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

Kenyon Connects

Thank You For Being A Part Of The Homecare And Hospice Mission!

Thank youWhether we have provided direct services or you are a newsletter subscriber, Kenyon wants to wish you a prosperous 2019. Our consultants appreciate all the time and effort you put in to be a part of the homecare industry. Let us know if we can be of any additional support for you moving forward! Here are some newer services we have available:
Coding Supreme: Billing Services With Coding For Small Agencies
Education And Training: For Clinicians As Well As Operations
Chronic Disease University: For Clinicians And Agencies To Improve Care

Thank you!

Having Trouble Keeping Up With Regulation Changes And Day-To-Day Business? See Why A Mock Survey Can Help You Get On Track Before The Real Thing!

Regulation ChangesToday, home health regulations change more than ever. Yes, the basics of regulation are still there, but showing compliance looks a lot different than it used to be. It may seem tough just running the day-to-day operations without trying to prepare for PDGM and any changes within your state. Let’s look at how to keep up with regulation changes in a meaningful way. 

Common Regulation Mistake: 

Most agencies work for the mission that is homecare. This is absolutely the number one reason any of us are here. However, you can’t forget about putting new regulations into place and keeping up with them along the way. If you do, then you can run into big time road blocks financially and legally. Make sure you know how to adequately prove compliance with a regulation. We saw this hit home with providers when face-to-face came into play. Most agencies saw ADRs deny. It wasn’t because agencies didn’t try. It was because agencies and physicians thought they were compliant only to find out it wasn’t enough. This is exactly the reason an objective eye looking at your agency makes sense.  

Why A Mock Survey: 

Agencies often hit compliance hard before survey, but then back down when it is done. If you think surveys will only come in the form of an on-site visit every third year, then you make a big mistake in running your agency. Auditing comes more frequently now than ever. Accrediting bodies make more and more return visits. CMS wants to know the agency doesn’t become lax after the survey is done. Sometimes, the site visits are yearly leading up to the next full 3-year review. This is expensive for agencies. A mock survey can keep you on the straight and narrow. It has an objective eye on your agency for everything needed to show compliance. It is much cheaper than a yearly site visitor! 

Let Us Do Your Mock Survey: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have senior consultants who have been surveyors and know when an agency is compliant and when it isn’t. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation to see if a mock survey is right for you.

Breaking Down The Evolution To The Oasis D Tool. From Clinical Assessment To Data Collection, Why This Document Is More Important Than Ever!

ToolRemember the first Oasis tool? It seemed so cumbersome. Think stapled assessment tool that just made more work for clinical staff. Well, we had not seen anything yet! As the tool has evolved from its original to the current version, the industry has had to evolve too. If you aren’t sure if you are there, then look ahead at how to use the tool to your advantage. 

Well, It Is An Assessment Tool, BUT: 

The reality is that most clinicians see the Oasis as a form to fill out for Medicare. If this is the only way your agency uses it, then more education needs to happen. Lots of clinical information is jammed into that tool. If you think critically about it on a functional and clinical level, then the care plan is effectively created. How many therapists in your agency understand Oasis? Do your nurses critically understand Oasis?  Does therapy read the Oasis after it is completed by the nurse? Is the tool part of initial care coordination? These are all good questions to ask. If staff doesn’t use the tool to properly create a comprehensive care plan, then it is just a form to fill out for Medicare. 

Data Collection: 

Yes, it is a data collection tool for Medicare. So, it needs to be filled out correctly. Not just from a financial standpoint, but also for outcomes.  Oasis changes are made based upon prior years of data. So, if agencies do not take the effort to properly train staff, it hurts the industry. Ongoing errors trigger audits. In the course of a normal record review, how often do you see Oasis discrepancies with other parts of the clinical record? We live in a healthcare world where auditing is here to stay. Don’t set yourself up to fail your ADRs. 

Kenyon Can Help: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have senior consultants who can assist with training and operational changes to make your Oasis come together as a tool to make you better. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to talk about how we can help train and transition your staff. 

