Kenyon HomeCare ConsultingGinny Kenyon, Author at Kenyon HomeCare Consulting (206) 721-5091

Kenyon Connects

An Age Of Disruption Part 2

 

An Age Of Disruption Part II

In the previous blog I discussed one of the major changes coming in our world of home health because of the integration of technology and AI [Artificial Intelligence].  That discussion focused on the creation and beginning use of “Carebots”.

Today I want to discuss another major change; integration with AI and memory.  In the link below Tom Gruber discusses what he is calling Humanistic AI.  While this is in its infancy, it will not take long before it is a reality.  He invasions using AI to remember for us so that indignity of dementia and Alzheimer’s will be a thing of the past. Please see the link below.

Additionally, on the horizon is the use of integrated biology, gene therapy and AI to repair the disorders caused by disease so that in the future diseases that are so disabling right now will not exist in the future.  That will be discussed in future blogs.

Enjoy!!

Ginny Kenyon

 

Starting Up A Home Health Agency?

Home Health

Starting Up A Home Health Agency?

Starting a home health agency is no small undertaking. In fact, there are several things to consider before your dreams can become reality. Being an agency that offers medical services poses additional concerns that need to be addressed.   Some of the steps that you must accomplish in order to be successful are

  1. You must have a business plan.  Your dream will never become reality if you do not write it down and make sure that what you have written is really what you want and where you want to go.
  2. You must have a plan for how you are going to get competent staff to help make your agency become the agency of choice.  Quality staff are hard to find and keep, so plan, plan and plan some more.

There are many more steps and areas to consider.  Visit Kenyon Connects to find out more.

Help Me Start Up A Home Health / Hospice Agency

There are well over 12,000 home health & hospice agencies in the US, and the industry grew some 4% annually between 2010 and 2015 due to a rapidly aging U.S.. population. For someone with an entrepreneurial spirit to meet the real healthcare needs of people, the homecare industry represents a real opportunity. But, how do you get started? What is involved in a successful homecare agency startup? Seven key areas of concern for every new homecare agency startup are as follows:

1. Vision and Business Plan

Home Health

The first step in starting up your new home health organization is formulating a clear vision of meeting community needs. A detailed community assessment gives you direction and your own background and focus will play into the decision.

There are many types of home health & hospice agencies, some focused only on non-medical daily living assistance for seniors and disabled persons, others equipped with nurses and therapists to take care of medical needs. To make your vision a reality, you need to think and put into writing a detailed business plan and find effective ways of marketing your vision to the community.

2. Licensing Issues

Step two in getting your homecare agency startup off the ground is obtaining all necessary licenses. A good consulting firm, will guides you through this complex legal process and uses experienced senior consultants to expedite the process to licensure.

Your agency will need to be incorporated with a Tax ID. You will also need to obtain a NPI (National Provider Identification) number with Medicare/Medicaid. There are differences in licensing from state to state. Expert guidance helps you properly prepare for successful practice.

3. Medicare Accreditation

Next, as a large portion of your reimbursements will come through Medicare (Parts A and B), you must go through the certification process. This involves a three-day Medicare survey in which your policies/ procedures, record keeping, and clinical practice will be evaluated. Consulting trains and prepares you to pass the first time.

Often times, agencies will choose accreditation from CHAP, ACHC, or JCO instead of the Medicare certification every three years. Accrediting bodies hold agencies to all Medicare Conditions of Participation as well as standards of excellence above and beyond Medicare/ Medicaid.

4. Software Selection

Today’s healthcare industry requires advanced medical equipment and computerized record-keeping. An existing agency may update software systems as needed, however, a homecare startup agency should carefully select the most effective software program to meet their needs. Senior level consultants help with making sure agencies do not make the costly mistake of choosing the wrong software.

5. Preparation of Manuals

To run your agency smoothly from day one, you will need to develop customized administrative policy and procedure manuals, employee handbooks, forms manuals, and other important organizational tools. Optimizing your manuals can save you valuable time and money.

