Fireworks, barbecues, baseball games and fairs – Independence Day marks an important time in history that’s celebrated from coast to coast to coast. It’s no time better to reflect on what matters most: family and friends.
Loved ones are the drivers of home care in America, an industry that is certainly entrenched in upheaval and uncertainty, but one that provides much-needed care – making a real difference in the lives of so many.
This Fourth of July, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on the four most pressing subjects facing home care agency owners that are shaping the future of this industry.
Value-Based Purchasing (VBP).Surely an acronym that needs no introduction, this is a payment model that holds health-care providers accountable for both the cost and the quality of care they deliver. It’s structured to reward the best-performing providers, and curb sky-rocketing health-care costs. VBP is creating plenty of buzz and causing its fair share of headaches among providers – yet it doesn’t have to be a daunting proposition. In fact, VBP brings opportunity to the table for everyone on the continuum of care. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Value-Based Purchasing for everything you need to know about how to prepare, adapt and ensure your agency thrives in this new landscape.
Electronic Visit Verification (EVV).The deadline for Medicaid-reimbursed home care agencies to implement federally-mandated EVV systems is now just six months away. Agencies will require a system in place by New Year’s Day, in the government’s bid to reduce Medicaid billing fraud, poor oversight and improper payments, by verifying that field workers are delivering the care that is reported. The good news: there’s still time to implement an effective EVV solution for agencies who have yet to do so.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM).While not highly prevalent yet among home care agencies, the rise of VBP in this country will soon drive broader use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as RPM. The best solutions offer deep-learning models that can predict hospital readmissions and ER visits for chronically ill patients, such as those with heart failure and COPD. In addition, RPM allows agencies to configure monitoring plans tied into client care plans, prioritize client needs based on clinical data, and be more proactive in care delivery.
Integrated Care.As we’ve mentioned, integrated care is fast becoming the home care model of the future – and for good reason. When health-care teams work collaboratively, sharing real-time information across the spectrum, quality of life and care improves for clients. While fragmented care is still a roadblock, we’re seeing signs of change, with Medicare & Medicaid Services already embedding non-skilled workers in home care in Medicare Advantage plans.
These trends, along with others shaping the industry – like PDGM poised to cause fluctuations in mergers and acquisitions activity over the next year, will no doubt keep us all on our toes. And remember, when times are changing, technology can ready any agency for success, so long as the chosen software is flexible enough to accommodate any new demands.
But for now, let’s enjoy a well-deserved break here on the Fourth of July.