The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

The Essential Checklist for a Healthy Homecare Agency Start Up

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 31, 2015 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).

A successful, long-lasting homecare agency start-up requires specific, detailed planning. Being aware of potential issues helps you stay ahead of the game and ensures a positive outcome. But how do you tackle the many tasks of launching a new business and the extra responsibilities necessary to be successful in the home health industry? We’ve created a checklist of 10 essential steps necessary for a healthy homecare agency start-up.Word cloud illustration related to business start-up

1Do your research. Before any planning can happen, you need to know what’s required to legally operate a homecare agency. During this phase, your research should include the following:

  • State and federal homecare regulations

  • Requirements for Medicare certification and/or accreditation

  • Helpful national and state organizations to join

  • Costs of land/office space in different desired locations

  • Area business and zoning laws

2Craft a well-designed, strategic plan. Once you’ve done the initial research, design a plan that allows you to get tasks accomplished in a timely and efficient manner. A good rule of thumb is to begin with the tasks that take the most amount of time. Doing so allows you to keep progressing through your to-do list. For example in many states, being assigned a site visit and receiving a license can take up to a year. Starting this process early allows you to continue moving forward while waiting for your license to be issued.

3Create a budget. Now you have basic industry knowledge and a plan. Next step is to determine how much capital you need. What’s the cost of licensing? How much of your budget should you dedicate to procuring land or office space? Note: Because in many states licensing can take up to a year, ensure you have adequate funds available to cover opening costs as well as capital to operate, such as payroll and inventory for an extended period. 

4Decide on a location. Conduct research to evaluate demographics, your competition and services you can provide that are lacking in the location you are considering. It’s important to know your market and what the community thinks of the competition you’ll face.

5Apply for your state license, Medicare certification and/or accreditation. Obtain the paperwork and file applications with the correct state licensing departments. Because many states are backlogged, consider paying for Joint CommissionACHC or CHAP accreditation. This allows you to receive deemed status accomplishing both Medicare certification and accreditation with one onsite visit.

6Purchase necessary software. This includes software that handles these organizational tasks:

  • Staff records – payroll, time sheets, mileage, etc.

  • Clinical/medical records

  • Billing and claims

7Hire qualified staff. Once your plan is well underway, conduct interviews for potential job candidates. While you may not be ready to officially open, it’s a good idea to have staff prepared to get a running start on the first day of business. There are also tasks these team members can help with in getting prepared for the big day.

8Research experienced consulting firms. Don’t wait until a year after your homecare agency startup to look for an organization that can assist you with the tasks associated with maintaining a successful agency. The right firm can help you with these steps before you even open your doors:

  • Policy and procedure writing;

  • Employee handbook creation;

  • Human resources preparation.

9Set up an orientation and ongoing training for your staff. 

You’ve got employees; now’s the time to get them to elite status with chronic disease education.

10Conduct a mock survey. Have an outsider evaluate your organization so that any issues can be addressed before real surveyors come to inspect your homecare agency startup.

Every homecare agency start-up encounters occasional roadblocks. Following these 10 steps will get you headed in the right direction – toward lasting start-up success.

THE ESSENTIAL CHECKLIST FOR A HEALTHY HOMECARE AGENCY STARTUP first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

Ginny Kenyon is the founder and CEO of Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, a home health consulting firm that gives agencies a market advantage, promotes creative product development, and offers viable ways to achieve and sustain organizational and fiscal success.

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Ankota's latest care transitions whitepaper, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is now available.  Please download click the link or the picture blow for tips on how to construct optimal care transitions offerings and sell them to hospital partners in your geographies.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Ankota_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

If you'd like to schedule 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, Ginny Kenyon, home care marketing

Have You "Mystery Shopped" Your Home Care Agency

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 26, 2015 11:46:24 AM

I read a really interesting article on Merrily Orsini's blog.  Merrily is a home care marketing expert who runs the company Corecubed.  The premise of the article is a suggestion that you call up your own agency pretending to be a new referral in order to evaluate the first impression that your agency makes.  The article, written by Leigh-Anne Heuer is entitled, Marketing Mystery: Are You Spending Money to Get Inquiries and Turning Them Away.

