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Home Care Heroes Blog

Woohoo! Home Healthcare In A Crisis!

Or: The double edged sword of health care reform

Or: What should YOU-the Home Care Provider (HHC, PD, DME, RT, Infusion ...)-do RIGHT NOW to improve your business.

There are a number of companies, like Ankota, that make their business in various healthcare markets. For many, healthcare reform presents both opportunity and risk.  I recently did an interview on this topic with Elain Pofeldt of the Atlantic Monthly, which you can read here:  http://bit.ly/cNFomN

To be sure, the constant escalation of health insurance premiums affects Ankota like any other business. It consumes financial resources that could otherwise be directed to product development, hiring and fueling the company's growth. Recent legislation adds to that uncertainty, but we were in an uncertain market before, as well.

So why are we so excited? Because our customers' businesses are in crisis. "Seriously?" you say. I don't mean to celebrate any misfortune, but consider what this means for a company like yours as well as Ankota.

Markets in crisis tend to exhibit certain behaviors. Businesses in crisis tend to innovate. They find new and more productive ways to manage their business. They are less likely to stick to old, inefficient ways. Or they die. They find ways to cut spending and reduce operating expenses.  They leverage technology to improve efficiencies, to utilize staff better, and to get rid of old, tedious (and often paper-based) methods. In short, they look to do more with less. And markets in crisis are motivated to act immediately.

Companies making decisions to spend money in this type of environment do it for one reason: to become more profitable. Often times, they do it just to survive. They hold would be vendors to a very high standard, saying,

"Don't waste my time: Show me exactly how you are going to save me money, help me bill faster, or increase my revenues."

They want immediate, quantifiable results and they want to pay for enabling technology as they use it (like current subscription based models). They won't spend a lot of money today to see nebulous returns a year or two down the road.

The exciting news for Ankota and other Health IT companies is that companies in the home care ecosystem are under extreme pressure to improve productivity immediately. A business in crisis is motivated to act. Winning technologies will help them cut operating costs by better planning and delivering home health care. The providers who adapt and innovate will ultimately thrive.   

The exciting news for those that provide home health care (Certified or Private Duty) and related services (such as RT and Infusion), and those companies that deliver home medical equipment (HME/DME), pharmaceuticals and supplies, is that there are a number of ways you can immediately improve your business:

  • Get rid of paper-based processes such as scheduling and reporting. Use technology to plan schedules and routes for your mobile staff and vehicles more efficiently.
  • Coordinate Care Plans with the staff and resources needed for execution. Good intentions are not enough. Efficient follow through and execution are critical.
  • Keep track of work performed in real time via technology such as "telephony" that anyone with a cell phone can use. This is inexpensive and requires no additional investment in equipment. Whatever telephony solution you choose, make sure that it is integrated with the care plan and schedules.
  • Measure your performance. Much of the technology mentioned above will begin to help collect the data such as time and cost information that you need to measure performance. This will lay the foundation for continuous improvement.

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