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Are You Missing Something In Your Home Care Partnerships? Do You Know Why? Look Through Objective Eyes At Your Own Program To See If It Does What You Think. You May Be Surprised!

Home Care PartnershipsIf your home care partnerships feel like a one-way street, then you need to look at how to change the process.  Partnerships don’t work well without the give-and-take expected from all parties involved.  Let’s look at why cleaning your own house is important while moving forward with a home care partnerhip.

ACOs, Value Based Purchasing, Contracts:

In order to survive in the future, you know partnerships are vital.  Whether you are currently part of an ACO or other partnership, performance is measured. You may see yourself in and out of partnerships due to changes in outcomes. It is tough to always feel like a grade card is being kept on the business you fought so hard to build. However, what better way to push for excellence? So, the moral of the story is to look inward first in order to be seen as the best.

4 Things To Consider In “Cleaning Your Home Care House”:

In order to be the best version of yourself, you have to constantly hold yourself to the highest of standards. It can become easy to step back when things are going well.  It is always these times that cause an issue for agencies and these items should always be forefront in your mind.

  • Turnover: You know when there is a big shift in staffing, but keep an eye out for smaller changes.  These often lead to the bigger swings and a larger problem.  Getting ahead of potential staffing issues helps address any issues prior to it becoming a big problem.  Patients and the community notice changes in long-term staff and confidence in administration can waiver in the eyes of staff.
  • Outcomes: Now, this may seem obvious, but it can never be overlooked. These items often flux you in and our of the ability to receive referrals from certain agencies. Staff need to understand the long range effect of continuous improvement of outcomes.
  • Time To Admission: With staffing shortages in most areas, this is key. Don’t see yourself as the agency who is there the same day if therapy can’t make it out for 2 weeks.  Size your agency up as a whole.
  • Communication: Sit in on your clinical meetings. Identify how communication about the patient is conducted. Is the communication goal focused? Are all disciplines giving input? Are nurses directing the aides specific to the patient?

Now, Be the Partner You Want To Have:

Looking at these items make you a better partner in the long run. Make sure your processes are clear and communication with your partners has flow and is relevant to goals and outcomes. Meet with your partners frequently to discuss both sides of the home care partnership.

Let Us Help You!:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help improve processes, complete chronic disease education, and operations within your program.Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation with a senior consultant today!

The Future Of Home Care Partnerships: Why Your Agency Needs To See Managed Care As A Valued Partner As Opposed To A Hindrance!

PartnershipsToday, home care partnerships are stressed more than ever. One such partnership that is not usually considered is managed care. If you see managed care as anything but a partner, then it is time to take another look.  Let’s look at the future of the industry and how managed care plays into it.  Ultimately, managed care is here to stay and only going to be more of your revenue over time.

Current Struggles With Managed Care:

It is often difficult to get authorization in a timely manner from those managed care companies that cover your Medicare patients.  You may deal with those managed care companies that don’t pay for Medicare clients episodically, but still tell patients that you should bring the supplies. Reimbursement remains a key problem in the mix as well. If managed care paid you in a way that allows you to be in the black as opposed to the red, then you would make it work.  Unfortunately, this is usually not the case. This is such an issue that many agencies are not accepting certain managed care payers.

Quality Is The Key:

Every agency is working towards quality measures and outcomes that come with it.  You know the importance of outcomes and decreasing re-hospitalization. Ultimately, if you don’t focus on these items, then your long term trajectory for success is bleak. Providing quality care at home at less cost for the payor is exactly what you do.  It is what you have always done. The key is providing that quality and making your value clear to any payer.

Bridging The Gap:

So, how do you transition to making managed care part of a strategic partnership? The future of managed care is home care partnerships that have aligned quality and cost goals.  You need to focus first on making your agency the best version of itself. Get yourself to the quality goals you need to be invaluable to providers. Then, you have the ability to go to managed care companies and request higher reimbursement. Managed care will function much as a value based purchasing model does. They will contract with those who fit the profile of quality outcomes and are aligned with chronic disease management.  Ultimately, this will decrease costs for them in a way that makes the increased cost of home care a drop in the bucket in comparison to a hospitalization.  This is how you prove your value.  The more you focus on strategic partnerships and the quality necessary to thrive in them, the better bargaining tool you have.

