Consortiums are a fast-growing trend in the health care industry, and many home care agencies want to get in on the action. Becoming a part of these consortiums, however, isn’t easy. Despite the increasing number of consortiums available, most home care agencies struggle to position themselves as a vital partner instead of just another vendor. Standing out among the rest of the home care agencies trying to do the same thing is a huge challenge. But there are many things your agency can do to show health care consortiums that you’ll add value to their members.
The steps you must take depend on your Medicare status. Even if you are a non-Medicare agency, you have several options.
Take Your Training and Employee Education to the Next Level
Consortiums are looking for home care agencies that are on top of the latest research, use the latest tools, and have staff that is educated on the latest home care protocols. That means if you want to position yourself as an ideal partner, you need to put education and employee training at the top of your priority list. Have a higher standard for employee training, and stay up-to-date with the latest technology and insurance requirements.
If you’re a Medicare agency, make sure your certified coders are up-to-date on ICD-9 and educated and trained on ICD-10 coding. If you do not have certified coders and have your supervisors or hospital coders doing your coding, you can outsource the coding to a credentialed home care consultant so that you can keep your management staff focused on their primary role of leadership and mentoring.
Specializing in a niche is another way to position your home care agency as a valued partner. For example, train all of your caregiving staff, especially your home care aides, on the major chronic diseases and the care required for these patients. Focus on the chronic diseases such as diabetes, dementia, and COPD, as these are the ones that statistically are responsible for the majority of the hospitalizations among the Medicare age population. Focus your efforts on becoming an expert in those areas and market your agency as one to the consortiums. If you’re a non-Medicare agency, put some special training into the populations you’ll be serving, such as culinary arts training to cook for orthodox Jewish clientele.
Use the Latest Software
Outdated software doesn’t just hinder your ability to effectively run your home care agency. It also won’t allow you to interface with other members of the consortium, making you a far less desirable partner. It’s important for you to have comprehensive software that allows you to code, schedule patients, monitor patient care appropriately, and have portals for other health care providers and families.
Make sure your software has been updated to accommodate the transition to ICD-10 coding and train your employees on that software. This may require you to restructure your operating systems, but by doing so you can meet the demands of patients and consortiums—and reduce your overhead costs in the process.
Collect the Right Data
You need data on hand that shows consortiums how your home care agency can improve the life of your clients, reduce costs, and demonstrate positive outcome measures. From your quality control measures to employee training data to customer satisfaction ratings, you need to prove your agency can deliver results. Retrospective data will bolster your case and make you a more viable option to consortiums that are looking for new partnerships.
Get Help From a Professional
Many home care agencies get overwhelmed by the training and preparation needed to become a member of a health care consortium. Kenyon HomeCare Consulting knows what it takes to position your business as a vital partner to these emerging consortiums so you can continue to grow your business. Schedule an appointment with one of our home care consultants to see how.
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