Starting A Homecare Agency Takes Time. Don’t Try To Do In Minutes What Takes Hours or You Will Be Battling Uphill From Start To Finish!

starting a homecare agencyYou may see a lot of info out there about starting a home health agency. Maybe you don’t want to be a Medicare provider. Starting a homecare agency means less hoops to jump through compared to Medicare, but you still need to complete the steps properly. Here are the steps to make sure you start out on the right foot. 

License Requirements: 

Most states require licensure when starting a homecare agency. You need to research the licensing requirements with your state Department of Health to determine your ability to apply. Requirements vary for each state, so do not assume everything is the same if you have been in another state practicing. 

Structure Of Homecare Agency: 

Are you an individual beginning this venture? If not, how many partners do you have? These items will affect how you want to enter the business. To determine whether you want to enter as a sole proprietor or an LLC, you can research the process online. There are many resources about this type of venture. In addition, you will need to get an EIN number for tax purposes which we be part of the business development process. The EIN is necessary for your business license. 

Business Plan: 

You need to determine the type of clients you can and will be able to service in starting your homecare agency. You need the business structure including policy and procedure manuals that follow regulations for your state. The plan needs to include marketing and staffing to get started. Since you will be unable to bill for services until you have started your business, having capital prior to starting is important and necessary. Don’t start yourself out so far in the hole that you struggle from the beginning. The business plan must also include insurance coverage. Make sure you know what you need to cover yourself and the staff you hire. 

Get Started The Right Way: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we offer start-up packages for all types of home care. If you want to start a private duty or skilled agency, then we can help. Our packages include the marketing development, insurance coverage, recruitment, and on-site assistance to make sure all the steps fit into place and you are ready to go.  Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for a free consultation to find out how we can make the process a whole lot easier and more affordable in the long run.

Do You Think Talking About Policy And Procedure Manuals Is Boring? If Yours Makes You Yawn, It Is Time To Get A New One!

regulatory complianceYou are tired of thinking about policy and procedure manuals.  You have staffing, personnel, and patient issues to handle. If you think about it, then well-constructed manuals can help with all of it. Make sure your manual is a help instead of a hindrance. Whether addressing personnel issues or patient policy, an updated manual is necessary for a cohesive flow that addresses issues effectively and consistently. 

Accreditation, Skilled, Or Non-Skilled: 

Regardless your lines of business, well-written policy and procedure manuals are important to make sure you comply with federal and state regulations. When is the last time you reviewed your manual from a compliance standpoint? Are you plugged in to resources that keep you up-to-date? If you haven’t updated, then consider a manual you can purchase online and edit.  It becomes difficult to start over working to edit something that no longer fits your agency. 

Why Purchase Instead Of Editing What You Have: 

The reality is, many agencies have outdated policy and procedure manuals and tend to shoot from the hip. This misses the point of a manual. It can also cost you at survey. A well-written manual guides the agency in decision making. Personnel, patient and personnel issues should be clear. In consulting, you often see policies that have not been updated for a decade. Just as regulations change, so does your agency. Your manuals should be clear enough that any interim administrator could follow it. It should also be easy for employees to utilize and understand agency procedure. 

Kenyon Homecare Consulting: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have online manuals that are easy to purchase, download, and edit specific to your agency.  We have all service lines and those that meet requirements for accrediting bodies. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to discuss how our manuals can be the jumpstart to a functional business and operational guide. 

 

What Does Your Bottom Line Look Like In PDGM? How Do You Find Out? Are You Scared You Might Sink The Ship?

SuccessIn order to stay ahead in the Medicare home health world, you have to think ahead. If you are reactive, then you can easily find yourself way behind. Moving forward in the PDGM world, you need to understand the formula and how you will be impacted. Make the changes now to prep for success.

