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Starting A Home Care Agency: Don’t Do It Without An Ace In The Hole So You Are Prepped To Win!

Starting a Home CareStarting a home care agency requires a lot of research and planning to do it right. If you want to make the road as smooth as possible, put the work in up front so you know what bumps to expect. Here we look at fundamentals you need on your path to success. 

What Is Your Ace In The Hole? 

Quite simply, the ace in the hole is the one who has done it before. Someone who knows the regulations and steps to successfully starting a homecare agency. There are consulting agencies throughout the United States that can help. The question is, what questions to ask when picking the right one? 

  • Resume’: You need to see the experience of the consultant you look to hire. That may seem obvious but ask the questions before you make your deposit. The consultant should have the experience you need for your type of service line. 
  • Cost Of Services: All consulting agencies are not created alike. Starting a home care agency from the ground up at an hourly rate can become very expensive. Look at agencies offering start-up packages that save you dollars in the long run. 
  • Accreditation: Look for consulting companies that have had surveyors on staff. Often, these individuals provide education to all members of the consulting team to help in the accreditation process. 

Benefits Of The Consultant: 

If you have questions about the right location or services for the area, then utilize your consultant for assistance. Your consultant can help with licensing and accreditation. A consultant assists with resource development in your area as well as marketing services to prep for growth. A financial home care consultant can work alongside to help with management of funds and in-house processes so you don’t lose money while you try to earn it. 

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Can Help: 

With a broad number of consultants with different experiences throughout the US, Kenyon Homecare Consulting will help you get the job done. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation.

Chronic Disease Education For Your Team: Online or Live? Which Way Is The Path To Success?

chronic disease educationChronic Disease education is a big decision. You know how important management of chronic illness is. If you know it, then educational choice is just as important. There are definite advantages to both methods, but you must find what works for you. Ultimately, chronic disease education is a must. So, here are some things to consider in your decision. 

5 Things To Consider In Choosing Chronic Disease Education: 

One size does not fit all in chronic disease education. If you are unsure which is best for you, check out these 5 things. 

  • Size Of Staff 
  • Education Budget 
  • Plan For Subsequent Education 
  • Breakdown of Nurses, Therapists, And Aides 
  • Strength Of Current Chronic Disease Management Program 

What Now?

The bottom line is how you want to implement your program based on the abovementioned factors. On-site is great from the standpoint of the live person in front of a captive audience that can ask questions. However, that happens only when the person comes on-site. That individual is not there for new hires. Re-evaluating your program may mean more education to expect improvement. It means interventions that are immersed in all disciplines. This is where online education can be so effective. It allows agencies to focus on the individual as well as the agency overall. If you need to train in multiple shifts over a longer period, then online education is a great way to make it happen. If you decide to train in person, then transition for maintenance in an online program works well. 

We Can Help With Either: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help with online chronic disease education by agency and discipline. If you want a senior consultant on-site to assist with putting together an interdisciplinary program, then we can help. If you aren’t sure, then call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation with a senior consultant. 

You Bought A Policy And Procedure Manual And Still Got Cited On Survey? Yuck! Here Is The Way To Make Sure That Never Happens!

You made the investment for a survey-ready manual. That really is fantastic. But then, your policy and procedure manual got cited on survey. Did you feel cheated? Do you understand why? Well, here is why and how to make sure you prevent it in the future. 

Why Did You Get Cited? 

In entering agencies, we often see a purchased manual with nothing specific to the agency itself. This is something a surveyor will see. Any manual needs edited. You should never purchase one that does not allow you to customize the policies. This is cardinal rule number one! It should also be easy to customize. Make sure you know what you are buying. Online manuals comply with all regulations specific to what you purchased. You can find a policy and procedure manual for all lines of service and accreditation ready should you need it. The state level becomes another issue. Unless you find a manual specific to your state, you will need to add specific state rules into the mix. If you aren’t sure, then speak to the vendor prior to purchasing your manual. 

Take Out What You Don’t Need: 

This means anything that does not apply to your agency. If you don’t adhere to your policy and procedure manual, then you will be cited for it.  If your job descriptions don’t match what your staff does, then change what is necessary. Pull out job roles you don’t have in your organization. Change titles where it is applicable to your organizational chart. 