Mystery-Shopping-Corecubed

I used to work with a home care agency that had their phones answered by a call center in India.  Nothing against India, but there was always a strange delay, followed by a heavily accented person welcoming me, followed by a long delay while they instant messaged other people in the company to see if they could transfer me.  If I were calling to get care for my mom, there's no way I would have considered this agency.

Highlights from the Secret Shopper Article

I'd recommend that you read the full article, but here are a couple of the key takeaways:

  • Successful Home Care Agencies are busy, but it's unacceptable for this to reflect on the quality of how phone calls are handled.  Long delays in answering or what comes across as harried service can cost you referrals

  • Agencies who aren't willing or able to describe their services are a turn-off to clients

  • Inability to send more information via email is also a negative.  The article described cases where they were told "all our information is on the web site"

  • On a positive note, the article also said that mystery shopping lets you know when your service is good

What Impression is your Agency Making?

If you have best practices to share about the ways that your agency is making a good impression, we'd love to hear them.  The easiest way to share is to comment below.  The goal of this blog is to educate agencies on best practices that we encounter.  You can subscribe to the blog on the upper right of this screen.

Ankota's 3rd care transitions whitepaper, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is now available.  Please download click the link or the picture blow for tips on how to construct optimal care transitions offerings and sell them to hospital partners in your geographies.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

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

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions

Home Care Agencies with a Marketing Rep Earn $700K More Per Year

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 20, 2015 12:36:00 PM

Eran_More_Life_Hack_Ankota_Homecare_BlogThere's a company called Home Care Pulse that performs an annual benchmark study of non-medical home care agencies.  Some of those results were attended in a webinar that I attended with Steve "the Hurricane" from Hurricane Marketing Enterprises.  We've shared several stories based on this webinar including the following:

Today's post can be considered a sequel to the "1 Thing You Need to Do..." story listed above. 

Here's the data: 

Home_Care_Referral_Tracking_Importance-1

As you can see, agencies with a marketing representative are averaging $1.97M in revenue, whereas those who don't are earning 1.29M in revenue.

What Would the Marketing Rep Do?

Steve has a relatively simple equation that says you want to make one marketing touch point for every hour in the week - 40 touches a week, with a focus on the power partners who can refer to you (like CCRCs, Hospice, Home Care, etc.). Steve points out that your marketing rep (or you if your primary job as owner is to do marketing) shouldn't drive to 40 different locations to meet people, but instead when you go to a facility like assisted living, that you should talk to 3 or 4 people there for a couple of minutes each.

How Much Would a Marketing Rep Cost?

Steve shared in the webinar, that on average a marketing rep is paid $50K per year.  The math, therefore is pretty compelling (adding $50K in cost can reap $700K in return), but Steve also noted that it takes time to establish relationships and that it will take some time before adding a marketing rep will deliver a positive return.

For More Information

Be sure to check out Hurricane Marketing and Home Care Pulse.  Also, if you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the Ankota blog.  To learn a bit more about Ankota, please enjoy our 30 second welcome video (below) or to contact Ankota if you'd like more information or a demo.

 

 

Ankota's latest care transitions whitepaper, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is now available.  Please download click the link or the picture blow for tips on how to construct optimal care transitions offerings and sell them to hospital partners in your geographies.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

 

 

Ankota_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

If you'd like to schedule 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, home care marketing, steve the hurricane

How To Increase Profits With A Homecare Start-up

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 18, 2015 8:24:00 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).

ExpandIf you own or manage a nursing home, hospice, or assisted living facility and are looking to expand your services, a homecare start-up is something to seriously consider. Because of your existing organization, you have an advantage when launching a new homecare agency. Your established resources give you a head start toward increasing profits. Keep reading to learn about the benefits you’ll see when adding a homecare agency to your business profile, and the best ways to increase your profits during a start-up.

Benefits of a Homecare Start-Upstart up

You already have benefits ready and waiting when it’s time to start a new homecare organization, due to the nature of your existing business. Take a look at a few of them here.

  • Automatic referral source – You already have an excellent source of referrals for your new homecare agency: your current organization. Your clients and their families may need additional services in the future, and who will they turn to? Someone they’ve already built a relationship with, someone they trust- you!