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Can Help:

A big part of moving your program forward is tightening your own processes and education to staff.  At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help you put chronic disease education and programs in place.  Call 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free consultation.

Don’t Look At Home Health Partnerships As A Have To, But As The Opportunity You Wished You Had Years Ago! How To Have Great Partnerships Without Any Blood, Sweat, Or Tears!

PartnershipsOften times, having a partner in business can be tough.  Navigating the home health and hospice world can be tough just dealing with your own agency.  But once you add in other providers, home health partnerships can seem even tougher.  Let’s look at ways to consider home health partnerships differently.

The Patient Is First And Foremost, Always:

If you consider all the things the healthcare industry must consider today, then it becomes more difficult to keep the patient first in line.  If you really look at the entire industry, the patient is always the first home health partnership.  It is difficult for the patient to receive the best possible care if providers do not work well together.  In addition,  patients have so many different providers that it also means you will work with providers who work very well with you, but not with each other.

Regulatory Struggle:

Agencies have to consider Oasis outcomes, emergent care, re-hospitalization, documentation, electronic records, med reconciliation, and more on a daily basis.  This doesn’t count coordination of care, case conferencing, and making sure staff have time to give the best care. Meanwhile, you have to do everything while under even tighter budgets.

The Home Care Team:

The home health industry requires you to look internally at your own team in order to be a good partner.  How do your own team members work together? Do all the disciplines involved in patient care work together or independently?  It is a contradiction when you think about it.  When clinicians are out in the field, each individual sees the patient separate from one another.  So, it is sometimes difficult to change the mindset if someone has been working independently in the field for years.  The mindset needs to be based on communication and education that focuses on patient care as if all disciplines are side by side working at once.  If you function under the premise that a patient has one care plan, then all disciplines can work towards common goals.  Then, you can develop great home health partnerships.

So, What’s Next:

The most important start is education, education, education.  Chronic disease education needs to be about more than the disease.  It needs to focus on how to manage chronic disease collectively as a team. This includes every discipline that touches the patient.  From the nurse to the physical therapist to the home health aide, everyone must be educated to manage care and not just provide it.  When you improve your system, you become invaluable to other healthcare providers.

Let Us Help With Your Home Health Partnerships:

Kenyon Homecare Consulting can help you with online education as well as on site teaching to improve your processes.  Contact us online or call today at 206-721-5091 for your free 30 minute consultation. We can help with the transition from good to great partnerships focus on a team approach to care.

Quality Based Partnerships: How To Evaluate Home Care Partnerships And Make Sure You Don’t End Up With The Short End Of The Stick!

PartnershipIn all good home care partnerships, both parties should benefit.  However, if your agency isn’t seeing the benefit, then it is time to take another look.

4 Things To Consider In Your Home Care Partnerships:

Whether you are part of an ACO or partnering with other local providers, here are items to make sure things are mutually beneficial:

1. Quality:

The bottom line is that no one wins in home care partnerships if the quality goals aren’t the same.  If you see yourself striving for excellence, then the others partners should be doing the same.  If not, then you should look to potentially align your brand elsewhere.  Goals should be discussed and agreed upon when you enter the partnership.  This way, all expectations are on the table.  If you aren’t towing the line, make sure to address what needs changed to get there.  You don’t want to lose good partners either.

2. Evaluate Amount Of Work Going Into The Partnership:

You may be doing everything you agreed to do.  However, you may not see the fruits of your labor.  Maybe your referrals from the partner have not increased.  Or, maybe the quality of the referrals are not the type you anticipated to receive. Agencies will often report receiving referrals without potential for any profit margin. That may be blunt, but it is a reality. If you are doing all the work to be a quality agency, there should be no cherry picking of referrals to other agencies. If it is evident, discuss with the partner sooner as opposed to later.

3. Metrics For Agencies In The Partnership Should Be Communicated To All Partners:

Bottom line is if you are putting your data out there for people to see, it should go both ways.  ACO’s consider partners both in and then out of the partnership based on outcomes.  Even in non-formal partnerships, it is important to know where you don’t add up if another partner is thriving and you aren’t.  Healthcare is competitive and that is no news to anyone. You have to make sure you are on a level playing field.  If other home health agencies are in the partnership, you need to know why you don’t receive the referrals or communication you expected.

