In the home care sector, times are changing. For some agency owners, particularly of smaller or mid-sized agencies, it can feel like somebody has jammed the accelerator: keeping up with technology can be difficult and time-consuming.
Even when an agency determines what new home care software and equipment it needs, the up-front costs and hassle of implementation can be a deterrent to move forward – not to mention the fear of seeing such an investment become obsolete a few years later. That’s why it’s important for agencies to choose an all-in-one technological solution that not only covers all (or most) needs, but is flexible enough to evolve with the brisk pace of change.
Regulations are Changing
In the U.S., the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is raising the bar for data reporting from home care agencies, likely an effort to encourage consolidation amongst the 20,000 providers across the country. In addition, the CMS is committing more resources to uncovering fraud in home care, thus requiring more up-to-date technology for reporting requirements across the board.
Given that many agencies still rely on outdated software and/or paper documentation, risks to privacy and errors are a concern. During the next audit, an agency could face issues it didn’t know about, because older administrative systems are simply less efficient and less accurate.
A centerpiece of this changing landscape is the CURES Act that, among other things, has set a deadline for agencies to implement electronic visit verification in order to ensure accurate Medicaid billing practices.
Agencies are Changing
U.S. legislation notwithstanding, home care agencies in any country are advancing into the future and/or growing their operations. For this, technology must be a prime consideration.
For example, efficient technology can attract top talent – particularly when it comes to top-notch caregivers, who are often burdened with intense paperwork requirements. In fact, one of our clients, Integracare Inc., recently told us that new software that dramatically changes the working life of nurses in home care can be the equivalent of hiring two new nurses – a huge perk not only for the agency but for caregivers, too.
Needless to say, mobile technology that enables caregivers to be up to the moment with clients, is nearly a necessity now.
Another of our clients, Integracare (based in Toronto), views solid technology as a major asset as it seeks to gain a greater foothold in the industry.
“Technology is key part of our growth strategy,” said Lisa Sundarsingh, vice-president of care operations at Integracare. “For our business to scale, we need systems to easily add services, clients, employees, and offices. Going to the cloud with AlayaCare provides us that ability to grow without having to invest more in technology. Not to mention that is has improved client care considerably.”
When Integracare, a Canadian small/mid-sized agency, is in talks to acquire a new agency that has outdated software, it's not worried: because any new agency that consolidates with it (a reality across the industry) can easily be embraced by AlayaCare’s software.
Over 50 years ago, Bob Dylan wrote: “The slow one now will later be fast / As the present now will later be past… / And the first one now will later be last / For the times they are a-changin’.”
Be sure any choice made is one that can keep rolling with the waves of the future.
For details on AlayaCare’s cloud-based solution, you can demo our software for free today.