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Ankota: Ushering in the Next Generation of Homecare Blog

Decentralization of Home Care suggested by New England Journal of Medicine

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 15, 2018 11:00:00 AM

This blog frequently discusses the possibility of a health care system where hospitals aren't in the enter, but rather home and community based care take center stage. Our thesis is that when you avoid hospitalizations and especially emergency department visits, especially for the elderly, that we achieve higher satisfaction with the health system at lower cost...  As it turns out, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) agrees.

The NEJM case for decentralization of the healthcare system

Fotolia_31375793_Subscription_Monthly_M-1.jpgAs always, we encourage you to read the full article, but in summary here's the case laid out by NEJM:
  • Since there were no Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to start from it was historically necessary for you to go to the hospital so that they could diagnose you from scratch
  • Similarly, since there was no way to see or measure the patient remotely, you historically had to go to the hospital
  • The early effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) drove even more hospital visits
  • But hospitals are not a very same place with 1 in 25 hospital visitors contracting infections from other patients
  • There are now technologies for remotely monitoring and seeing patients (even commonplace technologies like Facetime and the ability to measure vital signs on a smart phone)
  • There is also the possibility for community based paramedicine (the article cites the way that the Geisinger system uses emergency response teams to deliver care services under the direction of medically trained staff, though our thought it that home care can play this role).

Shifting the healthcare "entry point" away from the Emergency Department

Imagine a different future where people are supported by population health teams. Here's how it can go:

  • Higher acuity people have ongoing monitoring and check-ins from their community health organization (e.g., the supervisory nurses at home care agencies are checking in).
  • Others who experience an "emergency" make their first call to their community care team (again likely centered at a home care agency). The well-trained person answering the phone can decide in minutes whether the person should go right to the hospital or whether instead they can be seen in the home (cutting the cost from thousands of dollars to around $100) or even coached over the phone (cutting the cost to around $10).
  • Depending on the situation, they might chose to put the person on an affordable monitoring program (costing as little as $20/month)

Bottom Line: Home Care is growing even faster than the population

In addition to having an elderly population that will more than double by 2040, more and more evidence suggests that care outside of hospitals can be the remedy that our health system needs.

The sad downside of the NEJM article was that all of the examples cited for success stories were invented by the hospitals. This means that we in the home care community have not yet made it onto the radar screens of the hospital decision makers. Part of the reason is that we've been told for so long that we're "non-medical home care" and we've largely come to believe that we can't help solve the healthcare crisis. On that front, we're wrong...  Home care can be the solution.

Affordable Remote Monitoring

Ankota has an affordable remote monitoring solution called Foresight Care. The reason that it's affordable is that you don't need to buy or deploy telehealth equipment. But just because it's more affordable doesn't mean that it's not as good - especially for those lower acuity patients who make up 2/3rds of the ED visits. To learn more about Foresight Care, contact Ankota.

Free Foresight Care 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, April 2017 Newsletter

Value of Home Healthcare Proven in Cleveland Clinic Study

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 8, 2018 11:00:00 AM

A study performed by the Cleveland Clinic has proven that discharging patients from hospitals to home healthcare saves a per patient average of $6,433 in the first year after discharge, and reduces readmissions by 18% and deaths by 20%.  The full report is entitled "Impact of Home Health Care on Healthcare Resource Utilization Following Hospital Discharge: a Cohort Study" and will be published in the American Journal of Medicine. 

What should we do as a result of this study?

Fotolia_29564617_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpgThese results are not a surprise to any of us, but it's great to know that our industry is reducing the cost of care and improving health outcomes.

Here are some steps we can take based on these results:

  • Take a step back and enjoy the good news!

  • Thank our people! It's our staff who make this all happen

  •  Think about how to make home care even better

How do we make home care even better?

Our industry has many advantages, including the "tailwind" of a growing market. Here's what we should be preparing to do next:

  • Prepare for ongoing chronic care and population health: We will be increasingly asked to manage ongoing care for higher risk individuals

  • Add non-medical care to your portfolio of services: Most readers of this blog provide non-medical home care services, but since the study results above come from the certified home health side we're taking the opportunity to promote the concept of combining home care with home health. This can be a blog article of it's own, but in short, having non-medical caregivers provide more frequent in home services under the direction of nurses rather than fewer nursing visits can provide a better care experience at lower cost.