  • Established relationship with health professionals – You deal with doctors, nurses, and discharge planners on a regular basis. Since you have a current working relationship with these professionals, they’re likely to refer clients to the services provided by your homecare start-up.

  • Community reputation – Because you have an established business with a sterling caregiver reputation, you are considered an expert within your community. The people you come in contact with needing the additional services provided by your start-up will be happy to support your new business endeavor.

With these built-in benefits, the question you should be asking isn’t if you should consider a homecare start-up; but rather, how to make the most of your homecare start-up. Lucky for you, we’ve got the answers you need right here.

Increasing Profits With a Homecare Start-Up

Opening any new business is taxing on your budget, but there are things you can do when planning the launch of your homecare agency to make the best use of your resources. Consider these tips:

  • Cross-train your existing staff. You already have the most important resource needed for a successful launch – employees. Training your team members to work in both organizations cuts back on new-hire costs and helps you streamline operations more efficiently.

  • Train new and existing staff on chronic diseasesProviding advanced chronic disease education for all team members, allows you to improve the quality of client care and offer specialized services as a feature of the homecare start-up. Offering specialty care has the ability to significantly increase your profits.

  • Hire a consultant. There are many steps involved with opening a new homecare start-up. From legal issues to employee paperwork requirements, a professional with experience in the homecare industry helps you avoid pitfalls and stay on track. Someone who understands this involved and lengthy process is needed to avoid pushing double-duty onto your current staff and to save you time and money.

Additional Considerations During a Homecare Start-Up

In addition to the tips mentioned above, take the time to complete these important steps.

  • Construct a comprehensive business plan. Don’t overlook the importance of writing out every step of the process so that nothing gets missed in the chaos. Working with a expert who has start-up experience is a benefit.

  • Evaluate demographics and competitionYou need to know all the facts before committing to this new venture .

  • Secure sufficient fundsRequired licensing can take up to a year to obtain, so have a financial cushion in your budget to cover your waiting time.

There’s no better time to start a homecare agency than right now! You’ve got resources, caring expertise and the reputation. Jump at the opportunity to make the most of this advantage. If you have any questions, contact Kenyon Homecare Consulting. We’re here to push you toward success.

HOW TO INCREASE PROFITS WITH A HOMECARE START-UP first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

Ginny Kenyon is the founder and CEO of Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, a home health consulting firm that gives agencies a market advantage, promotes creative product development, and offers viable ways to achieve and sustain organizational and fiscal success.

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Ankota's latest care transitions whitepaper, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is now available.  Please download click the link or the picture blow for tips on how to construct optimal care transitions offerings and sell them to hospital partners in your geographies.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Ankota_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

If you'd like to schedule 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, Ginny Kenyon, home care marketing

Using Video to Enhance Conversions on Your Home Care Web Site

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 12, 2015 11:36:00 AM

Cypress_Home_Care_SolutionsA geat way to make your home care agency stands out is by using video.  Cypress Home Care owner Bob Roth has a video right on their home screen where he introduces their agency.  Also, Bob and his team make a humorous holiday video each year where you get to see each of their staff members.  Creating a video for your website so that visitors can meet you and your team is an effective way to have your agency stand out from the pack.  Bob shared in a presentation that I attended that he is generally able to contract for a video for around $2,000.

Another approach is an "explainer video."  We have two on the Ankota site.  In our case, both are animated.  The first one is what is referred to as a "hand drawn explainer video" (you can use that phrase to "Google" the concept).  In our case, we got it from "90 Second Explainer Videos" and contracted for their 30-second video for $97.

Our other video explains the concept of care transitions.  It's around 2 minutes and explains that home care agencies are able to provide these types of services as authorized by OIG (the office of the Inspector General), and then goes on to explain some of the associated complexity as well as how to simplify it.  This was produced by Ankota's marketing lead Jeremy Hammel (who is also an accomplished filmmaker) and cost roughly $700.  We put this video on our care transitions landing page as a quick way for people to understand care transitions before downloading a more detailed white paper.

Why Care Transitions Are The Next Big Thing In Home Care (<- Click to access the video)

Home Care Marketing Expert Steve "the Hurricane" sends a video out every Sunday night explaining a home care marketing concept.  In Steve's case, his passionate and charismatic presentation style makes video a great way for him to connect.

