The Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management Blog

The Right Path to Paying Home Care Caregivers $15/hour or More

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 21, 2016 10:30:00 AM

There's been a lot of talk and press about getting home care caregivers to a $15/hour wage, which equates to an annual income of roughly $30,000 per year. There's even a movement called Fight for $15 that is organizing strikes and lobbying efforts to raise the minimum wage. According to this page on payscalecom, the present median hourly wage is $10. The silicon valley darling home care company Honor is paying wages in this range and they're able to do it because they charge more and justify their higher wage with a tech-enabled better experience.  But as long-time home care expert Stephen Tweed points out in this article, a rate increase of this nature would not be affordable to seniors or to Medicaid waiver programs and would likely put home care companies out of business.  I agree that caregivers should be able to receive a living wage, but I don't think that many people will be able to afford Honor, and I agree with Stephen that if we do home care the way that we've always done it and raise the wage to $15, that it won't work.

Maybe We Shouldn't Do it the Way We've Always Done It?

Blockbuster video storeAs a comparison, let's look at the movie rental industry...  There was a time not long ago when we went to Blockbuster to rent videos.  We would go there and browse through shelves of VHS tapes, and later CDs to see what movie we might want to watch.  There were Blockbusters pretty much everywhere and I'd imagine that the leadership in Blockbuster thought that their business model would live forever. It didn't work out that way and Blockbuster is now gone, replaced by Redbox, Netflix and other on-demand services.  We didn't stop renting videos, we just do it in a different way.

Can we do Home Care a Different Way?

First of all I believe that home care is a fantastic industry that needs to grow and not die, and I would go as far as to say that there is no way that the home care industry can fail.  But by the same token, the movie rental industry didn't fail either - only the video rental store model failed. Skeptics at this point might argue that the failure of Blockbuster and video stores occurred because technology was able to replace people, and that in home care there is no technology that is going to sufficiently help grandma with her bath and toileting.  You'd be right, there is not a way to care for fragile people in their mid-80s and above without people, but I do believe that there's a different way.

How Can We Get to $15 Caregivers?

One way to get to $15/hour caregivers is to change the model of home care from a 1-on-1 experience to shared caregiver experience.  As I've shared a few times, I had knee surgery last summer and was in the hospital for two days.  Over that period of time I had 24-hour care, but the care providers were not in my room for 24 hours. I would hazard a guess that my 24-hour care required less than 2-hours of 1-on-1 care time.  The rest of the time, the care team was helping other patients.

To make this work in home care the concept would be different that it is today.  Instead of sending a caregiver to an individual client's home, what if you sent them to a suburban neighborhood where they could care for numerous clients in a one-mile radius, or in a city to care for multiple elderly clients in the same building.  With a model like this, clients could pay less for their care because other neighbors are paying too, and caregivers can be paid more because there's more money coming in to pay them.  Making this model work would involve a lot of technology because you'd have to look at proximity for emergency support, making sure that caregivers have sufficient breaks, clients are charged fairly based on their acuity and other factors.

TNGCrewSeason2.jpgTying back to the Blockbuster saga, the movies are still the main attraction and what we're paying for.  In this new home care model, the caregivers are still the star of the show and they'll need to do more work during their shift, but ultimately they'll be able to get paid more and have a life outside of work, and we can have an affordable and sustainable care model.

Will Your Home Care Software Take you into the Next Generation?

 

If your home care software company isn't thinking about and talking to you about how you can compete in an age with more clients but fewer caregivers, or if they're thinking that the new models of payment for post-acute care won't affect you, it might be time for new software.  Please contact us if you're ready for next generation home care software. If you're not ready yet, that's fine but consider subscribing to our blog on the upper right of this screen to learn more.

If you're interested in learning more ways to improve revenue, check out our free white paper, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry.  If you're interested in learning more, just click the link to download.

If you're interested in learning more about our home care management software solutions, or about our Care Transitions solutions, just click the button below: 

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_Why Care Transitions is the Next Big Thing in Home Care_White_paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for 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, Aging in Place Technology, Home Care Technology, Care Transitions

Longevity is More Related to Health Than to Age

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 18, 2016 10:00:00 AM

old-age-957492__340.jpgUniversity of Chicago Study recently concluded that age is not the best predictor of mortality, and instead you should look at the person's healthMore specifically the study looked at mobility, sensory function, mental health and healthy behaviors and concluded that a sedentary isolated 75-year old with a bad diet might be closer to death than an 85-year old salad-eating person who walks with friends everyday.  The study implies that mobility and social engagement are better indicators of longevity than blood pressure and cholesterol.