  • Be ready for "managed care": In order to compete in the emerging models of reimbursed care, you will need to manage against authorizations. This is a standard practice in certified home health but rather than managing a 60 day episode of care, you'll be asked to manage ongoing care with specific care plan items (combining both health care management tasks and tasks that support activities of daily living [ADLs])

Congratulations to all on this study. To learn more, please download the free eBook Blueprint for the Next Generation of Home Care.

Next Generation of Homecare eBook

 

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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, April 2017 Newsletter

Home Care Combined with Healthcare can be Transformative

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jan 1, 2018 11:00:00 AM

The landscape for the home care market has always been shaped by the available reimbursement for care. This won't change, but the care models of the future will evolve and will move to a model that requires the combination of skilled care services, with non-medical home care services and monitoring.

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Why will Home Health and Home Care need to combine?

The value of the combination of home health and home care is significant. Here's why:

  • The health of populations is only 20% related to health care matters. The other 80% is related to shelter, food, companionship and activities of daily living (ADLs). Non-medical caregivers can focus on the 80%.
  • With the growth of the elderly population, there simply won't be enough care providers (on both the medical and non-medical side). Organizations that can provide both can identify synergies and reduce overall cost
  • In a combined organization, there is an opportunity to train non-medical caregivers to perform healthcare oriented tasks under the direction of skilled staff. This creates career paths and allows skilled resources to cover broader populations
  • Non-medical caregivers can observe patients/clients and escalate early warning signs of issues that can lead to hospitalizations. Read more here.

Bonus predictions:

Despite all of the great benefits described above, it still won't be enough to deal with the growing elderly population that is more than doubling in the next 20 years. Two additional measures will need to put in place to close the gap, as follows:

  • Affordable Patient Monitoring: We will need to check in with patients between visits, but telehealth is too expensive. The affordable way to do this is via automated phone calls and text messaging. Whereas telehealth generally costs over $100 per patient per month, new approaches (including Ankota's Foresight Care [tm]) can be deployed for under $10/month.
  • More Care will need to be delivered via phone: A home health nurse in an efficient home health organization sees up to 6 patients per day. By contrast, a nurse in a call center can outreach to 30 or more patients per day

Free Foresight Care Demo

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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:

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: Home Care Best Practices, Home Care, Care Transitions, Home Health

An Evolving Profession: a Quick Look at the Modern Development of Nursing

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 18, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Over the past 150 years or so, the nursing profession has changed enormously. At one time it was a a limited vocation. It’s now a respected career for thousands of dedicated, trained and well-educated people of both genders. If you’re attracted to nursing as a career, take a few minutes to think about how it’s evolved, as well as some more current trends.

Lady with the Lamp

For most of history, nursing was done in the home by family members. It wasn’t even recognized as a distinct profession. Many people feel that modern nursing began with social activist Florence Nightingale. During the Crimean War of 1853-1856, the British government asked for her help managing the deplorable conditions in their field hospitals.

Along with a band of compatriots, she saw to it that practices for sanitation, fresh air, healthy food, and distribution of medicine were followed. An admiring world saw the wisdom in Nightingale’s insistence on the need for trained and experienced nurses. The first nursing school in the U.S. opened its doors in 1873.

Hospital Era

Over the ensuing decades, urban populations soared and infectious illnesses became a universal threat. Civilian and medical authorities saw the need for facilities where the sick and injured could be efficiently treated. But the level of care in early hospitals could vary enormously, depending on their resources and quality of staff. Women from religious orders were known to provide some of the most effective and compassionate care. This example, the poor conditions, and the need for women to find employment led to the rapid increase in professional nurses by the end of the 19th century.