4. Make Sure Your Clinicians Are Prepared And Educated:

One of the biggest mistakes an agency can make is not prepping clinical staff properly.  Look at your processes.  How and who do you teach? What is your chronic disease management program like? Do you include contracted clinicians and home health aides in the disease management process? If you can say you aren’t where you need to be, then consider quality educational processes that include all disciplines.  Home health aides are so often overlooked in chronic disease management and quality.  They should be the first line of eyes and ears on the patient.  A good home health aide is worth so much in the fight for keeping patients at home and managing disease.

Let Kenyon HomeCare Consulting Be Your Partner!:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have chronic disease educational programs in place that focus on the home care aide role in disease management outcomes.  Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation. We can help you educate staff, evaluate your organizational processes and achieve the outcomes you deserve.

Are You Trying To Expand Your Home Care Partnerships? If You Are The Batman Of The Partnership, Then You Won’t End Up Looking Like The Joker!

PartnershipsWhether a fan of Batman or not, the superhero always wins! If you want to be a superhero then you have to be the home care partner that everyone wants.  Let’s look at how to be that partner and make sure everyone knows it.

4 Ways To Be Great In Home Care Partnerships:

What do great home care partnerships all have in common? Here are 4 things to consider when looking to expand:

1. Do What You Say, Always:

The healthcare world is becoming more and more of a pressure cooker.  Every provider is trying to improve outcomes, patient satisfaction, and efficiency all at the same time.  What you can do to make life easier for all providers involved in patient care is pivotal! If you tell a physician’s office what you can do but don’t deliver, then you will not be the source of ongoing referrals.  The same rings true for all providers. Hospitals and SNF’s will not want to refer if you promise one thing and give out another.

2. Focus On What Makes Your Agency Special:

Sometimes, if you want to do everything in home care, then you have to market what makes you special.  Some areas have lots of agencies, so ask yourself if others know what makes you different.  Ask people what the impression is of what your agency does.  You may be surprised at the response.  Once referral sources know what you do best and have seen it succeed, it becomes easy to refer for other services.

3. Make Your Quality Improvement Important:

Quality Improvement isn’t something you do because the COP’s say you have to do it.  It should really be a tool to create the outcomes you are looking for in your agency.  If it isn’t, then work to change how you view Quality Improvement and what things are most important to make you a home care superhero.

4. Make Staff A Part Of The Game Plan:

The more you make staff a part of moving your agency forward, the easier it is to do it.  As administrators, you need to understand that partnerships don’t exist just on the outside.  The most important partnerships you have begin with the people on staff.  It may seem so obvious, but you are so busy all the time it becomes easy to overlook the relationships within staff and departments.  Don’t lose sight of of the things right outside the office door.

Let Us Help Improve Your Strategic Home Care Partnerships:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have staff who have decades of home health and hospice experience.  If your agency needs some help cultivating your agency, call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free consultation.

Home Care Partnerships Are Needed If You Want To Succeed Today. Become More Relevant, Successful, And Valuable With Chemo-Certified Nurses Who Can Serve A Pediatric Population.

Home Care PartnershipsForming and improving home care partnerships becomes even more challenging when cancer treatments are involved. In an ACO, you want to be a partner that stands out above the rest. Chemo-certified nurses can boost your pediatric census and create a genuine market differentiation.

About Home Care Chemotherapy:

How cancers are effectively treated varies greatly with the type of cancer. Some chemo requires inpatient care. Others are done at home and don’t require any special chemo certification. Nurses must be chemo-certified in order to administer treatment to pediatric patients. This service is in greater demand and supply is not always present, especially in rural areas. What often happens is pediatric hospitals or oncologists can’t find home health partners with chemo-certified nursing.  This means the patient must complete the service in the hospital. When pediatric cancer patients make trips to the hospital it increases risk for nosocomial infections and other complications.  This is why home care for this patient demographic is better.

Three More Reasons To Add Chemo-Certified Nurses:

Besides the need and safety issues involved, here are three more reasons add chemo-certified nurses to your staff:

  1. In many rural areas, there are few home care agencies. There are even fewer with pediatric or other home care chemo services.
  2. Many organizations help fund home pediatric cancer care. Since home care is the cost-effective alternative to inpatient care, you also help financially.
  3. You can’t expect patients, families, or other providers to trust you with cancer patients unless you have the training. Then, nurses provide the highest quality to your patients.