Sadly, a related NPR story is concluding that baby boomers (the oldest of whom are 70) are going to be sicker seniors that earlier generations.  The NPR story covers a study by the United Health Foundation that compared the 50-64 year old population of today with the same demographic in 1999.  They found significantly more diabetes and obesity, and predicts that 9 percent fewer boomers are going to be likely to report good or excellent health.

What Does this Mean for Home Care?

Based on the above studies, I'd be inclined to search for a home care provider who is going to get my loved one moving and socializing.  Taking this to more of a basic level, you need to be able to answer the question "Why should I choose your agency?"  We've seen and admired agencies who differentiate because of their focus on fall prevention, and seen some agencies who differentiate by providing special treats on holidays.  Your differentiation should ideally be something that you're passionate about.  First and foremost, make sure to differentiate some way

This is one of the habits in our 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.

 

 

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

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices

7 Deadly Sins of Going it Alone when Starting a Home Care Agency

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 14, 2016 8:30:00 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).

Starting a new homecare agency or launching a new business line in your existing organization can be a tricky process. There are layers upon layers of details to handle, and going about it on your own leads to frustration and, oftentimes, failure. In this article, we’ll focus on seven deadly sins of starting homecare without professional help. Many homecare owners unknowingly commit these mistakes when attempting to start a new organization or business line alone.starting homecare

 Starting Homecare Without Help 

No one ever means to sin—it’s simply human nature. But when it comes to launching a new homecare agency or business line,there’s something you can do about it. Here are the seven deadly sins that a professional consultant helps you avoid.

1. Failing to Establish Effective Processes

Without the right procedures in place and easily accessible to all staff, situations can quickly turn into chaos. Start your agency off on the right foot by establishing detailed processes for every aspect of your business.

An experienced homecare professional guides you in the right direction to define and refine which processes will work best for your particular agency type or new business line.

2. Ignoring the Needs of Your Community

Your efforts will be wasted if no one in the community benefits from your services. But it’s not always easy to know exactly what your neighbors need or want. Working with an expert familiar with your area’s demographics and the homecare industry gives a better understanding of which services to offer.

3. Stealing Your Staff’s Future

Of course you don’t intend to steal the hopes and dreams of your team members. But that’s exactly what happens when you fail to provide the best training and education needed to provide excellent care while advancing their careers. To give your staff unsurpassed knowledge, consider an online education program run by industry experts.

4. Breaking the Policies and Procedures Commandments

Part of creating a successful homecare organization is obtaining complete up to date policies and procedures manuals. These manuals must include federal and state regulations and accreditation standards necessary for compliance and superb client care. If you’re not sure of all that must be included to be industry compliant, work with a professional to customize manuals for your agency.

5. Disobeying the Law

Legal regulations are a source of irritation for most of the homecare industry. But they are absolutely necessary to ensure quality care, to weed out any “bad apples,” and to continue to grow your business.

Unfortunately, this is no easy task since each state has different regulations. A homecare consultant knows what’s required in your state and is able to help your agency be compliant.

6. Practicing Poor Ethics

Being ethical in business is always important, but it’s even more crucial when you work with the sick and elderly. Making sure your staff knows the correct principled way to provide client care and what’s improper is vital. An industry expert understands how to help your agency avoid unwanted ethical issues.

7. Being Stuck in Your Old Ways

Probably one of the biggest reasons for homecare failure is the lack of willingness to change. When starting homecare or a new business line, your consultant will guide your decisions, encourages you to be flexible and helps you see how change leads to new opportunities.

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we will support every aspect of your starting homecare journey. From marketing to policies and procedures, we have the experience necessary to prevent you from committing any of these seven deadly sins of starting homecare without professional help. Reach out to us to schedule a time to learn more!

This article, 7 DEADLY SINS OF STARTING HOMECARE WITHOUT PROFESSIONAL HELP 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

4 Takeaways from a United Health Foundation Study

Posted by Jed Hammel on Jul 11, 2016 10:30:00 AM

The United Health Foundation recently published an in-depth study on the health of seniors in the U.S.  Here's the link for the entire report, but as a start, here's a quick rundown taken from the report to help whet your appetite:

"The 2016 America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report provides a comprehensive analysis of senior population health on a national and state-by-state basis across 35 measures of senior health. Now in its fourth year, it continues to serve as a resource for individuals, community leaders, policymakers, public health officials, and the media to benchmark each state’s performance on key measures ofUS-Healthcare-Scorecard-successes.png health and wellness for the senior population."