6. Staffing Your Agency

So far, we have defined goals, removed legal barriers, and provided an organizational structure. This is like a naked skeleton. To put flesh and bones on this plan, you next develop effective recruitment and retention strategies. Hiring the well-trained and reputable staff members dedicated to providing top-quality care is key to fulfilling your mission. If you fail to fill your ranks with conscientious staff members, you could retain staff but fail to retain clients. On the other hand, retaining good managers may be a function of your overall policies and standards.

You can hire some staff directly full-time, some part-time, and contract out other specialists as needed. But you must do a thorough background check on anyone who will be working under you agency’s name, to protect patients, to avoid a possible lawsuit, and to protect your agency’s reputation.

7. ICD-10 Readiness

Finally, you should realize cash flow and reimbursement rates depend on efficient, accurate, and complete ICD medical coding practices. You need to train in-house coders or use a 3rd-party ICD-10 coding partner. Your clinicians need extensive documentation training to back up coders and keep everyone on the same page.

Do your homework before starting hiring your consultant. Look at the background of your consulting agency. Do they have expertise in all the items you need to begin your agency? Find the agency that offers specialists in all areas of the process. Are you obtaining access to one individual or a team of individuals working for you?

To accomplish all of the above and more for a successful homecare agency startup, you should invest in homecare consulting services such as those offered by Kenyon HomeCare Consulting. To learn more about Kenyon’s start-up packages, which cover everything from A to Z and are run by senior administrators with 20-plus years of experience, contact Kenyon online or call 206-721-5091.

ANNOUNCING A NEW PARTNERSHIP

Partnership

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting is pleased to announce that we have partnered with Heffernan Insurance Brokers to enhance our Agency start up packages.  This partnership offers General and Professional Liability Insurance at a remarkably reduced rate; of which Kenyon HomeCare Consulting pays the first year and guarantees through Heffernan Insurance that the reduced rate will remain the same for 3 years. This partnership is another example of Kenyon HomeCare Consulting’s commitment to our customers.

Call for more information:

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting – (206) 721-5091

Heffernan Insurance Brokers – (925) 942-4619

 

The Future Of Home Health

Home Health

I would like to let you know what I heard and how the future of home health will look.  About eight years ago a physician out of John Hopkins did a demonstration study called Hospital at Home.  Though the number in the study was low the outcomes and the savings to Medicare were significant.

So far I have seen very little movement toward implementing this as a standard for home health until the 2017 CAHSAH conference.  In one of the networking meetings, I met a gentleman who said that he wanted to start up a Hospital at Home. Finally!!  My vision for the future of the home health industry is that all home health agencies will have three divisions; the Acute team, the sub-acute team, and the chronic team.

Acute Team

The Acute team will be made up of acute care nurses, specially trained aides, emergency level physicians, pharmacists, and therapists. Infusion and respiratory services will be available if needed patients will be referred from the emergency room to the team who will meet the patient back at home after the ER has done the stabilization of the patient.  The nurse and the MD will do a joint assessment that establishes the plan of care.  The first two to three days will have around the clock nurses, gradually passed off to hourly aides a week or less.

Sub-Acute team [currently the home health team]

If the patient is stable and reasonably self- sufficient, they will be pass to the sub-acute team which will see daily X two and every other day for 4 days.   If not a chronic condition dc if patient is managing and acute issue is resolved.  If the patient has a chronic disease that has resulted in repeat ER or hospital stays, the patient is referred to the chronic team whose job is to prevent any further emergent care issues.

Chronic Team

The Chronic care team has a Geriatric Care Manager, a physician and aides.  All aides are assigned based on their preparation and the needs of the patient.  Some patients will need ongoing aide support and others will need only the skilled nurses and physician oversight.  Services will be dependent upon need and may vary over time.

 

Ginny

Electronics And Apps For The Universal Home

Electronics and Apps

Last week we talked about the design elements that are being incorporated into home designs and remodels that make a home livable for all ages and needs.  Today we are going to discuss the emerging electronics and apps that will be incorporated as part of the new Universal Home.