We Have Manuals And Help With Them: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have an online policy and procedure manual for all service lines and accreditation. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to speak to someone about customizing your manuals. If you do not know if this is the right route for you, we can guide you through which manual makes the most sense and why. 

Starting A Homecare Agency Can Feel Like You Knocked The 8 Ball In The Pocket And Scratched The Cue Ball. How To Make The Whole Process More Profitable From The Start!

Eight BallOk, you decided to start a home care agency. You have money in the bank. You decided to go with accreditation.  There is a license and a location. Like anyone starting a business, you want to do things economically to start yourself on the right path. Starting a homecare agency isn’t easy, but it can be profitable sooner than you think. 

Common Mistakes:

Many people try starting a homecare agency and fail. It is important to understand state and federal regulations. It means knowing how those regulations translate into practical applications as well. You may think you are doing everything correctly based upon your own research. If you havn’t lived in the world of healthcare regulations, then it is a whole different ballgame. You can do everything you think you can to prepare and fail survey. This is costly. The delays and costs of multiple surveys can shut you down before you even get started. If you have misunderstood regulations, then you probably trained staff improperly. 

Why Consultant Services Are Cost-Effective: 

Most individuals starting a homecare agency think consultant services are too expensive to afford. This is not the case. Here are some things to ask when researching a home care consultant. Is Everything a la carte? This is huge. An agency with start-up packages can save you thousands in the process.  These packages often include manuals, insurance coverage, marketing, and website development. Doing these things with separate providers all at once is time-consuming and not cost-effective. In addition, hourly rates can become quite expensive in the start-up process. In packages, the consultant time should be included. Check out the experience level of your consultant. Consultants should always have senior level management experience for start-ups. In addition, if you aspire diversifying services down the road, look for consulting agencies with teams that can help with all service lines as well as software choices. 

Starting A Homecare Agency With Us: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have start-up packages and senior level consultants to help your start-up be successful from the start. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how we can simplify your start-up experience. 

How Do You Change The Mindset Of Therapy Care Plans In Preparation For PDGM? One Step At A Time And Start Now Before The Ball Drops On New Year’s Eve!

one step at a timeWhether you are new to homecare or have been around for decades, change is always a given! Now, with the PDGM model, it becomes more important to analyze and see if things can be done more efficiently in your therapy program. Wait, it is more than important. It is crucial. Let’s look at steps to make it happen. 

5 Steps To Therapy Change: 

You need to know where to start. If already in the process, then you may see big change or be frustrated with lack of results. Consider methodically approaching the process. 

  • Check Your Outcomes: The first step is checking the therapy report card. Do you see the improvements you need from an Oasis standpoint? If not, then figure out if therapy is underperforming or the Oasis is being marked improperly on SOC or DC. 
  • Check The Documentation: Does it paint the picture of what the therapist is really doing? Is everything documented back to a functional goal? If you don’t know why each intervention is being performed, then it needs to change. 
  • Talk About PDGM: Whether you have contract or staff therapy, the discipline has been attached to additional payment for decades. The idea of managing visits has been different for nursing than therapy. It is a reality. So, therapy mindset has been different. The mindset with PDGM must change since the payment no longer follows the therapist. 
  • Alter The Paradigm: Now comes the management of the care plan between all skilled disciplines. This has been a big focus of care planning for years. Care coordination becomes completely focused on functional goals between all skills. Not therapy versus nursing versus home health aide. This is crucial for PDGM profitability. 
  • Evaluate The Program Often: This will be a work in progress for you that are just beginning. Others who have started know can be challenging. However, for those who successfully implement a meshed and coordinated care plan, it is just better! It really can function like a well-oiled machine. Evaluate the program by looking at your chronic disease care. It is the single most important tool to advance coordinated care for a PDGM world. 

We Can Help: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help you advance a coordinated care program. Whether you need help with documentation, chronic disease education, or operational change call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how we can help. 

Software Is A Must For Your HomeCare Agency Start-Up. Don’t Scratch Your Head Trying To Figure Out Which Ones!

decision makingIn this technology-based world, picking out software is no easy task. Unless you have a background in IT, you may be a nurse making decisions on software for your homecare agency start-up. This task may leave you feeling like a fish out of water. Let’s look at how clinical and operational software need to work together to optimize function.  

