Managing Home Healthcare in a New Business Climate

Healthcare is going through a fundamental transformation, and homecare providers are in the forefront of these powerful changes.

As part of its 2018 State of the Industry series, HomeCare took a deep dive into the changing landscape of home healthcare providers. In the article, HomeCare identifies several forces driving the changes in the healthcare landscape:

Awareness, Respect, and Use of Home Healthcare is Increasing

As demographics change, the demand for in-home healthcare continues to grow. In the article, Bill Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, predicted new healthcare providers will continue to enter the market, and healthcare providers will expand to new parts of the marketplace.

“Those participants range from the traditional type to those with disruptive-focused approaches that could revolutionize homecare,” Dombi said. “The transition to a world of health care directed towards the community and away from institutions is accelerating, and it will be a world with nearly endless opportunities and variation.”

Researchers from the Yale School of Public Health found the number of home healthcare providers has increased, but coverage is not consistent across geographic areas. As technology improves, healthcare organizations will lean on new tools to meet the needs of more remote patients.

Healthcare Depends on High-Quality Communication Tools

Patients in this new business climate are looking for more transparency from their healthcare providers. Traditionally, healthcare organizations have struggled with legal, technical, and cultural barriers to transparency, but they will need new ways to navigate these challenges if they want to meet patient needs going forward.

“Agencies will need to show they are delivering the right personalized services to each patient, particularly as states and MCOs put a greater emphasis on quality versus quantity,” said Scott Schwartz of homecare management software provider HHAeXchange.

To meet these needs, leading healthcare providers are rolling out new tools and features to patients. Some organizations are working to improve transparency in pricing, while others are working to make their quality performance results more available to the public.

Data and Analytics Will Play a Major Role in the Future of Healthcare

Healthcare is one of many industries benefiting from the data analytics revolution. Corina Tracy,  executive vice president and chief operating officer for hospice provider Compassus, said she expects predictive analytics to play a bigger role in preparing providers—and patients—for difficult conversations about end-of-life care.

“It’s a high-risk and emotional conversation to have, but it’s necessary to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time. Arming clinicians with data, such as predictive analytics, would provide them with something objective to trigger that conversation with the patient,” Tracy said. “Some sort of statistical judgment in prognostication would add a lot of value not only in terms of cost and utilization of the system but most importantly to patients and families by giving them time to understand and meet their life closure matters.”

Hospice care is one of several healthcare sectors that will benefit from this increased focus on data. Healthcare providers are finding many uses for data analytics, including gathering data via Fitbits and Bluetooth sensors, using remote consultation platforms for telemedicine, and faster approvals for billing and payment.

The Role of Mobile Workforce Management in a New Business Climate

Emerging technology gives in-home healthcare providers new, innovative ways to manage care. In order to take full advantage of these new capabilities, providers have to take a closer look at how they schedule and manage caregivers.

Improving mobile worker scheduling for home healthcare means:

  • Replacing inefficient manual processes with automated, intelligent systems
  • Owning the patient experience from start to finish
  • Empowering your healthcare professionals to manage their own schedules

“Change is as inevitable as the sun rising and setting each day. I have seen many of our MAMES members thrive in these changes, as they have themselves transformed their businesses to take advantage of the changes in our industry, “said Rose Schafhauser, executive director of the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services & Supplies (MAMES), in the HomeCare article.

Read the full article to learn more about how the in-home healthcare market is changing, and download the Skedulo ebook to learn how to make mobile worker scheduling a competitive advantage for your organization.