to start providing chronic care staff education today.

This article, originally titled, CHRONIC CARE DRAFT LEGISLATION AND NEED FOR ADVANCED EDUCATIONC first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Private Duty Home Care Agencies" available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please 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.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

10 Essential Tips for Home Care Startup Success

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 19, 2016 8:48:00 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).

Whether you’re launching a new business line within your existing home care agency or initiating a startup home care, from scratch, it’s crucial to get all your ducks in a row beforehand. With that in mind, we’ve crafted a list of the ten most fundamentally important factors in pursuing your new endeavor.

Startup Home Care Fundamentals for Success

Startup home care fundamentals go beyond turning on your open sign. Here’s what you need to know to ensure your startup success.bigstock-151264370-300x200-1.jpg

1. Research

Before you can begin planning other aspects of the startup home care process, adequate research must be conducted.

This includes evaluating the competition in various locations, learning the needs of each community you consider, and settling on a final location(s). Doing this before moving forward ensures your organization is in a position to succeed.

2. Business Plan

This strategy maps out the path your agency will take in order to grow. It generally projects where you want to be in three to five years, as well as the steps and funds needed to get there.

Remember, it can take up to a year to secure your license, certification, and or accreditation. So, ensure your finances allow for this low-revenue period. The U.S. Small Business Association is a great resource for learning more about business plans.

3. Legal Requirements

Complying with regulations are a major part of any startup home care process. Obtaining licensure or certification is overwhelming and time consuming. Therefore, it’s always best to be familiar with and understand all federal and state requirements and if applicable, accreditation standards for your specific business type.

4. Resources

You may be surprised to discover how many resources are needed to adequately launch a new home care organization or service line. In addition to the obvious office space, you must also acquire the following:

5. Staff

A home care organization is only as successful as its staff. Consequently, that’s why it’s important to build an elite caregiver team from the beginning.

Before posting job openings, define the different positions you will needed, write a job description for each, and outline their responsibilities. Upon startup, it may be helpful to find employees who can take on multiple roles until you become more established.

6. Processes and Strategies

Don’t wait until you’re up and running before creating uniform processes for the many tasks happening on a regular basis. Part of startup home care fundamentals is establishing these strategies. Among others, you’ll need to plan for:

  • Staff orientation

  • Client admission and services

  • Billing

  • Personnel records

  • Client records

7. Employee Education

Educating team members is more than simply throwing a training manual at them and sending them into client homes. To really soar, your organization needs comprehensive ongoing training.

Determine what your staff needs to know for certifications and professional licenses, what competencies you’ll test for, and who will be charged with managing the education process.

8. Referral Sources

Referral sources are the lifeline of any successful home care organization. So, your startup process should include learning about all potential sources and determining how you can best meet their needs. Consider the following steps:

  • Understand who they are

  • Learn their service needs

  • Brainstorm how the referral source and your agency can partner

  • Set up recurrent meetings

  • Develop services around their needs

9. Marketing

Marketing is a vital part of any startup regardless of industry, including home care. Develop goals and a plan to meet those goals. Implement all avenues – radio, TV, social media and written materials.

When marketing, consider your services, what sets you apart, and what your referral sources need. It’s often best to bring in a marketing expert to get you started.

10. Professional Consulting

A professional home care consultant is helpful in many areas, from guiding the startup process to helping you maneuver through legalities. Look for a consultant who has abundant experience in all aspects of home care, can provide necessary resources, and is conscientious of your goals.

Startup Home Care Fundamentals and Kenyon HomeCare Consulting

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting is your one-stop shop for all your startup home care needs. Our services include everything from interim management to marketing to policy manuals. Give us a call to learn more.

This article, originally titled, 10 STARTUP HOME CARE FUNDAMENTALS I WISH I'D KNOWN  first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please 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

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, January 2017 Newsletter

What Home Care Executives can Learn from Television Producers

Posted by Ken Accardi on Nov 30, 2016 10:40:00 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).

When we think of the world of television producers, we think glitz, glamour, Hollywood parties, and movie stars. These people are really living the life! We often admire them, and we may even occasionally envy them. But, just like with any career, TV producers don’t experience success without a lot of hard work, plenty of perseverance, and the right skill set.