Accounting Software: 

This is so important to track incoming and outgoing dollars. You may outsource payroll through a different provider, but many still use internal programs like QuickBooks to manage payroll. Accounting software needs to flow easily to mesh with other software in your operation.  

Website: 

This may seem obvious, but a website can steer people towards your agency or away from it. Static websites often give the impression of an agency that is not well developed. Your brand needs to be very clear to anyone clicking on your site. If you are non-profit, make sure your website has donation capability. It should also be a way to advertise services and job postings. Have a way for applicants to submit a resume or fill out an application online in the website.  

Electronic Medical Record: 

If you choose to begin on paper documentation, then you need management software instead of an EMR. If you use an EMR, it should provide reporting and tracking functions to help your operations. You should know your top referral sources as well as changes in referral numbers. This will allow you to address potential issues with providers. It will also help you enhance your current relationships by promoting what you do well. The most important part of EMR software is a strong clinical platform. It is also important to choose what best fits your service lines and operational flow. Know that when choosing a software, regardless of the company, the best functionality comes from utilizing it the way it was programmed to work. A big mistake is being unwilling to alter flow to meet the productivity of the software. This either slows the process or doesn’t allow the agency to use the program to its fullest. Make sure you talk to someone versed in software prior to making such a huge decision for your homecare agency start-up.  

Let Us Help With Software Choices: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help with your homecare agency start-up from beginning to end. We have trained senior consultants in all fields of the homecare industry. This includes those well-versed in software. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to speak to someone regarding your start-up needs.

A Great Policy And Procedure Manual Needs Staff Buy-In. Ask Yourself These Questions To See If You Have It!

policy and procedure manualEvery homecare agency needs a policy and procedure manual. You know that. However, do you have what you need in it? If you don’t know the answer, then you need to look a little closer. Make sure your manual has what it needs to be the tool it was intended to be.  

A Few Questions To Ask Yourself: 

A policy and procedure manual collecting dust isn’t worth the paper and ink you used to print it. So, make sure your investment was worthwhile. Here are some items to determine if your manual is truly functional.  

  • How Easy Is Your Manual To Access?  Your staff is busy. If it is difficult to find or access the information they need, then they probably won’t look. Staff should have easy electronic access. 
  • Are Staff Involved? Does your agency review policies with staff? This has a dual purpose. Not only are you alerting them to changes, but you also receive input. You may decide based upon employee feedback that a policy needs changed. It doesn’t make sense to have a beautifully written manual that no one can follow. 
  • Do You Reference Your Manual In Decision Making? The easiest way to show consistency in how you function is to use the backing of your manual. Whether it is personnel management or clinical procedure, consistently reference the guidance of your manual. 
  • How Often Do You Update Your Manual? Regulations change all the time. Whether it is state or federal law relating to practice or labor, you need to keep it up-to-date. This makes sure you follow the law and keep yourself in the loop to any changes in law.  

Let Us Help You:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have customizable manuals that are compliant for all types of service lines and accreditation. Check out our online templates today. We can also be called at 206-721-5091 or contacted online for further assistance.

Moving Into 2020: Wrapping Your Head Around Evolving Clinical Staff Into The New PDGM Model Of Care. By The Way, This Includes Every Person Who Sees The Patient.

changeThis is a big time for transition in homecare. This industry just came off a year with the first changes to the Conditions of Participation in decades. It is a big deal. Now, you are faced with new a payment model for 2020. If you think this is just about payment, then you need to research more about the PDGM model. 

Bye Bye Therapy Thresholds: 

The industry knew this was coming. No longer will there be additional reimbursement related to the number of therapy visits. This is a good change. In order to “see” all members of the homecare team working together, there should not be incongruence in reimbursement for one over the other. Many providers continue to struggle with therapy providers not willing to comply with coordination of care or working towards shared care plan goals. This can’t happen in the PDGM model. 

Working As A True Team: 

This is huge too.  For years, healthcare has pushed to eliminate the silos of care between providers. However, the focus has been from hospital to SNF or SNF to homecare. It has not been focused on homecare discipline to homecare discipline. It is always the assumption that all clinicians within a realm of healthcare already work as a tight knit unit. Reality is, this isn’t the case in so many agencies. If you don’t have true interdisciplinary care and care planning, then it is unrealistic to think it will be successful with outside providers. So, this means fix the issues in your own house before the PDGM model hits and 30-day payments are in place. 