How Do Things Look If I Make No Changes:

The first thing you need to do is determine if what you do now loses you a bunch moving forward. CMS has a listing by provider number with what 2017 data looks like if we were in a PDGM model. Check out your provider number and the side-by-side comparison under PDGM Agency Level Impacts. This will help you determine what to do moving forward. Now, most agencies with therapy heavy numbers will see that decline in revenue with the loss of additional monies for therapy visits. You will also see that many subsequent 30-day time frames will resemble something more like a LUPA model for payment.

Don’t Panic If You See A Decline:

The first thing you might want to do is throw up your hands and say you can’t do it. Please don’t. In this time, you need to think ahead to what the vision of CMS looks like as these models progress. The more you do so, the more these changes can resemble the ongoing process to a medical home model base. If you consider the long term picture and not just what you have to do to get through tomorrow, then your whole agency can make changes effectively. It is the difference between hectic change and methodical operational shifts. Make sure you are well-educated on PDGM now so you can be ready in a coordinated way. Educate staff so they understand the process in a way that makes sense for each discipline.

Don’t Forget The Documentation:

As you move through operational change, documentation can get lost in the mix. Know what documentation should look like for PDGM as part of your education to clinical staff. The emphasis on interdisciplinary care planning is crucial and done correctly will only make the transition easier.

Let Us Know How We Can Help:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, our focus is the progressive movement of agencies forward with changing trends to help you succeed. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to help with your process into the home health of tomorrow!

Chronic Disease Program Management: Are You Ready To Make It Work Instead Of Treading Water Doing The Same Old Thing?

PDGMChronic Disease Program Management is one of those things that is sometimes put on the back burner. You worry about finances, referrals and staffing to cover the patients you have as well as being able to staff new ones. Coding and Oasis and compliance are in there too. It may seem one takes the front burner until it boils, and it just becomes a juggling routine. Sound familiar? It is time to make chronic disease management the answer to it all. 

Moving Into PDGM: 

With ACOs and Value-Based Purchasing, agencies got a taste of outcome-based care. The goal was always for a more coordinated effort to manage care in a cost-effective way. The process always meant managing chronic disease related to the costs associated with it. Process changes meant optimizing all disciplines to function at full scope of practice. It also meant coordinating all those moving parts, so everyone worked together. 

Now, with the 2020 initiation of the new payment rules, agencies will have 30-day payments for care. If your payments significantly drop once a patient is on more than 30 days, what do you think happens to the average length of stay for a patient? The goal from the beginning of skilled care was to get the patient independent and back to previous level of function. Only a small number of patients were intended for multiple episodes of care.

Putting Everything Into Place: 

A more coordinated effort into chronic disease management fits directly into an agency’s fiscal survival in PDGM. In order to make this happen, agencies must move full steam ahead with chronic disease education programs that work. Education for disciplines independently don’t address the coordinated effort towards the care plan. It is the difference between disease knowledge versus a true education about disease. Look at programs designed for the discipline itself as well as the agency. This will help you move operations into a coordinated model focused on the care plan and not on tasks by a discipline. 

Chronic Disease Management With Kenyon: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have online chronic disease education programs to help you move in the right direction. We also have senior associates who can help you alter operational process if you want on-site assistance. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation with a senior associate. 

Starting A New Homecare Agency? Want To Add A New Service Line? Make Sure You Are On Solid Ground First!

home care start-upCan you start a new homecare agency on your own? Yes. Is it kind of like walking into quicksand if you don’t have a map. Absolutely. Here is a way to start your process on solid ground with the right kind of experience from the beginning.

Law And Order:

You have both federal and state regulations to follow. You need employee handbooks, a business plan and organizational structure. Maybe you want to purchase an agency by jumping into a franchise. If you are starting anew, you will need policy and procedure manuals.

Accounting:

To start out on the right foot, have your accountant help you with an operating budget. So many agencies end up out of business before they are fully going because proper anticipation of start-up costs were not considered. If you do not have an accountant with expertise in homecare, look at an agency or consulting firm that does. Get advice on the best way to obtain a small business loan should you need it to get licenses and move forward.