Currently there are what I call general use apps that are applicable regardless of age or disability.  These already exist and are in current use.  In the future, these apps will be incorporated as part of the home and will be either voice directed or motion directed.

Most of this technology already exists, but with the rapid advance of technology there will be many more added in the future.

“We’re no longer in the realm of future tech — today you can control and automate your home right from your smartphone without spending a fortune and without a centralized home automation system” Grant Brunner

In the future, these “apps’ will be part of the home construction.  The Universal Home will be “wired” with what we currently can only get through a smartphone app.

Current Apps Available:

Phillip Hue:  This is a lighting system that has the ability to dim, brighten, and change the color of its bulbs on command

Nest Thermostat:  Once you have it installed in your home, you just treat it like a normal thermostat. You turn it up when you’re home, down when you leave, and up again when you wake up. Soon it will learn what your pattern is and you’ll always come home to a house that is the perfect temperature. This kind of learning system is a huge step forward in the smart home.

Wemo:  This is a combination of a switch, a motion sensor, and an iOS app. Once this devices installed in your house, you can control any device you have plugged in right from your iPhone. Did you leave the light on downstairs? Do you want the TV to be on for you when you come home from work? Put it on a timer. With the motion sensor, you can even have everything turn on when you enter a room, and turn off when you leave.

Video Intercom or Smart Door Bell:  A video intercom is great for your house because you can see who’s at your front door before you open it.

Smart Alarm:  The installation of a smart home alarm system will provide security levels at home alerting to potential emergency situations in the home.

Smart Leak Detection:  Detects water leaks from a number of sources ranging from leaking pipes to refrigerators.

Smart Energy Control:  The IL 2.0 paradigm supports a number of energy saving devices ranging from motion sensors and wireless light switches to smart thermostats and energy monitoring units.

Smart Cameras:  cameras allow you to view live video images on your smartphone. Additionally, they can be configured to record live video when an alarm is detected.

 Current apps specifically for seniors that in the future will be a standard part of the Universal Home:

  • Smart stove alarms alert older adults to potentially dangerous situations in the kitchen. More than just smoke detectors, which only sound when smoke is actually present, new stove alarms sound alerts before toxic gases are produced, helping older adults prevent potential fire hazards.
  • Smart medication pillboxes offer audible or visual cues for older adults to prompt them to take their meds. at the proper time.
  • motion-activated lights that can be installed in the homes of those wishing to live independently. Motion-activated reminders can be installed and customized to the routines of older adults.  For instance, a motion-sensitive device by an entrance way can be set to trigger a reminder for an older person to lock the door or check the identity of the person knocking before opening the door

motion-sensitive device by an entrance way can be set to trigger a reminder for an older person to lock the door or check the identity of the person knocking before opening the door

  • Smart thermostats that can be activated by remote control or even by voice command, thereby eliminating the need to get up to adjust temperature settings. Such devices can also be monitored remotely by caregivers to ensure that temperatures in the homes of older ones remain comfortable and safe.
  • large, high-visibility displays that are both easy to see and manipulate with stiff fingers; key-less entry locks for those with arthritic hands, and curtains or blinds that can be operated with remote control devices.
  • Safety and security features that allow an individual to activate an emergency call to emergency systems
  • ADL Systems: An ADL system will help you age in place by continuously providing key information to your loved ones and caregiver.
  • Health monitoring Wearable: Monitors health status and can report to an emergency provider of family member if there is an identified issue

Our world is changing rapidly. The home of the near future will allow all of us regardless of age or degree of disability to continue to live in our own homes.  Truly aging in place

Ginny Kenyon

Why you want to Blueprint your ACO path

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are networks of doctors, hospitals, home health and providers serving Medicare Fee-For-Service patients. Any Medicare provider can join if measures defined by the ACO and Medicare are met.