Modern Healthcare

By the 1930s hospitals were becoming a staple of society. Instead of relying on relatives for care, people in even smaller communities were able to turn to doctors and seek treatment at medical facilities. Professional nurses were on hand to perform a variety of functions. These included assisting physicians in their tasks, administrative duties, providing for patient needs, offering comfort, providing medication, and much more.  Technology increasingly has become an important part of the nursing role.

Changing Technology

Over this time and right up to the present, one of the major influences on healthcare and nursing came from technology. X-rays, new pharmaceuticals, and finally computers, DNA, and automation have become standard. Training in constantly-changing techniques and technology has become part of the nursing profession. Nurses today fulfill any number of critical positions and a variety of specialties. Part of this advancement nursing professionals are using and benefiting from agency management systems like Ankota to reduce paperwork, allowing them to focus on patient care and satisfaction.  In addition, agencies are seeking to have the nursing professionals more efficient and seek to move from assigning caseloads to more detailed schedules for service delivery while taking into account patient requirements, continuum of care and other agency and care priorities.

As it’s become a more exciting profession, the turnover in nurse staffing has dropped by 12 percent recently.

As people live longer lives, modern hospitals couldn’t function without a highly trained, technically savvy nursing staff. That makes it a more secure and respected career choice filled with opportunity. If you’re considering this career choice, it might not be a bad idea to look into mba programs. With all the advances in nursing, someone with a solid knowledge of business and technology would be sure to go far.

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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, April 2017 Newsletter

Planning for Imperfection: 4 Ways Healthcare Agencies Should Protect Themselves

Posted by Ken Accardi on Dec 4, 2017 11:00:00 AM

No matter how careful you are as a healthcare organization, it seems that a legal claim is always at the back of your mind. While you cannot eliminate this possibility, you can take steps to help ensure that your exposure to risk is minimized. In the end, your primary objective is to help your patients. You should be free to do that without worrying about baseless legal claims made against you from patients, workers or family members. With that in mind, consider the following four ways that your organization can protect itself in the litigious environment in which we live.

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Make Sure You Adhere to the Standards of Care

No matter what type of practice you are in, there are rules and regulations in place for a reason. Work hard to follow a set protocol, no matter what type of situation you might encounter. To do otherwise is to encourage a lawsuit if something were to go awry. Make sure that you follow proper procedures, best practices, and adhere to the current standard of care.

Communicate across the Board

All healthcare facilities need to ensure proper communication among all personnel that interact with the patient. This is how patient information flows, and it is how mistakes are minimized. If you fail to communicate properly, patient care can suffer. To protect yourself, you want to ensure that you communicate all important patient information to other practitioners who are also involved in the treatment of individuals in your charge.  Be sure that you document as required and where needed.  This may involve forms at the point of care.  You will want the ability to deploy new forms quickly or modify them quick as the need arises as well as have patients sign them, for example.

Retain a Lawyer

In the event that a legal challenge does come up, you will want to have  legal representation that understand healthcare and is ready to defend and protect your rights. It is better to have this arranged ahead of time, Firms like Obradovich Law are a good option. The right attorney can help you safeguard your interests.  By reviewing where you are in advance could save you significant time and money in the long term.

Document Everything You Can

Your motto should become that if you didn’t write it down, then it didn’t happen. This will get you in the happen of documenting everything pertinent to the care of your patients.  Your agency management system can play a key role in reducing paperwork, while increasing your efficiency, all the while providing you with additional protection if a legal does arise.  Electronic Visit Verification, known as EVV, will soon be mandated for Medicaid and Medicare across the US.  This type of electronic time clock helps to reduce fraud, waste and abuse in the post-acute care market as well as documents when a worker is in the home or facility, a critical piece of independently documented data needed in determining and documenting where and when a worker was in the home if an issue where to arise.

If you will follow these four pieces of advice, you will be well-positioned to protect your organization. Remember that it is all about doing what is best for your patients.

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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, April 2017 Newsletter

5 Ways To Help Nursing Staff Avoid Nursing Errors

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 16, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Today's guest post is from Tom Moverman. Tom established the Lipsig Bronx Firm with Harry Lipsig and his partners in 1989; The firm’s focus is in personal injury, construction accidents, car accidents, products liability, and medical malpractice. Tom's website is www.lipsigbronx.com.