Cancer is way too prevalent and there are far too many children suffering from it. Those agencies that prepare for the task by hiring chemo-certified nurses and developing a program will be attractive to healthcare partners.

Let Us Help You Expand Your Partnerships:

To learn more about how to create and maintain home care partnerships that will help your home health agency grow, contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting today by calling 206-721-5091 or by filling out our online contact form.

Working With New Partners? Let’s Look At Your Home Care Partnerships And How To Be The Sonny And Cher Of The Home Care World!

Home Care PartnershipsWorking with a partner always presents a challenge.  Whether you are in a band, marriage, or a home care business, the partnership is about relationships and meeting mutual needs.  With ACOs and other home care partnerships, you must constantly work on the relationship to make it work. Let’s look at your partnerships and the importance of being a part of the healthcare team.

4 Things To Remember In Being A Strong Home Care Partner:

Sometimes, you can get so focused on your own operations that you forget the comprehensive partnership goals.  Here are 4 things to always consider when working in home care partnerships:

1. Make Partnership Goals Together:

Whether it is a physician office or an ACO, your goals must align.  Of course, all providers want to work to provide high quality care and improve patient outcomes.  However, if you don’t discuss how to best achieve those goals between partners, you may be working very hard and not accomplishing what you both want.

2. Include Staff On Joint Goals:

Again, you are busy and so is staff, but communicating how you will work with partners is crucial.  All clinical and administrative staff need to understand the game plan too.  Don’t decide operational changes without working with those it will directly affect.

3. Measure Progression On A Routine Basis:

Always measure metrics and intangibles that are important to all members of home care partnerships.  Meet up with other partners at set times to discuss the metrics and be willing andopen to address any issues others may have with your agency.

4. EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE:

Chronic disease management is a key in all realms of healthcare today.  In order to thrive in home care partnerships, you have to educate your staff on chronic disease.  This means all members of the team.  This includes therapy, nursing, and aide staff.  All members of the clinical team need to know the best practices to manage chronic disease.  Often times, aide staff is overlooked in the skilled clinical picture.  In home care of today and the future, the home care aide is crucial in keeping patients at home and safely managing chronic disease.

Let Us Work With You On Your Home Care Partnerships:

Kenyon Homecare Consulting works with agencies on chronic disease management programs to advance you and your partnership goals.  Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation today.

They Say Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But Sometimes Working Together Can Feel Harder! Here Are Ways To Use Your Strengths To End Up On Top Of Home Care Partnerships!

teamSometimes, on paper, collaboration looks like it should be easy.  Right?  However, we don’t live in a perfect world with perfect human beings.  So, it is important when you work in an ACO or other home care partnerships to know how to make life easier.

How Do You Operate And The Partners Operate?:

Internal operations are so important in working in an ACO.  If you don’t collaborate well between your own disciplines, you won’t work well with other healthcare providers.  On the same hand, you may be working with partners who are not as efficient as you are and this can be frustrating for your agency.  Both are equally important to make things work correctly and efficiently to improve patient care. Think about ways you can help staff with the frustrations on both sides of that coin.  Work with the other administrators on improvement of communications and processes.  It will make both providers better if you work through the bumps collaboratively.

How Do You Analyze Your Quality Data?:

There are some truly fantastic quality programs out there.  But, a QI program is only as good as what the agency does with the data.  The process is a continuous loop.  Look at what you track and what the data really does for you.  Are you tracking things you don’t really need to because the data has been consistently high ?  Or, do you have items you track, but are really doing nothing to actively improve numbers?  If so, your quality program is costly with no real return on your investment.

Chronic Disease Programs/ Education:

In order to function well in an ACO, you must have a chronic disease management program that is on top of changes in patient status.  You have to have proactive care plans and not those that react to issues after exacerbation of illness.  This may seem like a common sense statement, but take a look at your care plans for a patient 5 years ago that has CHF.  Does it look just like a patient admitted yesterday?  If so, then evaluate your program and what education staff is doing in the home.  How often is the patient being monitored? And, ALL disciplines need to be involved in the education and the proactive care plan approach.

We Can Help You Get There!:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, our senior consultants can help with program development and education to staff.  Kenyon has great online education for the management of chronic disease.  Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to schedule your free 30 minute consultation on home care partnerships.