What do you do to make your agency stand out?

Whether you use video or another approach, it's important for you to find a way to make your agency stand out from competitors.  For more private duty marketing tips, subscribe to the Ankota blog on the upper right corner of this page.

Ankota's newest free care transitions whitepaper, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is now available for download.  Please click the link or the picture blow for tips on how to construct optimal care transitions offerings and sell them to hospital partners in your geographies.

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

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

 

 

Topics: Marketing Home Care, Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions

Home Care Can Help Protect Seniors from Phone Scams

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 10, 2015 9:50:00 AM

My friend Eileen Paddock runs the Elderflower Group in Phoenix. Her mission is to help businesses to better serve the growing community of older seniors, who are often otherwise overlooked and under-served.  She has recently written a series of blog posts at http://elderflowergroup.com/ that focus on phone scammers who prey on the elderly.  Eileen's article below offers a relatively simple way that home care agencies can help their clients deter scammers.

A Strong Voicemail Greeting Can Help Protect Seniors From Scammers

Voicemail

Many seniors have learned the importance of having strong passwords to protect their computer, their data and online banking accounts. But too often, they overlook an important line of defense against telemarketing scam artists—their voicemail greeting.

Within seconds of hearing a voicemail greeting, scam artists can easily determine if they have called a much older adult. In addition, a greeting often reveals that a person lives alone. This combination is a scam artist’s delight, because socially isolated older adults make ideal targets. Often lonely, these seniors are usually more willing to engage in long conversations with strangers, providing scam artists with an opportunity to build rapport and gain trust.

Voices Change With Age

We know that our voices change as we age. This is due to muscle-related deterioration in the voice box and vocal cords. With age, the pitch of a man’s voice becomes higher. The opposite happens for women. By the time most people reach their 80s, their speech becomes noticeably slower. Their voices become thready or thin, with tremors and reduced volume/projection.

Scammers-of-the-Elderly-can-be-Deterred-with-a-strong-voice-mail-greeting

 Outwitting The Scam Artists

Seniors can outwit scam artists by transforming weak voicemail greetings into strong ones. Let’s look at John Smith, who is 88 and lives alone. John’s old voicemail greeting featured his voice, saying:

Hello. This is John Smith. I am not home to take your call right now. Leave a message with your number and I will return your call when I get home.

John’s greeting was weak on two counts—his voice let callers know that he was much older and his words let them know that he lives alone. John strengthened his voicemail greeting with the help of his son, Mark. Now, John’s voicemail greeting features Mark’s deep and booming voice, saying:

 Hi. You’re reached the Smith residence. We’re not available to take your call. Leave a message at the tone and one of us will get back to you when we are free.

Now, when scammers call John’s house, they won’t know they have reached the home of an older man who lives alone. Instead, they will believe they’ve reached a younger family. This isn’t the target that fraudsters are looking for, so John’s number may now get crossed off thescammer’s “hit list.”

Use Two Phone “Lines of Defense”

Telemarketing scam artists work on the “weakest link” principle. They want the easiest access to socially isolated older adults—the people most vulnerable to fall for their scams.

  • A senior’s first line of defense against telemarketing scams is signing up for theDo Not Call Registry.

  • The second line of defense is having a strong voicemail greeting.

 Offer to Help

If you know a much-older senior, listen to their voicemail greeting. If their greeting is weak, offer to help them transform it into a strong one. It only takes a few minutes to help protect seniors from elder financial abuse.

Editor's Note: How Can Home Care Help?

What has your agency done recently to provide something extra or special for your clients?  Maybe you bring cookies, a gift basket or flowers to make a holiday more special.  How about bringing some protection from phone scams.  Why not share Eileen's article with the family members of your clients, and offer to change their parent's voicemail message if warranted?

For more tips on preventing elder abuse? Sign up for the Elderflower Group’s weekly updates at http://elderflowergroup.com (“follow blog via email”).  For additional home care agency best practices, please download The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies.  Just click the link or the picture below.

