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Organizational Restructuring & Transition

Home Care Recruitment: The Never Ending Process

With more and more private duty home care agencies starting up, new and existing agencies are decrying the lack of qualified home care aides in the field to support their client caseloads. Turnover is generally high (40% – 50% or more) thus making continual recruiting a must if your home care agency is to grow. In addition to the lack of qualified aides, the aging of American is growing rapidly. By 2030, the number of Americans age 85 or older—the group most likely to need the assistance of direct-care staff—is expected to double, reaching 8.9 million. Over the same period, the number of women in their 20s through 50s—the group most likely to make up the ranks of direct care workers—is expected to rise less than 10%. (Linda Hiddemen Barondess)


Creating and Building an Excellent Home Care Workforce

Last week we talked about screening and hiring of home care staff, specifically about home care aides. Given that the schools that train aides are designed for acute arena, we in home care frequently find that we have to “jury rig” our aide’s skills and knowledge to meet the special needs of our clients.

There are some states that have recognized the differences between home care and the acute arena and have added curriculum requirements into the course work that partially address the needs of home care. However, we have found that overall, the skills needed by the home care aides in the home are not adequately addressed.


Leading Healthcare Into the Future – Any Takers?

There’s no end to the information available today on leadership. Typically it is about how important it is. If it is written about so much and seems to be the secret for success, why isn’t great leadership present everywhere? Many people in management may manage processes and systems well, but they may not be great leaders or even leaders at all. So what does today’s healthcare market need in terms of leadership?


Creating a Culture of Excellence in Home Health

Many home care agencies strive for and claim they have excellent services, but rarely do we ever hear a home care agency talk about a culture of excellence  – one that sets them apart from other home care agencies. This discussion is essential for home health leadership. To better understand how to create a culture of excellence, we must first understand the two elements: culture and excellence.


Succession Planning and Interim Home Care Management

Nothing is more unsettling to a home care organization than the loss, or impending loss, of an essential leader. Home care agencies that fail to plan for this event experience major disruptions in their business; initiatives lose momentum or are completely lost, uncertainty increases staff resignations, and business drops off causing a decline to the bottom line. To avoid this problem, a home health, or hospice organization must have both an emergency succession plan, as well as an established succession plan.


The Cost Benefit of Interim Home Care Management

Over the years, we have provided numerous interim home care managers for home care executive level positions. On a few occasions we have been told that the cost of using a senior home care executive is more than they can afford. This has always intrigued me, because when a cost of service comparison is conducted, we frequently find that by the time all the benefits and overhead burden are calculated, the interim home care executive costs about the same and in a couple of situations less than what their actual cost of a permanent replacement.


Growing Pains: Home Health Agencies in Transition

Home Health agencies that have been in business for a few years can relate to the issue of growing pains. It is almost like you hit a ceiling and cannot grow beyond the increased competition, changes in payor rules and reimbursement amounts, increased regulations and shortages of skilled staff.

So what is happening?


New Strategies for Competition in Home Health

Outside the BoxDo you remember when you and a few others were the only ones in the home care business in your area? While there was competition, there was more than enough business to go around. In some areas of the country this remains true. In other areas, the marketplace has become saturated and agencies are losing market share and staff to the emerging competition. If you have a single line of business e.g. Medicare Certified Home Health, this could be a disastrous situation for the agency, particularly as the industry moves to bundled payments and decreased reimbursements. So what do you do to survive and thrive in this competitive home care environment?


Managing Change: Embracing Change

Today, I’m happy to present Terri Wallin, RN MHA, who has written an article for us on change. Terri is a master at this process and has proven it over and over in her 30 years as an administrator in multiple settings, including home health. She has much to offer. 

Will change in home care ever stop? The short answer is probably no, at least not in the foreseeable future for health care business and services. The truth of the matter is that we change every day – what we wear, what we eat, the routes we take to work, where we shop. Although change seems to occur with ease and regularity in our personal lives, the same experience rarely plays out in our professional lives. So what makes the workplace and environmental changes so difficult? The former examples are often within our control; the latter are not. The drivers or activities causing the change are often external, making the need for change mandatory.


Organizational Assessment Sparks Your Home Care Agency’s Performance

I often wake up in the wee hours of the morning wondering about change. As a professional consultant for the homecare industry, change – and all of its trappings – is often the focal point of my discussions with clients. On any given day, I help any number of agency owners and managers explore what change would mean for their organization.

Often we start by investigating what a Comprehensive Organizational Assessment would look like. Let me say up front that the fee for this type of assessment is worth more than its weight in gold. I don’t say this to drum up business for myself or other consultants. It’s just that change can be tricky, and if you don’t have a clear idea of where you are, it’s difficult to carve out a path to a better future. (more…)