In a similar vein, folks might assume working for a startup or "high growth" company has an aire of excitment, importance, and "glitz and glamour."  While I think it's safe to say that many folks would not assume that working in private duty home care or home healthcare is particularly glitzy or glamourous.

That said, working in TV production, at a tech startup, and in home care startup or fundamentally similar in a number of ways.

Comparing Television Producers to Startup Experts

Many of the talents and qualities successful television producers possess can be easily transferred to other industries, especially healthcare. Often, what it takes to make it in the prized world of TV production is similar to what it takes to achieve your goals as a homecare professional. And with years of successful homecare leadership experience, startup experts know the ends and outs of opening an agency or expanding your current operation!startup experts

The Skills of a Successful Television Producer

In television creation as with startup experts, only those who have these skills and the right approach—either naturally or through trial and error—will experience success.

1. Leadership

It takes a lot of people to produce a TV show. As part of this huge team, producers are charged with leading staff and employees in the process and encouraging them to work together toward common goals. If leadership fails during production, the entire project falls apart.

As with most small businesses, your employees, co-workers, clients, and vendors are all looking to you (or to someone on your team) to guide and direct them in order for them to do their jobs effectively.  A TV production and a home care startup won't function very well or very long without a leader setting the tone and direction of the process, not to mention having a clear chain of leadership command.

2. Communication

Producers do a lot of communicating, especially writing. They’re able to write quickly and concisely. These are people who can easily command language and relay information to a variety of audiences.

In home care, you deal with a number of stakeholders with a number of different communication styles, agendas, and goals.  Communicating clearly and effectively with each of them is paramount to a home care agency's success.

3. Multitasking

When you produce major shows, you’re in charge of a wide variety of tasks. These can vary from small, repetitive assignments to important obligations. Being able to juggle all the undertakings required in a single day makes TV producers experts at multitasking.

Home care veterans likely know how true this paradigm is in home care.  Time management, logistical planning, and multitasking are all skills that you'll need daily in order to succeed in home care.

4. Big-Picture Planning

Each television episode has lots of moving parts that must work in perfect harmony for a show to come together. But above all these small moving parts, is the big picture. Successful television producers have the ability to see how each piece of the puzzle fits into the finished product.

Especially when building an early-stage home care startup, there are a number of moving parts to deal with and coordinate.  Setting up management software, doing payroll, hiring, getting business cards, networking, scheduling vosits, and so on.  Seeing the big picture is an important skill to keep all the moving parts, well, moving. 

5. Troubleshooting

TV producers cover all sorts of topics, ranging from wars and disasters to reality shows gone wrong. Successful producers know the importance of staying calm under pressure and how to identify the solution instead of adding to the problem. They’re always prepared with a plan and ready with a workable backup strategy if needed.

Staying flexible and agile both throughout your day and as you grow your business is essential.  Home care is about managing people, scheduling, admin, and a number of other elements that can take up your time.  Being able to "put out fires" throughout each day is something those new to home care need to be prepared for.

6. Marketing Networking

When producers aren’t producing, they’re selling ideas to their bosses. The pitches they make have to be short, sweet, and strong. They can persuasively describe a concept in 30 seconds or less, and because of all their connections, they know when and how to talk the right people.

It's all about who you know, how you know them, and what value you can bring to them.  The Ankota blog has gone into great detail on the importance of and Best Practices for networking to grow and maintain your business.  The need for networking never stops, so be ready to hustle!

The Skills of Startup Experts

Like television producers, startup experts are responsible for the success or failure of a group effort. Let’s take a look at how the skills of TV producers compare to a startup professional when helping to launch your new homecare agency or adding a new business line.

1. Leadership

A startup expert possesses leadership skills that allows him or her to guide clients in the right direction without overstepping any boundaries.

2. Communication

When launching a new organization or business line, communication is key. Communicating with agency leadership, your employees, and other community professionals is crucial. The right startup expert can help you learn to communicate effectively.

3. Multitasking

Starting a homecare agency involves juggling many balls at once. Since an industry expert has lots of experience and knowledge, they are very startup proficient.

4. Big-Picture Planning

All the little puzzle pieces of starting a home health care organization can become overwhelming. Startup experts know how to manage all pieces—federal and state regulations, gathering resources, strategy planning—all with your big picture in mind.