If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, Elderflower group, elder care

National Association of Home Care (NAHC) Proposes New Positioning "Healthcare at Home"

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 6, 2015 5:11:57 PM

Tim_RowanThis post is shorter than our normal average of 500 words but shares an interesting and compelling message from the NAHC (National Association of Home Care and Hospice) Financial Managers Conference.  We learned of this messaging from Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report

The new messaging is as follows:

  • There are three healthcare delivery sectors:

    • Hospitals

    • Physicians, and

    • Health Care at Home

  • Home Care needs to be viewed as an equal sector and not just a support staff for that other two

NAHC

In Tim's July 1st  newsletter (Volume 5 Number 22) Tim vows to adopt "Healthcare at Home" as the third equal sector of healthcare deliver as messaging that he'll be adopting for the editorial policy of his publications.  Tim further reminds us the following:


  • Home care costs less

  • Treatment at home is the universal preference of people

  • In addition to improving satisfaction and lowering cost, treatment at home can have better health outcomes by helping people to avoid the hospital environment within which there are 200,000 accidental deaths and harm to over 400,000 patients per year.

Ankota supports this positioning.  Avid readers of this blog know that our core belief is as follows:

  • The majority of healthcare spending is on patients with chronic illnesses (illnesses that can't be "fixed" but rather have to be "managed")

  • Hospitals are optimized for dealing with acute illnesses (conditions that can be fixed)

  • We believe that healthcare at home is the best way to improve health outcomes, lower cost and serve the greatest population

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

Ankota's 3rd care transitions whitepaper, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is now available.  Please download click the link or the picture blow for tips on how to construct optimal care transitions offerings and sell them to hospital partners in your geographies.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

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

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, home care technology report, tim rowan

Voice Interfaces are Simplifying Technology for the Elderly

Posted by Ken Accardi on Aug 3, 2015 10:23:00 PM

Laurie_Orlov_photoLaurie Orlov, the principal and editor of Aging in Place Technology Watch (www.ageinplacetech.com/blog) reviews a lot of the technology that becomes available for seniors.  Laurie’s style is pretty direct, often snarky, and a portion of her articles contain the disclaimer “rant on” before explaining why certain tech products and the entrepreneurs that make them miss the mark.  I generally agree with Laurie’s take on things and try to learn from her counsel.  One area in particular that irks me is that so many entrepreneurs are building smart phone apps for our octogenarian friends and neighbors.  The trouble is that smart phones are not commonly used by people in their 80s and above.

Several new high-tech devices are approaching seniors in a way that is more intuitive for them.  They use voice commands. Laurie writes about these in her post Speak to us – voice interfaces make the audible difference. We encourage you to read the full article, but here are some highlights of the technologies that are reviewed:

  •    The Amazon Echo (aka Alexa): Plays music, updates you on sports, reads books to you and even tells jokes (they’re all corny and bad, but it’s almost impossible not to say “Alexa – tell me a joke” at least once a day).  Like Laurie, we were an early purchaser of Alexa and everyone in our family loves it.

Amazon-Echo-for_Elder-Care
  •  Ally: gives reminders and dials the phone for you but also can predict future health problems.

  • ·Bloom: Described as a family communication product, Bloom shares pictures, videos and audio messages with elderly family members.

  • ·Onköl: A stylish and unobtrusive box that connects to sensors (such as door opening and getting out of bed) and also monitors phone calls.

  • ·Unaliwear: A watch with voice commands that is like “OnStar” for Seniors.

What Should Home Care Agencies Learn from This Article?

There are several ways that awareness of devices like these can help your agency, as follows:

  • Bringing technology that connects clients and their families can be a way to distinguish your agency from competitors

  • By finding and using technology, you might be able to keep clients in their homes longer by finding the balance between required care and affordability

  • Oftentimes, elderly people are afraid of technology and they have objections like worrying that it’s spying on them, it creates a burden for their loved ones, or they don’t know how to use it.  Finding senior friendly technologies can mitigate those fears

For other home care best practices, download our free white paper, Seven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies.  Just click the link or the picture below to download.  Plus, we’d love to hear about the technologies and practices that are helping the seniors that you help to care for.  Please contact us, to share them.

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_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions, laurie orlov

What You Need to Know For A Successful Homecare Agency Start-Up

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 29, 2015 2:29:00 PM

Ginny_Kenyon_Home_Care_Consultant-2One 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).

