5 Biggest Challenges for Home Health Care Agencies
Quality care and patient satisfaction are two of Home Health Care agencies’ top priorities. At times there are pain points that prevent providers from delivering on those priorities. Every industry has them, those challenges faced by all and overcome by few. That’s why we created a list of the top 5 challenges Home Health Care is currently facing, and how technology can help.
- Attracting and retaining talented staff has been ranked as the top challenge by Home Health agencies for several years. The ICA Group estimates that the Home Health Care industry will need to recruit and train 13 million new caregivers to meet demand by 2024. With an average turn-over rate of 64% — reported by Home Health Care News — saying it is difficult to maintain enough staff is an understatement. Without sufficient staffing levels, you cannot admit more patients, thereby restricting the expansion of your business. Turning down patients can also negatively affect your relationship with referral partners. If your caregivers are stretched too thin, it can produce further turnover in your agency. Shortage of staff can also result in staff and patient frustration, often resulting in inferior patient care and lower patient satisfaction scores.
How technology can help: Leveraging technology can help improve efficiencies across the board. This will help to reduce staff turnover, attract more skilled employees, and turn agencies into preferred providers.
- The Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) was introduced in 2020 and it is the most comprehensive payment reform for Home Health in the last in 20 years. To be successful, agencies needed to evaluate and address almost every aspect of their operations to keep their cashflow at a sustainable level.
How technology can help: Having a solution in place for PDGM ensures documentation is not only consistent, but complete and compliant. This will help manage finances and ensure that all new goals are being met while also providing agencies more visibility into their bottom line.
- An increase in Low Utilization Payment Adjustments (LUPA), especially during the current public health emergency, is causing a dramatic loss of revenue. According to the NAHC survey, 52% of home health agencies with below national average LUPAs in March 2019 reported at least a tripling of LUPAs in March 2020. Roughly two-thirds of agencies reported at least a doubling of LUPAs.
How technology can help: With checkpoints in place, agencies can ensure they achieve their full episode amount with Patient LUPA thresholds prominently displayed throughout the system.
- Poor Documentation can lead to revenue loss. According to the United States Office of Inspector General, it was found that more than 90% of the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) audit denials of high-risk home health agencies were based on “insufficient documentation.” Review Choice Demonstration, ADRs, state surveys, and audits open up risk for revenue loss because of poor documentation that doesn’t substantiate the necessity for Home Health.
How technology can help: With a Home Health Care technology solution, agencies will improve efficiency by automatically syncing visit documentation, including verified start and end times. This helps to reduce documentation errors, improves accuracy, and saves time spent on documentation.
- Home Health Compare Star Rating is a concern, and it can change every quarter. The rating is based on quality care and patient satisfaction. Without it, an agency’s reputation could be at risk, making referral sources unhappy and causing a decrease to census. Hospitals are narrowing their networks to the highest quality Home Health agencies, and yet, Home Health Care News reported that only 5% of Home Health Agencies have earned a 5-Star Rating.
How technology can help: By facilitating collaboration with providers across the continuum, a Home Health Care solution solves all of these pain points and improves patient care and outcomes, achieving a higher star rating and preferred provider status.
So, what can you do to overcome these challenges and ensure you become a preferred provider? Implementing a new technology solution helps you to combat each of these pain points and as a result, creates better quality care and patient satisfaction.
August 20, 2020