An ACO has benefits for providers and patients, but is challenging for providers to successfully execute. In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s crucial to create blueprints for successful ACO participation.Accountable Care Organizations

Benefits of ACO Participation

The goal of ACO’s is improvement in care with decreased cost. With healthcare providers working together, patients experience complete, seamless care alleviating unnecessary emergent care and hospitalizations. Successfully collaborating in an ACO benefits your agency from an organizational and financial standpoint. Medicare gives ACO members with positive outcomes additional reimbursement.

Preparing for ACO Participation

ACO membership isn’t simple and agencies must evaluate process measures. There are quality measures and outcomes required for participation. Once you’ve joined, the ACO must maintain and improve benchmark data to receive financial perks. Here are criteria of an ACO.

Eligibility Requirements

To participate, agencies should know how Medicare defines an ACO. Here are a few stipulations:

  • See at least 5,000 Medicare Fee-For-Service patients;
  • Three year participation minimum;
  • Be in good standing with Medicare;
  • No other participation in shared reimbursement plans with Medicare.

ACO’s also require a governing body responsible to promote use of evidence-based medicine, patient engagement, and quality and cost reporting.

Benchmarks

Once your agency meets initial outcome measures, the ACO as a whole must exceed Medicare benchmarks to maintain additional financial reward. Benchmarks developed by CMS measure ACOs for outcomes and cost savings . If savings are discovered, Medicare shares a portion with participating providers. This means you must ensure staff is well-trained and communicates with other providers in the ACO. Successful collaboration decreases duplication of care and testing, emergent care visits, hospitalizations, and ultimately cost.

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting

It’s clear joining an ACO benefits your agency, but getting there is a challenge. At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we know the steps you’ll take to succeed in an ACO. Schedule a consultation to get started.

The New Private Duty Home Care Economy And The Rules

Private Duty

Private Duty Home Care Economy

It’s no secret that our economy has changed in crucial, fundamental ways that are redefining what it means to be successful in private duty home care. Competition has increased in some markets as people displaced from other industries see private duty home care as an attractive business opportunity. Consumers are less likely to purchase high-hour services, and nervously seek cheaper, untrained, unsupervised alternatives to what professional private duty home care companies provide. Marketing has emerged as a full-time role for Private Duty home care companies that wish to become known as preferred providers with a recognizable brand. Overhead has increased in the form of regulation and oversight, increased expectations of consumer families, due diligence in hiring and orientation, and the requirements for maximum efficiency. Growing your Private Duty home care business, demands that you take several steps to adapt to the new tough economy. Read more…

The Homes Of The Now And The Future; The Universal Home

Universal Homes

The Universal Homes Of The Future

I am hearing more and more about Universal homes these days and it is beginning to appear in home health related news. “Universal design, also called barrier-free design, focuses on making the house safe and accessible for everyone, regardless of age, physical ability, or stature. True aging in place!

When thinking of home design for disabilities, most of us think immediately of ramps and grab bars when we think of accessible housing, but universal design goes far beyond that while remaining largely invisible to the casual observer. In fact, applying universal design concepts such as wider doors and hallways makes a house feel more spacious.”

As Fred Astaire said, “Old age is like everything else,”. “To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” These same principles apply to home design: Plan for all stages of life when remodeling or building, even if you are in perfect health now. You never know what life may throw your way, be it be a minor mishap (breaking your leg) or something more serious (being confined to a wheelchair)”

The most important aspect of Universal Design is flexibility. Remember that technologies are always evolving and your lifestyle is similarly inclined to change at a moment’s notice. Universal Design allows your home to transition with you as life happens rather than forcing you to work around frustrating barriers.