Patients put an enormous amount of trust in the hands of healthcare workers. Efforts to avoid breaking this trust must be continuously implemented. Nurses are required, both ethically and legally, to treat patients according to the standards of their profession. Unfortunately medical mistakes are most likely the third leading cause of death in the United States. Furthermore, ten percent of all deaths in America are said to be medical error related. In order to avoid nursing errors, following these standards, as meticulously as possible, is necessary.

Double Check Every Procedure

In a study from the Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 68.3 percent of nurses remember making at least two to five errors over the course of their careers. The majority of these errors occurred when a doctor's order form was too difficult to read or illegible. The second major cause of nursing mishaps was distractions from patients, coworkers, or events.

Home Health Nurse

Statistically, the highest rate of nursing errors occurs with prescriptions. Dosage errors are committed at an alarmingly high rate. To prevent these types of errors, nurses need to check medications multiple times before they are administered to patients. If a nurse has any questions or notices something out of the ordinary, they must approach a doctor. There is no place for shyness in this profession.

Less than half of all nurses involved in the study indicated that they believe drug errors are only reported 45.6 percent of the time. This reveals that nurses are hesitant to report errors and may fear a medical malpractice lawsuit if they do. Unfortunately, not reporting errors can severely diminish patient care and prevent the improvement of future procedures. Miscommunication and lack of communication in a healthcare environment is highly detrimental to all involved.

Give Complete Reports

Hastily completed medical documents or documents that lack information are a huge cause of nursing mishaps. To avoid a medical malpractice lawsuit, nurses should be as prepared and concise as they can when talking with a doctor. A patient's chart, a list of questions, and any suggestions should be available and ready before meeting with a doctor over the care of a patient.

Nursing errors frequently result from treatment miscommunication. In this situation, a nurse must be fully aware of all treatment methods. If multiple tubes need to be drained, if blood needs to be drawn every few hours, etc., a nurse must learn to communicate effectively with doctors to derive all necessary information. This collaborative environment must be reflected in all documentation and during in-person procedures.

Avoid Time Mismanagement

Time mismanagement is common in chaotic healthcare environments. Nurses may become overwhelmed and neglect patients or haphazardly fill out patient charts. To avoid nursing errors nurses must learn how to set priorities. A nurse must also realize the importance of flexibility and patience. Patients are present because they suffer from some sort of ailment. Remaining calm, collected, and level-headed is necessary during dire healthcare situations.

The most important time management skill for nurses is learning when to take a break. Healthcare workers work long, physically demanding shifts. It's easy to often forget to take care of your own body as a healthcare worker. Fatigue, burnout, and other serious medical issues can all contribute to the productivity breakdown of a nurse. If a break is needed, it must be taken.

Limit Overtime

It is well-known that healthcare professionals work long shifts. Administrators may try to schedule workers for back to back or extended shifts and this is particularly common for nurses. To avoid nursing mishaps, it is important to give nursing staff an adequate amount of downtime.

According to a study in the Journal of Safety Research, all nursing errors were directly related to working more than 40 hours a week. Medication errors had the most consistent relationship to overtime. Ignoring nursing fatigue has been proven to cause nursing errors and, ultimately, a medical malpractice lawsuit. This information should be thoroughly considered when a nurse is scheduled to work overtime.

Do Not Understaff

In a study from the Journal of Clinical Nursing, 82 percent of nursing errors were caused by a hospital administration's forced understaffing. Understaffing a hospital, or other healthcare environments is destructive to patient access and care. It is also a legal liability that can easily result in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Healthcare entities must schedule the right amount of staff for possible patient intake. They must also avoid treating staff unfavorably. Healthcare professionals work frequent shifts and shouldn't be performing these shifts alone. To provide the best level of care possible to patients, professionals need to actively collaborate with each other.

In order to avoid nursing errors, nurses must actively take steps to adhere to medical standards ascribed to their professional behavior. Double checking every procedure, limiting overtime, alerting administration to understaffing, checking reports for completeness, and managing time correctly are all methods that will work to prevent nursing mishaps. In a profession where accuracy is key, nurses must be vigilant in maintaining efficient, effective, and error-free patient care.