Consider A Home Care Consultant:

Think about this. A home care consulting agency with start-up packages that help you get all your pieces of the puzzle in place. You can get help with the licensing process, hiring, manuals, mock survey, insurance and marketing all in one place. Choose a  home health consulting firm that have senior consultants with experience in starting agencies. An experienced firm also has all types of specialties to help you get started. If you need help in accounting/finance as well as clinical and operations, then you want them all in one place working together.

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Is Your Start-Up Expert:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have senior consultants from all backgrounds to help you from A to Z in your process. Start-up packages will get you manuals and help both on and off site with all areas of your business. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to schedule your free 30-minute consultation today!

A Great Policy And Procedure Manual: Why It Can Be A Best Friend In Human Resources!

policy and procedure manualWhen administration talks about tough parts of the job, it often isn’t regulation.  The most time-consuming portion is personnel. Right? Well, here is the perfect reason why a great policy and procedure manual can make things a whole lot easier to manage.

Compliance:

Whether accredited or not, compliance to regulations is key. You need a policy and procedure manual that shows that your agency follows and addresses all federal and state regulations. If you have already been through survey, then you know how important your manual is.  If you are a new start-up agency, you need to understand that your policy and procedure manual is not something to sit on a shelf. It needs to be functional and relevant to your daily activity.

Personnel:

As business owners, you know how huge this category is. You have to think about labor laws, wages, reimbursement, benefits, etc. It can be overwhelming. However, it is so important nonetheless. Any human resources manager will rely heavily on the policy and procedure manual to guide operations. Depending how your agency is structured, you may have multiple branch managers who are administrators for their own branch. It is important for human resources to guide these branch managers to follow policy in local operations too. A great policy and procedure manual provides consistency and clarification. This is both for employees and supervisors.

Employee Appraisals:

Make this a teaching tool for both positive work and constructive criticism. As an administrator, it is difficult to address serious performance concerns when you only see glowing appraisals. If your appraisals are not set up well, then you defeat your purpose. Do you address the things you need to address? Or, maybe the supervisor has a difficult time using the appraisal as a constructive tool. Either way, an appraisal is both a teaching tool and a way to commend a job well done.

We Have Policy And Procedure Manuals:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have online manuals for all lines of service including accreditation. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation to see if your manual does what it should.

3 Simple Suggestions For Your Home Care Agency’s Marketing

home care marketingBetween taking care of business needs and making sure patients are receiving the highest quality of care, it can be difficult finding time to build a marketing and sales strategy. That said, marketing and sales are a vital part of maintaining and growing the success of your business. 

Client And Employee Referral Program 

Even if you’re a “high growth” organization, home care is such a personal industry dealing with folks’ loved ones. So, a referral from a trusted friend, contact, or relative can go a long way. Beyond that, incentivizing your clients and/or employees to provide referrals rewards them for their efforts. It also involves them in the success of the business. 

Collaborate On An Event With An Organization From A Different Industry 

Collaboration not only leads to higher attendance numbers for the event, but often means the co-organizers involved can share the time, effort, and costs needed to produce the event. Events allow for collaboration, face-to face conversation, and a chance to build brand awareness. The content of the event can be anything, but here are some suggestions: 

  • Panel Discussion on General Business Topic 
  • Networking Mixer 
  • Unrelated Community Event 

 Simple Social Media Or YouTube Video 

In 5 years, over 80% of internet content will be video.  If a video builds your brand or generates leads, then it does not need to be professional-looking to be effective. If the video is authentic, honest, and feels “presentable”, then you hit the mark. It can be achieved with very little cost, time, or equipment.  Plan time for video content, production, improvement, and repeating the process. Approaches could include an introduction by the owner or CEO, team interviews, a video tutorial, or something simple like a “Boomerang” video on Instagram or Facebook. 

Let Us Help Structure Your Marketing 

If you need help with a marketing plan, then Kenyon Homecare Consulting can help you succeed. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation.

Content excerpts were taken from the article by Jed Hammel on Ankota blog January 31, 2019Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota’s primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.