5. Troubleshooting

Unexpected issues and delays come up often when you’re in the middle of a home care startup. Startup experts not only prepare for these problems ahead of time, but manage plan B or C if necessary.

6. Marketing and Networking

No startup is complete without the right promotion. Startup experts have the experience and know how to design a marketing plan, create referral contacts and promote your new business.

Startup Experts: Kenyon HomeCare Consulting

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we turn your home care startup visions into reality. Our experienced experts and plethora of resources allows us to take your ideas from start to finish efficiently, so you’re left with a compliant, successful agency.

Reach out to us today and learn more about our startup experts!

 

This article, originally titled, 6 COMPARISONS: STARTUP EXPERTS AND SUCCESSFUL TELEVISION PRODUCERS first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please 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

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

What Will Home Health Star Ratings Mean to Your Agency?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Nov 16, 2016 9:35:40 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).

Five-star ratings are a familiar tool in general. Although they are not new to many providers receiving CMS funds, such as skilled nursing homes and hospitals, home health star ratings are relatively new. And, be aware, hospice star ratings are coming in 2017.

Below, we introduce the basics of what home health star ratings are, as well as some potential problems home health agencies may encounter.

What Are Home Health Star Ratings?

Currently, there are two types of home health star ratings or tools helping customers make the best decisions about their health care.home health star ratings

1. Quality of care ratings, first introduced in July of 2105 are based on OASIS and Medicare claims data. Quality score calculations use 9 quality-of-outcome metrics and, in general, reflect how much patient conditions improve and how often they make a hospital visit.

2. Patient perception ratings. First available on the CMS website for home health in January of 2016, this rating category bases outcomes on patient surveys. Survey questions examine areas such as:

  • Agency education with patients on how to care for themselves

  • Patient understanding of how to take their medications

  • Reasons why medications are necessary

  • How thoroughly clinicians probe for possible medication side effects

Both sets of home health star ratings are available on Home Health Compare, a subsidiary website of Medicare.gov. The quality stars are meant to summarize or rate care providers. On the website, consumers are able to compare up to three agencies at a time. Like the data they summarize, the website gets quarterly updates.

Agencies receive a preview report before the newest home health star ratings are seen by the public. Agencies have a 3 month window to check the “star” data to be sure it is complete and accurate. During this time-frame, agencies may also request a data revision from CMS.

October Surprise to Health Insurance Companies

On October 12, 2016, the formula CMS uses to rate health insurance providers was adjusted. And it is big change! Now, companies previously receiving 4 and 5 star ratings, are a rarity. For example, Humana with 3/4 of its plans receiving 4 or 5 stars last year, estimates that level at about 37% today. As a result, Humana stock prices took at immediate and spectacular hit. Although the prices are a bit more stable now, the “ride” was rather unpleasant for the stockholders and plan customers.

Many in the home health industry are now wondering if a similar fate awaits them. For health insurers, the CMS 3 star rating is now the equivalent of what 4 stars used to be. And striving for a 5-star rating now seems as futile as “reaching for the stars.”

Problems With Home Health Star Ratings

Similar to the recent health insurance plan fiasco, consumer confusion will occur if the value of the home health stars suddenly change. However, currently there is other confusion plaguing home heath star ratings.

First, there is a major difference in the number of stars received for quality of care vs. from patient surveys. Patients rate agencies at 4 or 5 stars about 75% of the time, but only about 25% of homecare organizations got as many stars on the quality of care score. Nor does this difference stem from patients being over-generous on the surveys, but from the fact that Medicare purposefully uses a different formula to make 3 stars the norm on quality scores. This results in the two scores differing by one or even two stars.

The second cause of potential confusion arises due to the lack of sufficient surveys. There “should be” 100 surveys to base patient perception star ratings on, but there are often fewer. And if less than 40 surveys to calculate, no rating will appear for that agency.

Finally, quality star ratings can give false impressions due to the patient population home health cares for. Many conditions, such as CHF or diabetes, are not likely to be reversed even with the best possible care. And, if patients happen to live in a region lacking certain services, hospital visits will increase and lower the star rating.

Conclusion

Only by understanding the home health star ratings calculations can you hope to improve both your quality and patient-survey scores. Be sure to review your agency’s preview data and contact CMS if adjustments are needed. Getting your OASIS and claims submissions right the first and every time is a big part of this equation. Remember, your quality score calculations use OASIS quality-of-outcome metrics reflecting how much patient conditions improve.