One of Ankota's recent whitepapers, entitled "Blueprint for the Next Generation of Healthcare at Home"  is available for download.  Please click the link or the picture below to download.Blueprint Healthcare 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

7 Keys to Starting a Home Health / Hospice Agency

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 9, 2017 5:17:17 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).

There are well over 12,000 home health & hospice agencies in the US, and the industry grew some 4% annually between 2010 and 2015 due to a rapidly aging U.S.. population. For someone with an entrepreneurial spirit to meet the real healthcare needs of people, the homecare industry represents a real opportunity. But, how do you get started? What is involved in a successful homecare agency startup? Seven key areas of concern for every new homecare agency startup are as follows:

1. Vision and Business Plan

 The first step in starting up your new home health organization is formulating a clear vision of meeting community needs. A detailed community assessment gives you direction and your own background and focus will play into the decision.

There are many types of home health & hospice agencies, some focused only on non-medical daily living assistance for seniors and disabled persons, others equipped with nurses and therapists to take care of medical needs. To make your vision a reality, you need to think and put into writing a detailed business plan and find effective ways of marketing your vision to the community.Home Health

2. Licensing Issues

Step two in getting your homecare agency startup off the ground is obtaining all necessary licenses. A good consulting firm, will guides you through this complex legal process and uses experienced senior consultants to expedite the process to licensure.

Your agency will need to be incorporated with a Tax ID. You will also need to obtain a NPI (National Provider Identification) number with Medicare/Medicaid. There are differences in licensing from state to state. Expert guidance helps you properly prepare for successful practice.

3. Medicare Accreditation

 Next, as a large portion of your reimbursements will come through Medicare (Parts A and B), you must go through the certification process. This involves a three-day Medicare survey in which your policies/ procedures, record keeping, and clinical practice will be evaluated. Consulting trains and prepares you to pass the first time.

Often times, agencies will choose accreditation from CHAP, ACHC, or JCO instead of the Medicare certification every three years. Accrediting bodies hold agencies to all Medicare Conditions of Participation as well as standards of excellence above and beyond Medicare/ Medicaid.

4. Software Selection

Today’s healthcare industry requires advanced medical equipment and computerized record-keeping. An existing agency may update software systems as needed, however, a homecare startup agency should carefully select the most effective software program to meet their needs. Senior level consultants help with making sure agencies do not make the costly mistake of choosing the wrong software.

5. Preparation of Manuals

To run your agency smoothly from day one, you will need to develop customized administrative policy and procedure manuals, employee handbooks, forms manuals, and other important organizational tools. Optimizing your manuals can save you valuable time and money.

6. Staffing Your Agency

So far, we have defined goals, removed legal barriers, and provided an organizational structure. This is like a naked skeleton. To put flesh and bones on this plan, you next develop effective recruitment and retention strategies. Hiring the well-trained and reputable staff members dedicated to providing top-quality care is key to fulfilling your mission. If you fail to fill your ranks with conscientious staff members, you could retain staff but fail to retain clients. On the other hand, retaining good managers may be a function of your overall policies and standards.

You can hire some staff directly full-time, some part-time, and contract out other specialists as needed. But you must do a thorough background check on anyone who will be working under you agency’s name, to protect patients, to avoid a possible lawsuit, and to protect your agency’s reputation.

7. ICD-10 Readiness

Finally, you should realize cash flow and reimbursement rates depend on efficient, accurate, and complete ICD medical coding practices. You need to train in-house coders or use a 3rd-party ICD-10 coding partner. Your clinicians need extensive documentation training to back up coders and keep everyone on the same page.

Do your homework before starting hiring your consultant. Look at the background of your consulting agency. Do they have expertise in all the items you need to begin your agency? Find the agency that offers specialists in all areas of the process. Are you obtaining access to one individual or a team of individuals working for you?