The study reveals a number of findings that some of us may find surprising, while for others, the findings may reinforce what they already experienced.  

Again, I strongly suggest reading the full report here, as there are too many key takeaways to share, but here are a few as a start:

  • Preventable Hospitalizations are Down 9%

  • Teeth Extractions in Seniors is Down 8%

  • Hip Fractures in Seniors are Down 5%

  • Home Health Care Up 18%

As you can probably surmise, health care and home care will continue to work together in the future.  

Our white paper, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry addresses this from a bit of a different angle.  If you're interested in learning more, just click the link to download.

If you're interested in learning more about our home care management software solutions, or about our Care Transitions component as a way to increase revenue, just click the button below: 

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_Why Care Transitions is the Next Big Thing in Home Care_White_paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for 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, Aging in Place Technology, Home Care Technology, Care Transitions

What Caregivers Should Know About the Elderly and Their Health

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 7, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Today's guest blogger is Rachelle Wilber (see her bio below)

Some people believe that healthcare is a universal right, while others disagree. One thing is for certain - better education can lead to a healthier, more productive life. People, (especially the elderly) who are educated about how their body works, and what things affect them, can more easily avoid sickness and properly treat illnesses that come up. After all, having a better chance of increasing their own state of wellness makes it easier to keep them healthy. Taking a quick look at a few things that be of great benefit to a patient’s health in the later stages of life can be a great source of help and ideas.

Delicate Balance

hands-216982_960_720-1.jpgAll health is delicate, but the health of the elderly can sometimes be a little bit more tricky. When it comes to the elderly, healthcare still hinges on education. When dealing with a patient that has a condition or specific ailments, it’s important to learn as much about their medical background as possible. Asking them about their health over the years can yield some information to go off of. However, their concrete medical background can yield crucial information that they may not remember. After all, no one of any age can remember their entire medical history. With their permission, take an in-depth look at their medical history to ascertain what would be the best treatment plan for them. For instance, if someone was a former smoker and has COPD symptoms, it may be best to treat them in a similar manner. Of course, consult with your colleagues and advisors to determine what the best course of action for their individual situation would be.

Educating the Elderly

educate.jpgThe aged are especially vulnerable to illness and disease unfortunately. They are exposed to more bacteria and viruses due to being in close quarters with other residents or patients. Their immune systems can sometimes be a little delicate and therefore, sickness can be more prevalent and common. There is already a well-understood need to educate them about general matters concerning their health, but more should be done to educate them about specific areas of their own health that they have control over. Educating them about the health of their communities is also important. For instance, obesity is a topic of concern for many people, and here in America, people aren't given more healthy food choices and adequate opportunities to exercise. Educating the elderly about their exercise options can make them happier, healthier, and help them feel more like themselves.

Preventative Care

The general trend in medicine is to treat conditions after they have manifested symptoms. Often times, it's already too late to reverse the course of bad habits and certain illnesses that weren't dealt with at early stages. This is especially important to consider when it comes to older folks’ health. Make sure they aren’t putting off medical care until there is an absolute emergency at hand. An individual who has an RN or MSN degree explain the importance of preventative care can really help overarching healthcare concerns. The failure to recognize medical issues due to a lack of education is inexcusable in our modern society. There is a saying - "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This statement rings true when more people are educated about common illnesses and the importance of preventative healthcare.

Education leads to cures. Scientists and medical professionals study ways to prevent and better treat illnesses on a daily basis. Yet, the average person can also use education as a tool to enhance their quality of life. The elderly deserve a better quality of life, and it’s up to their medical personnel to give them the tools to do so. Knowledge is power, especially when health is concerned.

Today's guest blogger is Rachelle Wilber.  Rachelle is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Rachelle recommends researching an RN to MSN online degree for more information. Follow her on Twitter (@RachelleWilber) and Facebook.

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If you're interested in scheduling a live demo of our software solutions, just click the button below or to read about other suggestions od how to differenntiate your business, click the image below to receive "7 Habits of Private Duty Home Care Agencies":

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.

 

 

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

Topics: Private Duty Agency Software, Home Care Best Practices, June Newsletter

7 Reasons Why You Should Choose Care at Home

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jul 5, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Today's guest post is by Maggie Drag.  About the author: Maggie Drag is an owner and founder of a homecare agency located in central Connecticut. With over 27 years of experience in the industry, Maggie shares her knowledge and tips about care at home.  Visit homecare4u.com to learn more about Maggie Drag.  Enjoy Maggie's article and feel free to comment below!