Begin With Education: 

Chronic disease care is the key to a true medical home model. It requires clinicians to be laser-focused on a shared patient care plan. All caregivers need educated about working in this type of model. It means more than nurses rattling off signs and symptoms of a CHF exacerbation. It is more than the aide documenting blood sugar readings. The COPD patient with pulse ox readings from the therapist doesn’t manage chronic disease. These items are all task-related and not about management of the disease. A comprehensive chronic disease management program gives you the paradigm shift you need in a PDGM model. It sets you up to be efficient and profitable. 

Call Us For Help: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have comprehensive online disease management programs on the clinician and agency level. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for more into how chronic disease management is the key to future success.

So, You Want To Start A Homecare Agency. Do You Know What Kind Of Homework To Do? Check This Out To Make Sure All Your Ducks Are In A Row First!

Ducks in a rowIf you want to start a homecare agency, then you need to take some steps before you jump in with both feet. Let’s look at some things to consider in a start-up. 

Top 5 Things To Consider To Start A Homecare Agency: 

Moving forward successfully means you must research ahead of time to have your ducks in a row.  Here are the top 5 things to evaluate first. 

  • Location, Location LocationHave you checked out where you want to hang a shingle? Does that location make sense for your agency? Are you in an area where the population needs the services? What about competition. You need to look further than the mission. If the market is already saturated in the area, then you need to consider a different location. 
  • Marketing: This is often overlooked prior to opening. It shouldn’t be. If you want to start a homecare agency, the community should know about it way before you open doors. 
  • Secure Funds: You need significant capital on hand to start a homecare agency. You need to hire and train staff who will be providing care long before you can bill for services. 
  • Join An Industry Association: Whether it be on a state level or a national one, a homecare association opens you to resources and education. While the association provides advocacy for the industry, it is also a huge reference point for members. 
  • Work With An Industry Expert: Starting a homecare agency is like speaking a new language, even if you have previous experience in healthcare. Whether you want to start up services or diversify what you currently provide, an expert in the industry is huge to help you move forward. 

Finding Your Expert To Help Start A Homecare Agency: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we know what it takes to start a homecare agency today. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation with a senior consultant today! Whether you need help from beginning to end or just specific parts of the process, we have the expertise you need.  

 

Are You Abusing Your Policy And Procedure Manual? Read This to Understand Why Misuse Can Abuse Your Policy. Make Your Policy An Asset Instead Of A Hindrance!

decisionLet’s face it. This is a litigious world. You run your agency the best way you know how. If you make the patient the focus, then you should be good. Right? Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Let’s look at ways to make sure you unknowingly don’t “abuse” your policy and procedure manual.  

The “Do Not” Of The Policy And Procedure Manual: 

It is important to avoid landmines in use of your policy and procedure manual. Here are some mistakes agencies make. 

  • Do Not Have A Manual In Pieces: All policies should be together in one place and easily accessable for all employees. Regardless of what type of policy, everyone need to know where to see every policy.  
  • Do Not Make Changes To Suit Every Situation Differently: This is a big one when it comes to employees. You put a policy in place for a reason. So, do not make changes to how you run your agency based on one employee. An employer can get into trouble if one employee is treated differently than another. Consider the employee who has been stellar and makes a policy infraction worthy of termination. If you terminate one and don’t another, you can get yourself into trouble.   
  • Do Not Make Changes Contrary To State And Federal Regulation: This is a common agency mistake. Sometimes, operational changes may make sense for your agency, but make sure regulations don’t get violated in the process.  
  • Do Not Put Your Manual On A Shelf To Collect Dust: The manual needs to be a tool that allows you to run your agency properly. If you don’t use it, then it isn’t a good tool.  The “fly by the seat of your pants” method is stressful and risky for you as an owner. You also need to keep it up to date. This means it needs to be evaluated for efficacy and compliance regularly.  

Ok, My Manual Needs Help: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have manuals for all types of home care services. Please call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see if we can help you get the manual you need. All our manuals can be downloaded online and are fully customizable.