To accomplish all of the above and more for a successful homecare agency startup, you should invest in homecare consulting services such as those offered by Kenyon HomeCare Consulting. To learn more about Kenyon’s start-up packages, which cover everything from A to Z and are run by senior administrators with 20-plus years of experience, contact Kenyon online or call 206-721-5091.
 
One of Ankota's recent eBooks, 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.

Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals CoverRead this post on Tim Rowan's Site

Click Here for a Free Demo

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

EVV Best Practice: The One Day Time Sheet

Posted by Ken Accardi on Oct 2, 2017 11:00:00 AM

circuit-158374_640.pngAs agencies move to Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) they will achieve numerous benefits including regulatory compliance and increased speed for processing billing and payroll. To learn more about EVV, please see our earlier articles explaining EVV and the 21st Century Cures Act.

Challenges to Overcome When Implementing EVV

There are several issues that will arise as you implement EVV, as follows:

  • Reported Times will no longer be "perfect:" When your not using EVV, your time sheets will generally be "perfect." Your caregiver will show up right when they're supposed to and leave right on time. A visit scheduled from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM will be recorded as arrived at 8:00 AM and departed exactly at 10:00. When EVV is added, these times will no longer be perfect. For example they might arrive at 7:56 AM and leave at 9:53 AM.

  • You'll need to "round" or "truncate" visits in accordance with the rules of your funding source: Most Medicaid programs have you bill personal care visits in 15 minute units. Some programs only pay for completed 15 minute units, while others employ rounding rules. A typical rounding rule is called the "rule of seven eigths," which means that 7 minutes rounds down and 8 minutes round up.  Other rules apply too. For example labor laws often require you to pay for every minute worked even if you're not able to bill for those minutes.

  • Resistance to Change: In a typical organization, 20% of your workers will love and embrace EVV right away and 60% will be fine with it but the last 20% will be unhappy about it and come along "kicking and screaming." The best thing you can do to prevent this is to make sure that the EVV system is easy to use and that you provide training and hand-holding in the early days.

  • Caregivers will make mistakes: In the early days of your implementation, caregivers will forget to clock in or clock out or make other mistakes. When mistakes are made, it is likely that a time sheet, signed by the client will be required.

A Best Practice: The One Day Time Sheet

One best practice that we share is the idea of a one day time sheet. Most agencies who are "on paper" use a one week time sheet. Continuing with a one-week time sheet makes it "too easy" for your caregivers who are resistant to the new approach. They'll just keep doing it the "old way."

The idea of a one-day time sheet changes this. If the caregiver makes an error, you ask for them to fill out a time sheet for that one day and have the client sign it. Some agencies even mandate.that the time sheet be brought to the office that same day  This is a bit difficult, but that's by design. If the caregiver has to fill out a paper time sheet and get it signed each time that they forget to clock in our out, they will quickly learn.

More Best Practices

If you have additional questions or are seeking further best practices for implementing EVV in your organization, we'd be happy to help. The easiest way is to click here to contact Ankota or call us on 844-4-ANKOTA.

I Need Help with EVV

 

 

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, September 2017 Newsletter

Creating Goals for Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Posted by Ken Accardi on Sep 1, 2017 9:49:57 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.  In today's blog, he offers an introduction on how to improve your SEO, your website performance, and ultimately, how to improve your marketing.  Enjoy his post (below) and feel free to leave a comment!

Building Your Brand

Having a strategic social media strategy is a great way to create a strong online presence. Social media gives your company an opportunity to showcase your culture, values and personality and to be easily accessible to your audience. Having an active presence across the social platforms your audiences are active on makes you available and allows you to become a valued resource.

Being Available for Your Audience

You should be active where your audience is active. If those seeking in-home care or educating themselves on aging are active on Facebook (they are!), you should have a strong Facebook presence. Share helpful articles, original content from your blog, top tips and links to valuable resources – such as your downloadable brochures or contact form. Some social platforms also serve as a way to communicate directly with you – from direct messaging on Facebook to responding in real-time on Twitter.