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There is a number of significant reasons why you should invest in care at home for your loved ones. In-home care offers, one on one care to your loved one and peace of mind for your family.  Here are 7 reasons why you should choose care at home:

Professional Care

Depending on the person’s condition, there are cases when friends or family members are not able to provide the proper care. For example, dementia or Alzheimer’s requires intensive professional training and experience working with such patients. It can be dificult for family or friends to devote the time in proper training, attending classes, and balance their already busy life. If your loved one has the need for special equipment or medication reminder, a skilled in-home caregiver will be there to help as well.

Continuous Coverage

Without care provider, you won’t be able to guarantee that someone is always there for your loved one. If an emergency occurs, what will you do? What if you don’t feel well? What if you want to go for vacation or even simple grocery shopping? With a live-in or hourly home care, your loved ones are in safe hands 24/7. 

A Friendly and Safe Home Environment

What other place is safer and cozier than the home? Being home lets the person in need feel more comfortable and independent. In fact, medical evidence shows that care at home helps to recover faster.  Having a loved one in a nursing home or specialized care facility can be tough for both sides: limited visiting hours, different environment, and unfamiliar food. Home is the best place for your family to come and visit during holidays and any other times. 

Time for Yourself and Your Work

hands-216982_960_720.jpg

Choosing in home care allows you give time to yourself, your family, and your job.  Everyone needs a break sometime!

 One On One Care

No other method of care, other than one on one, will provide as much attention and thorough care as in home.  One on one care provides comfort and safety, no matter where you are. Even simple chores and daily routine are fitted exclusively for the person’s needs. 

That WOW Cost

If you haven’t done the research yet, you may be surprised to find out how much nursing homes or facilities charge per day. To give you some idea, the costs can range from $400 to $700 per day if not more! Staying at home and hiring in-home care provider saves families more than 50% of the total cost.

Nutritious and Healthy Home Made Meals

Proper nutrition is especially important for people with diagnosis like diabetes, congestive heart failure, and stroke. In-home care attendants help in meal preparation while making sure the diet and nutrition intake are properly followed according to the needs.

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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

Are Healthcare Aide Education Tools Worth The Money?

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 30, 2016 8:30:00 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).

Online aide education is something many healthcare organizations consider, but may not fully understand the benefits or consider this type of education valuable. Many wonder if online aide education tools are worth the cost. We’re here to tell you yes, they’re well worth it!

Online Aide Education Toolsaide education tools

Of all the education tools available today, online learning is perhaps the most effective and efficient. It’s convenient, written by industry experts, regularly updated, easy to access, and saves your agency time and money. Still not convinced? Here are six examples proving that online aide education tools are worth every penny!

1. Saves Time

Why reinvent the wheel? The time spent developing materials and presenting programs to staff is saved when you provide team members with online education tools. This allows you to spend that time growing your business, networking with referral sources and taking care of clients . Remember the saying, time is money!

2. Saves Money and Prevents Hassle

Speaking of money, offering more traditional methods of aide training can quickly break the bank. If you bring in an outside educator, you’re responsible for speaking fees and possibly travel costs for the speaker. Likewise, sending your team members to offsite education events is no less expensive. You pay for their time, accommodations, and other travel fees. And you’ll need to find and pay replacement staff to care for clients in your aide’s absence .

3. Supports Recruitment Efforts

Every business-savvy professional knows the value of an elite staff. Whether you run a clothing shop or manage a homecare organization, the people you hire have the ability to empower or derail growth. Offering online education is an added employee benefit and an effective way to recruit the best.

4. Improves Retention

Once you’ve recruited the best aides, it’s time to work on retaining them. An employee’s happiness and likelihood of sticking around begins with onboarding and a comprehensive orientation. However, this employee investment must persist and become part of the organization’s culture. Providing online aide education gives employees a career path within your organization. Providing advanced knowledge and skills ensures they remain loyal staying for the long-haul.

5. Allows for Specialized Services

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Educating aides beyond the basics opens opportunities that your organization wouldn’t otherwise have—namely, specialized services. And when you have the ability to offer clients specific chronic disease care, you’re able to increase profits. This more than offsets the costs incurred from online aide education.

6. Increases Referrals

Aide education boosts employees’ expertise, confidence and self worth making them happy. Happy aides equal happy clients/families. When clients/families are pleased, they talk which produces more referrals. More clients means more revenue for your organization.

