Between new health care regulations, ongoing changes in Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements and day-to-day patient care, finding the time to make large organizational shifts within a homecare agency can seem daunting. It’s no wonder many agencies delay these changes month after month. But what if we could boil down the secret to homecare agency success into five key areas?
By following the tips below, you can successfully manage a homecare agency and increase your bottom line one baby step at a time.
1. Stay Current on Regulations
Staying up to date on regulations can often make the difference between running a successful agency and one subjected to constant audits, which can lead to foreclosure.
With so much flux, it can sometimes be tempting to simply overlook the need for well-documented policies and procedures. However, homecare policy and procedure manuals play a central role in your agency. Also, once you create the manuals, you can easily update them on a bi-annual or annual basis. In addition, your home care manual can help make your company’s core mission more accessible to employees as well as set crucial administrative policies.
Due to the constant change in the homecare industry, remaining be up-to-date with both state and federal regulations on both a state and federal level is crucial. Join industry associations and clubs to stay updated on evolving regulations in your state.
2. Setting Up Payment Best Practices
Nothing is more important to the profitability of your agency than creating a standard billing and payment practice. It’s important to know that Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans pay for services that home health agencies provide.
Payment from these sources often depend on whether the care was deemed medically necessary and if the individual meets specific coverage criteria. In some cases, individuals may decide to pay directly for services not covered.
You can also look into receiving special funding from state and local governments and community organizers. This funding can cover the costs of needed care when other options do not exist.
3. Qualify Your Staff
Hiring qualified staff remains one of the most challenging tasks of running a successful homecare agency. With HR compliance regulations changing from state to state, knowing who to hire and what standards they should meet can quickly become a headache. Instead try consolidating all their required annual testing through one facility to streamline the process.
Our clients find that when using a single provider to conduct testing, most results are delivered in under 72 hours. Also, maintaining records in compliance with HIPAA regulations not only saved them hundreds of hours but also ultimately lowered their bottom line by avoiding auditing fees.
4. Embrace The Tech Race
It’s official: the technology race is on. From patient use to management software, technology revolutionizes the way in which the homecare industry operates.
New technological advances have already decreased patient readmissions. Improved reimbursement and an increase in quality of care saves homecare agencies thousands of dollars and ultimately increases productivity.
With many states moving to value-based payment systems, homecare agencies must maximize efficiencies in all areas of your business. Also, integrate technology that tracks crucial metrics in order to avoid penalties. Subscribe to Homecare Technology Associations and Homecare Technology magazines to stay current with emerging software, gadgets and solutions that could be the deal-maker for your agency.
5. Get Cases Quickly
When running a homecare agency, your day can quickly become filled with scheduling workers, following-up on patient care and of course, the never ending billing process. Who has time for marketing?
The trick for easy marketing in the homecare space? Set up a strong referral network in which referral sources send you business on an ongoing basis. This way, instead of chasing new business, that business constantly chases after you. Brainstorm a list of top professionals who can serve as potential referral sources for your agency. These may include doctors, hospitals and senior centers etc.
Finally, don’t forget to incorporate other third party businesses who also cater to a similar population. This might mean adding churches, community centers and organizations who also work with the elderly. Consider networking with care managers, financial planners and long term care agents. Before you know it, you won’t be able to keep up with the new business at your door.
Love these tips? Contact Mobile Health to find out how our easy online scheduling, 24/7 Client Portal access and expedited exam results can enhance homecare agency success by clearing staff for work faster. From physical examinations for employment to employer drug testing, we can tailor an occupational health program to your agency needs.