Driving Targeted Traffic

Gaining new clients, new referral sources and recruiting caregivers are three common goals of a social strategy. In order to do this, you should carefully define your target audience and tailor your strategy to share content your audience will find valuable – and that will drive them back to your website. We strongly recommend driving them back to pages where they will find relevant, helpful information. From this point, strong calls-to-action should drive them to take the action you are striving for – such as applying for a job or requesting an assessment or consultation.

Having a social strategy is a great way to build your brand, become a valued resource and to drive targeted traffic. To learn more about the value of social media in your home care marketing strategy, reach out to our marketing educators today!

This article first appeared in the Providentia Marketing blog.

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One of Ankota's recent wBlueprint Healthcare Cover.pnghitepapers, entitled "Blueprint for the Next Generation of Homecare at Home"  is available for download.  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

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

Save Time and Money Creating Your Own Home Care Manuals

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 27, 2017 2:29:07 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).

Running a homecare organization is no easy task! The process of keeping your agency running smoothly can quickly become overwhelming. In the throes of your day-to-day responsibilities, you may even consider it insanity. Fortunately, there’s a light at the end of tunnel—at least when it comes to customized homecare manuals.

Cost of Creating Your Own Customized Manuals

Customized Homecare Manuals

Time is money don’t go waisting time, isolated clock with money time icon

Customized manuals are crucial to the success of your homecare agency. In these manuals, you find all the information necessary to maintain your organization’s integrity, remain in legal compliance, keep employees on track and so much more.

Writing your own manuals is an overwhelming task, one that is best left to manual experts. Otherwise, you simply add to the insanity of your daily routine.

The Time Aspect

Research has found that it takes approximately 300 hours (otherwise known as six 40-hour work weeks) to create a typical homecare manual from scratch. As crazy as that amount of time sounds, it doesn’t even include other important factors, such as:

  • Researching what to include;
  • Designing the template and content structure;
  • Incorporating accreditation standards;
  • Adding state-specific standards.

In all that time, you or whichever management-level employee you hand the task to, should be performing numerous other tasks that will help grow your business. Here are some ideas of better ways to allocate your time:

  • Investigating and developing ways to branch into additional services
  • Focusing on approaches to increase referrals
  • Finding new marketing avenues
  • Researching what competitors are doing better than you
  • Educating employees to create an elite staff
  • Attending home visits with staff
  • Evaluating goals and creating new ones
  • Brainstorming ways to improve your daily operations

The Money Aspect

Time is money, right? So, just to give you an idea of the kind of resources you’d be spending by creating your own manuals from scratch, we did the math.

At $25 an hour, a respectable wage for a leadership role in your agency, you would pay someone roughly $7500 to write a compliant manual. And, as we mentioned above, this doesn’t even include the preliminary research time, or regular updating once the manual is complete. That’s a pretty nice chunk of change. Think of all the ways you could spend that money to further improve your organization!

Peace-of-Mind Benefits of Purchasing Customized Manuals

Instead of driving yourself more insane by creating your own homecare manuals, consider purchasing customized manuals from an industry expert. Doing so helps you maintain peace of mind, allowing you to focus on what’s most important. Here’s how.

  • Purchasing customized manuals helps you stay organized and up to date.
  • Know your staff’s time is being spent in the most productive ways possible.
  • Customized manuals are effective and accurate, allowing you to rest assured that nothing important is missing.
  • Custom designed by knowledgeable experts to include necessary requirements for your state and specific agency type.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, be sure your customized manuals are electronic making them easy to access, maintain and update. This alleviates the stress of overhauling and reprinting your manual every time a regulation changes.

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting’s Customized Manuals

Whatever your needs, Kenyon HomeCare Consulting has a manual for you! Our manuals follow best practices, are easily customizable, are accreditation ready and simple to update. So, we offer something for everyone! Simply click on a title below to learn more about how we can meet your specific needs.

In addition to these manuals, we offer many other services—ICD-10 Coding Plus, Aide University, Interim Management, numerous consulting services— to help your agency thrive. Reach out to us today to get started!

This article entitled, "Save Time and Money Creating Customized Homecare Manuals and Updates" first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

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One of Ankota's 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

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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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