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting is here to help! To learn more, contact us today at 206-721-5091 or schedule an appointment online.

 

This article, originally titled, WILL HOME HEALTH RATINGS SUFFER SAME FATE AS INSURANCE first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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For more Best Practices, you can download a free eBook Seven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies.  Just click the link or the picture to download.

If you're interested in scheduling a live demo of our software solutions, just click the button below:

Click Here for a Free Demo

 

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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 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

5 Minutes, 10 Reasons To Invest In Disease Management Training

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 26, 2016 10:13:00 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).

Many caregivers receive little or no basic training. However, specific certifications such as Home Health/Hospice Aide or Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) require completion of a federal or state approved training program. Always check your state regulations to determine the education requirements for personal care aides and homemakers.

Hiring the best most qualified homecare staff, is not only crucial to your organization’s success but also to the well-being of your clients. So, what can you to do to ensure your caregivers become elite staff dedicated to your mission? First of all, hire the best people available, and then provide them with top-notch disease management training.disease management training

The Benefits of Disease Management Training for Aides

Unfortunately, under trained caregivers leads to negative repercussions for your organization. Disease management training prevents high turn over rates and produces satisfied, knowledgeable staff who provide exceptional client care. Make sure your team is fully equipped to provide the specific care that clients with chronic disease require and demand!

Check out these ten benefits of disease management training, also known as chronic disease education.

1. Creation of an Elite Staff

What is considered an “elite staff?” Basically, it’s a team made up of employees who are dedicated, show interest in furthering their careers, and are determined to meet both personal and agency-wide goals.

By providing advanced disease management education, you give employees the tools they need to succeed in delivering knowledgeable client care. And you reap the secondary benefits of increased referrals and improved client satisfaction.

2. Increased Employee Retention

We’ve already mentioned that advanced chronic disease education helps create an elite staff. But what many owners and managers don’t realize is that this, as a result, reduces turnover. Employees well-equipped to perform their jobs, get a sense of confidence and accomplishment—making them happy in their careers and less likely to search for something new.

3. More Competitive Edge

Not all homecare agencies go the extra mile to provide disease management training for aides. Doing so sets your organization apart from the competition, giving you the edge and ability to promote your specialty services.

4. Reduced Rehospitalizations

You know that Medicare is cracking down on rehospitalizations. The more often your clients are admitted to the emergency room or hospital, the more penalties you and your hospital partners face. However, educating your staff on chronic diseases prevents trips to the ER, because caregivers are trained on the warning signs to look for, medication side effects, and when to call for help.

5. Improved Client Satisfaction

This one’s simple! Staff with an exceptional knowledge and understanding of chronic diseases and how to care for clients suffering from such conditions, are able to provide superior care. And resulting in more satisfied clients!

6. Opportunity to Expand Services

If you’ve been looking for ways to grow your homecare organization, expanding the services you offer could be the answer. Disease management training allows you to offer and provide additional services.

7. Community Satisfaction

Chronic diseases are among the top causes of death for US citizens. With the Baby Boomer generation aging and developing these conditions, chronic disease education is crucial.

8. Increased Profits

By being able to offer specialized services after your aides have undergone disease management training, you’ll see an increase in your profits. This happens as you’re able to charge more for these services, and because you can provide care to a larger group of people.

9. More Referrals

We mentioned earlier that chronic disease education improves client satisfaction. What does this mean for you? More friends and family referrals. Additionally, it means more professional referrals, because when other medical professionals in your area hear of your elite staff, they’ll be inclined to send their patients your way.

10. Save Time and Money

Online disease management training is easily accessible for aides—and very affordable for owners. Eliminates outside seminar costs, speaker fees, and time away from work. And, caregivers have the ability to complete the courses at their convenience and at their learning pace

Working with Kenyon HomeCare Consulting for Disease Management Training

When you’re ready to take your organization to the next level, reach out to the experts at Kenyon HomeCare Consulting or call 206-721-5091 for more information on disease management training offered through Aide University.

This article, 5 MINUTES, 10 REASONS TO INVEST IN DISEASE MANAGEMENT TRAINING first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is available for download and we think you'll find it useful.  Please 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

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

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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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