Aide Education Tools And Kenyon Aide University

Our Aide University gives healthcare aides the skills and knowledge necessary to provide five-star client care. It’s the only online aide education program of its kind, and teaches aides:

  • How to recognize red flags and respond appropriately
  • How to prevent trips to the emergency room and hospital admissions
  • How to intervene on a client’s behalf

Educating your aides is crucial for growth, but can be costly. Online aide education is the best solution. Get started and find out more here.

This article, ARE HEALTHCARE AIDE EDUCATION TOOLS WORTH THE MONEY? 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

mmLearn Interview with Ken Accardi on Home Care Trends

Posted by Jed Hammel on Jun 27, 2016 1:30:00 PM

 Ken_Accardi_primary.pngAnkota Co-Founder, Ken Accardi, was recently interviewed by mmLearn.org about his thoughts on the current trends and his vision of the future of home care, healthcare, and technology.

The full interview is available via this link: "Expert Interview Series: Ken Accardi of Ankota on Home Care Software for Caregivers," but as a start, here are a few of the questions he addresses in it:

  • What are the biggest trends or headlines you're following as they relate to seniors and healthcare?

  • What are the most common health problems facing seniors who want to live at home?

  • What are some of your favorite digital tools or apps that help caregivers and patients?

  • What are the most important things seniors and their caregivers can do to help maintain health and happiness?

 

Ken covers a number of other senior-related questions as well so I encourage you to check out the full interview. If you have any questions for Ken, feel free to post them below in the comments or contact him here

Click this link to learn more about Media Shower and their Thought Leader program.

Ankota focuses on home care agencies who are looking to futureproof their businesses with capabilities like those listed above and agencies looking to position themselves to manage care transitions.  Let us know if we can help. 

As a start, you can download our white paper, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry.  Just click the link to download.

If you're interested in learning more about our home care management software solutions, or about our Care Transitions component as a way to increase revenue, just click the button below: 

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_Why Care Transitions is the Next Big Thing in Home Care_White_paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for 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, Aging in Place Technology, Home Care Technology, Care Transitions

The Inevitable Demise of the Certified Home Health Agency

Posted by Ken Accardi on Jun 23, 2016 8:00:00 AM


For those of you who read the Ankota blog, you know that we're very excited about the future of the home care industry.  That hasn't changed one bit, but the industry as we know it today will change dramatically over the coming years and the certified home health agency as we know it today won't be a thing for much longer. Here's what's going to happen instead:
 

  • The Home Care Payer Will Shift from Medicare to the Hospital: This is starting already. Here are two examples.  With the ACO (Accountable Care Organization) model, a health system (combining payer and provider) receives a fixed dollar amount for each patient and they become the payer for all of that patient's care including post-acute care. In the bundled payment model, which went into effect for knee and hip replacements in almost 800 hospitals on 4/1/2016, the hospital receives a fixed fee for the treatment and recovery (and are also financially responsible if there's a rea16205025164_af51bc2026_b.jpgdmission)

  • More Hospital Discharges Will Go to the Home: In 2015 roughly 40% of joint replacement discharges went to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). With Medicare paying the bills, the hospital would determine whether the patient seemed ready to go home after the surgery and if not, would send them to a SNF or other facility.  Now that they're paying out of their own pocket, they're going to send more and more patients home.  This is good for home care because they'll get more referrals, but read on...

  • Successful Care at Home Will Require More that Healthcare:  Certified Home Healthcare Agencies provide nursing, medication oversight and physical, as well as occupational and speech therapy.  These are all important but cost between $80 and $125 per visit and since many of the patients would have previously been sent to a nursing home, the medical services won't be sufficient to meet all of the needs of the patient. Winning agencies will provide the aforementioned skilled care services, plus non-medical care (at $20 per hour), call center support at $5/call, and automated check-ins (such as friendly "robocalls" at 75 cents per call).

  • Value-Based Purchasing is Coming to Home Health: To make matters worse, the value-based purchasing program is moving to home health (we offer a free eBook on the Home Health Value Based Purchasing program). In short, Medicare will rate each agency and the best-scoring agencies will eventually be paid 17% more than the lowest scoring agencies.  This program will drive a significant number of home health agencies out of business.

How to Win

Despite the ominous and inevitable changes described above, this story will have a very happy ending for the agencies that embrace the future and start preparing for it now.  The key will be to optimize around the new models (ACOs and Bundles) even though today they only represent a minority of the cases.