So, what will the home of the future look like?  The following is just a beginning of what I am seeing architects begin to incorporate into home designs:

  • There will be limited use of stairs,
  • lighting systems will be automatic, coming on when someone enters a space and turn off when they leave [motion sensors]
  • large windows, French doors, placed throughout the house to maximize natural lighting. Additionally, the use of skylights and solar tubes to bring in natural light
  • Curbless showers, grab bars designed to look like part of the feature not like an addition, towel and robe hooks next to the shower, recessed storage in the shower for soap, shampoo and conditioner
  • Faucets throughout the house that works with touch or movement
  • Levered handles on doors
  • Soft slide cabinet and drawers that require little effort to open and close
  • Slip resistant floors
  • Cabinets that sit on the counter space for easy access
  • Increased space between areas especially in the kitchen that accommodate a wheelchair or a walker

These are a few of the elements that we will be seeing in all home designs and remodels.  Next week we will cover the expanded use of apps that are being incorporated into the universal home.

Getting Startup Home Care Business Support Will Help Your Dreams Come True Faster With Less Stress

startup home care

If you’re considering starting a home care business or expanding the services you currently offer, there’s a lot you’ll want to know first. You need the right support to help you prepare for everything that’s likely to come your way.

Support for Your Startup Home Care Business

Is it possible to succeed in the home care industry on your own? Sure, but there will be many obstacles along the way.

Working with a professional consultant is a sure-fire way to overcome those obstacles with ease and speed. Thereby helping your dreams become a reality faster with fewer expenses and less stress. Here’s how!

1. Help Getting the Required Tools

Yikes, startups must have employee handbooks, forms and the all important home care manuals. The amount of documents needed for running a thriving—and compliant—home care agency seems to be endless. Going it alone means you’re responsible for creating or compiling these documents, and for finding all the information required for each one.

Instead of spending hours upon hours researching, writing, and editing documents, consider purchasing customizable products from a trusted industry expert. A professional who know exactly what’s required for your business and has experience crafting the documents you need. This helps speed up the process for your startup or new business line so you can focus on other pressing matters.

2. Accreditation and State Licensure Preparedness

Before you can open the doors of your startup home care business, you must be licensed and, depending on your business plan, accredited. An experienced consultant leads you in the right direction, helping you with obtaining your license and becoming accredited.

Through policy revisions, on-site evaluations, and mock surveys, your home care consultant will guide you toward 100 percent preparedness for licensure and accreditation.

3. Industry Knowledge and Professionalism

A world of information is at your feet whether you’re brand new in the home care industry or attempting to grow or save your organization. But wading through all the available info is time-consuming and stressful.

Expert consultants gain extensive knowledge through working with startups and expansions of all sizes and types. They’re in the know about regulations for each type of agency and can steer you towards what works and away from what doesn’t.

4. Hiring and Orientation Assistance

One of the most stressful aspects of a startup home care business is finding the right team to support your goals. The hiring and training process is exhausting, but a trusted expert helps you streamline the process. Thus ensuring you hire people who truly fit your agency’s culture.

Once you’ve secured a team, it’s important to provide sufficient training and orientation. The right consultant offers guidance and tools for turning your employees into an elite staff.

5. Software Expertise

Selecting software that meets all the needs of your startup home care business is a crucial part of success. From client care to billing and scheduling, efficient software is paramount. It helps to keep your organization’s operations running smoothly with as little headache as possible.

When you partner with a knowledgeable home care expert, you receive advice and guidance on choosing the software that best fits your agency’s requirements.

6. Help with All Things Coding

Accurate and efficient coding is vital to the success of your startup home care business. When done correctly, it can mean higher reimbursement for your agency, but when coding falters, so does your revenue.

Obtaining a coding outsourcing partner is a great option for making sure there are minimal errors before billing or submitting claims. It prevents you from needing certified coders and provides documentation and coding education for staff. All while ensuring you receive maximum reimbursements!

7. Guidance for Staff Education

Many home care consulting firms, provide compliant, industry specific staff education and training. This education fulfills requirements, enhances client care, improves employee satisfaction, and sets you apart from the competition.

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting and Your Startup Home Care Business

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we offer everything outlined here, and more. Our consultants are experienced, professional, and knowledgeable. And our Aide University program is the only online continuing education program of its kind.

Contact us to speak with one of our experts!