Between new health care regulations, ongoing changes in Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements and day-to-day patient care, finding the time to make large organizational shifts can seem daunting and are put off month after month. Instead, we’ve broken down the five key areas to focus on to successfully manage a homecare agency so you can increase your bottom line one baby step at a time.
Staying Up to Date on Regulations
Don’t yawn just yet, staying up to date on regulations can often make the difference between running a successful agency and constant audits which can lead to foreclosure.
With so much going on today it can sometimes be tempting to simply overlook the need for well-documents policies and procedures. But homecare policy and procedure manuals are very important for your agency and once created can be easily updated on a bi-annual or annual basis. In addition, your home care manual can help make your company’s core mission more accessible to employees as well as setting crucial administrative policies.
Because the homecare industry is always changing it’s crucial to always be up-to-date on regulations on both a state and federal level. Join associations and clubs to stay updated on evolving regulations in your state.
Setting Up Best Payment Practices
When it comes to creating a standard billing and payment practice for your agency things can become muddled quickly. It’s important to know that Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans pay for services that home health agencies provide.
Payment from these sources often depend on whether the care was deemed medically necessary and if the individual meets specific coverage criteria. In some cases, individuals may decide to pay directly for services not covered.
You can also look into receiving special funding from state and local governments and community organizers to cover the costs of needed care when other options are not available.
Qualify Your Staff
One of the most challenging tasks of running a successful homecare agency is hiring qualified staff. With HR compliance regulations changing from state to state, knowing who to hire and what standards they should meet can quickly become a headache. Instead try consolidating all their required annual testing through one facility to keep the process streamlined.
Our clients found that when using a single provider to conduct testing, most results are delivered in under 72 hours and maintain records in compliance with HIPAA regulations not only saved them hundreds of hours better spent on running their agency but also ultimately lowered their bottom line by avoiding auditing fees.
Embrace The Tech Race
It’s official, the technology race is on. From patient use to management software, technology is revolutionizing the way in which the homecare industry operates.
New technological advances have already resulted in a decrease in patient readmissions, improvement in reimbursement and an increase in quality of care that saves homecare agencies thousands of dollars and ultimately increasing productivity.
With many states moving to value based payment system, its critical to maximize efficiencies in all areas of your business and integrate technology that tracks crucial metrics in order to avoid penalties. Subscribe to Homecare Technology Associations and Homecare Technology magazines to stay up to day with emerging software, gadgets and solutions that could be the dealmaker for your agency.
Get Cases Quickly
When running a homecare agency, your day can quickly become filled with scheduling workers, following-up on patient care and the never ending billing process. Who has time for marketing?
The trick for easy marketing in the homecare space is setting up a strong referral network in which referral sources send you business on an ongoing basis. This way, instead of chasing new business, it’s constantly chasing after you. Brainstorm a list of top professional who are potential referral sources for your agency such as doctors, hospitals and senior centers etc.
Don’t forget to incorporate other third party business who also cater to a similar population like churches, community centers and organizations who also work with the elderly and consider networking with care manager, financial planners and long term care agents.