Will Your Agency be Blockbuster or Netflix?

In a recent conference presentation, Bob Fazzi from the home care consulting firm Fazzi Associates, made an analogy between Blockbuster Video and the present state of the home care industry.  As we all know, Blockbuster was a highly successful company where we all had memberships and rented our videos, and now it's gone.  But we still rent videos.  For a while we got them in the mail from Netflix and now for the most part we stream our rental movies and we look for original programming in shows like "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black."  The point here is that Netflix saw the inevitable changes in the way that consumers would want to rent videos and they've changed their model numerous times to continuously adapt.  Home care agency owners have the historic opportunity to do the same.  Those that don't act, will perish.  Those that do act will transform themselves into a new kind of organization that optimize a combination of automation, call centers, non medical care and skilled care in a way that keeps patients/clients at home and minimizes cost.

How Can Ankota Help?

Ankota can help in numerous ways.  If you're a home health agency delivering nursing, PT, OT and Speech Therapy, we can give you the tools to also manage aides and call center personnel and the scheduling capability to optimize across disciplines.  We also offer our Foresight Care service that uses automated phone calls to check in with patients so that you can get early warning signs of preventable hospitalizations.  Please contact us if you would like to learn more.

As I mentioned, wee have a new e-book available for download, Winning with the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Program, that offers further insight on the discussion.  Just click the link or the picture beow to download.

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

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, July 2016 Newsletter

10 Qualities of Successful Homecare Agency CEOs

Posted by Jed Hammel on Jun 20, 2016 10:00:00 AM

 Dr._Travis_Bradberry_Emotional_Intellifence_2.0_-_Ankota_Home_Care_Blog.jpgIn the opening of his article "How Ridiculously Successful People Think Differently," Dr. Travis Blackberry notes: "Successful people come from all walks of life, yet they all have one thing in common: where others see impenetrable barriers, they see challenges to embrace and obstacles to overcome."  

I would guess that most folks starting up, maintaining, or expanding a private duty homecare or home health business understand how true that quote is.  Running an agency is hard, and with economic, competitive, and regulatory factors changing as they do, focusing on innovation and finding ways to differentiate your business is paramount to success.

The way I look at it is that if you adopt that way of thinkng, as well as the habits listed below, homecare agencies can give themselves the best chance for success in the future.

I suggest that you read the entire article here, but as a start, here are 9 qualities that Dr. Blackberry says all "ridiculously successful" people possess:

  • They’re Confident 

  • They’re Composed

  • They’re Honest

  • They Seek Out Small Victories

  • They’re Always Learning

  • They Keep an Open Mind

  • They’re Fearless

  • They Turn Tedious Tasks into Games

  • They Dream Big but Remain Grounded

What would be on your list?  Comment below.  I would add that not only do they embrace change, they seek it out as a way to differentiate.  With that in mind...

Free Webinar on Bundled Payments and Homecare

During this free webinar with Ankota's CEO, Ken Accardi, you can learn "How Homecare Wins in the Bundled Payment Era” happeninhg on Thursday, June 23rd at 1:00 PM EST

Register via this link:  https://curaport.leadpages.co/bundledpaymentshomecarewins/

This Ken_Accardi_primary.pngwebinar is great for home health and home care agency owners, leaders, executive directors, strategy leaders, managers, directors of nursing, operations directors and anyone that wants to be prepared for bundled payments.  This unique webinar will focus on payment models and how they are changing for post-acute care and ongoing chronic care.   These changes necessitate different models of care delivery.  This webinar describes how to win with these new models.

The webinar is being presented by Curaport.  "The Curaport Network brings together news, content, tools, and learning programs from credited, trusted information sources. Curated by a leading group of advisors, consultants, key thought leaders, and content affiliates, Curaport is THE news and information portal for the Healthcare Continuum." 

Register for the Webinar

Sign up by clicking here.

Learn More

Ankota focuses on home care agencies who are looking to futureproof their businesses and agencies looking to position themselves to manage care transitions.  Let us know if we can help. 

You can download our white paper, Why Care Transitions Is The Next Big Thing for the Home Care Industry.  Just click the link to download.

If you're interested in learning more about our home care management software solutions, or about our Care Transitions component as a way to increase revenue, just click the button below: 

Click Here for a Free Demo

Ankota_Why Care Transitions is the Next Big Thing in Home Care_White_paper

Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for 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, Aging in Place Technology, Home Care Technology, Care Transitions

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About Ankota

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

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