Preparing to open a skilled home health agency is an intricate process that involves several important decisions and considerations. Just as with any organization start-up, the beginning business years of a home health organization are difficult. For this reason, it’s crucial when planning for your homecare agency start-up to have an effective business plan, sufficient funds to get you through the initial phase, support from others in the industry, and an understanding of relevant demographics and competition.

Creating a Business Plan for Your Homecare Agency Start-Up

The first step toward any successful business venture is to create a well-designed, strategic plan. But before you can do that, you need to research. Find out what’s required by state and federal agencies regarding licensing, as well as what the laws are about elder care in your area. Once you’ve done sufficient research, you can better plan for getting everything accomplished in a timely manner. Come up with a schedule based on when you want to open and the time frame of each required step. It’s often best to start with the items that will take the longest so that you can work on other items while waiting for feedback and/or approval.

Startup_Name_Tag_Ankota_Home_Care_blog

Securing Sufficient Funds for Your Homecare Agency Start-Up

Because licensing can take a substantial amount of time – sometimes up to a year – for skilled home health agencies, it’s important to have enough funds to cover not only start-up expenses, but also to cover the day-to-day costs of running your organization. While some states may complete the licensing process in a shorter amount of time – such as Florida, whose time frame is four months – there may be some time when you will care for clients without receiving reimbursement. Additionally, skilled home care agencies are required to see ten Medicare clients for free in order to establish services, so be prepared with enough cash flow to support this requirement.

To combat the potential problems that waiting for licensure can cause, consider paying for accreditation from Joint Commission or CHAP while obtaining your license. Agencies that achieve accreditation from such an organization receive deemed status and meet Medicare and accreditation requirements at the same time.

Seeking Support for Your Homecare Agency Start-Up

Through the challenges that come with muddling your way around legal requirements, Medicare and state standards, and other issues involved with a homecare agency start-up, it’s beneficial to be part of a support system. Look for and join both national and state organizations in the industry that provide a source of readily-available information. Doing so will ease your mind and help make the entire process go a bit more smoothly.

Evaluating Demographics, Competition for Your Homecare Agency Start-Up

Finally, before opening your doors you’ll want to research and evaluate the demographics in your desired area, as well as any existing competition. Is there a market for your home health agency? Is there room for your organization among competitors? Recently there has been a rise in both diversified hospices and private-duty organizations offering skilled home health care. Research the agencies in your area to determine which ones provide similar services so you can properly judge the amount of competition you’ll face.

With today’s competitive market, achieving a lasting homecare agency start-up is challenging. Research and planning are crucial steps toward success in your endeavors. Consider the points we’ve mentioned here, and the process will be much easier to navigate.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR A SUCCESSFUL HOMECARE AGENCY START-UP first appeared in Kenyon HomeCare Consulting blog.

Ginny Kenyon is the founder and CEO of Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, a home health consulting firm that gives agencies a market advantage, promotes creative product development, and offers viable ways to achieve and sustain organizational and fiscal success.

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Ankota's latest care transitions whitepaper, entitled "Selling Care Transition Services to Hospitals" is now available.  Please download click the link or the picture blow for tips on how to construct optimal care transitions offerings and sell them to hospital partners in your geographies.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Ankota_Why_Care_Transitions_is_the_Next_Big_Thing_In_Homecare

If you'd like to schedule 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, Ginny Kenyon, home care marketing

Services for the Elderly & Home Care are the Fastest Growing Industries

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 27, 2015 1:22:00 PM

According to data reported on the CareerOneStop website, the top growing industries in the US are 1) Services for the elderly and disabled, and 2) Home Health Services.  Here's the data: 

home_care_and_elderly_care_services_are_fastest_growing_industries

What Does This Data Mean?

 Readers of this blog know that I always look at the bright side of life.  Here's what this data means to me:

  • The doctors and researchers of the 20th and 21st century have done an awesome job raising the life expectancy

  • Elderly Care Services and Home Care are great industries to be in

  • This affords us a great opportunity, but also a great responsibility

Ankota_Home_Care_blog_-_growth

Thanks for sharing this great industry with Ankota!  If you're interested in learning some home care best practices, please download our free white paper, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies.  Just click the link or the picture below to download.  If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_Home_Care_Agencies

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

 

 

 

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Health Aide Software, Home Care Best Practices, Care Transitions

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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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