Consumer Directed Services: Putting the Home Care Client First

Randi Baxter Posted on Jun 9, 2016

Consumer Directed Services (CDS) models have been a concept in healthcare for some time now. The model name varies depending on your location, however the concept remains consistent; Cash and Counselling in the United States, Consumer Directed Care (CDC) in Australia, or Self Directed Care in Ontario.

The model was designed to acknowledge that consumers are entitled to more individualized care and should have the power and flexibility to determine when, where and the types of care services they receive. In home care specifically, the movement towards these delivery models has increased in the past few years with more and more programs coming to life in North America and even Worldwide.

These patient-centric care models represent a shift away from the typical one-size-fits-all approach to home care. Therefore, your home care software solution needs to have the capacity and flexibility to adapt to the changing landscape.

While each region has their own guidelines for self-directed models, majority of them share the common characteristics; here are some of the features and characteristics your solution should have in order to effectively manage the CDC/CDS care models:

Patient-Centric Service Plan

In order to fulfill the needs of the consumer-directed model, a service plan needs to be documented that specifies the preferences, choices, abilities and needs of the individual, while also incorporating assistance for directing those services.

If you’re working with paper documentation or even a fragmented software solution, these plans could easily get lost in translation creating headaches for care workers and frustration for patients.

In the AlayaCare solution, care providers can create and alter the service plan in real time and at the point of care, and have full visibility into patient goals and progress under the patient profile. 

Transparency

While service plans and processes can be mapped out well in advance under the patient’s direction, there are always going to be times when a care provider might run into a scheduling issue, or will need to take a sick day. In this case, it is important that care providers substituting the visit have complete visibility into the patient’s history to ensure their services remain on track.

In the AlayaCare solution, the patient-centric service plan has a complete audit trail of when and by whom all tasks are completed, along with date and time stamps. Therefore, when contingencies occur, substitute care providers can ensure the visit goes as planned and the patient's desired outcomes are achieved.

Individualized Budgeting/Billing

With consumer-directed care models, budget planning is individually tailored in accordance with the patient’s unique situations established in the service plan.

Your software solution needs to provide an individualized budget, which summarizes the amount of funds that are under the control and direction of the individual. Should adjustments be made to the service plans, having a solution that updates the budget when changes are made can reduce data entry and potential error.

In the AlayaCare Back Office module, you have the ability to track and monitor multiple services in real time. Care package balances are visible through our accounting dashboard, making sure your agency is always providing the right amount of care at the right margins.

Information and Education on Consumer-Direction

While these new care models put the patient at the core, it can be overwhelming to have full control of developing and managing a service plan for a person who has to determine their own care.

Having a solution that incorporates consumer-directed support can be extremely beneficial for care providers and patients using the model. Support can consist of information regarding how consumer-direction works, a checklist of responsibilities, training and assistance, or additional resources.

Care providers can use these tools to aid in their education of consumer-directed care, while also allowing patients to learn at their own speed. AlayaCare’s stakeholder portals are directly integrated into the back office module, and allows providers to deliver relevant content, educational materials and share key information with clients and their loved ones. You can keep all stakeholders up-to-date on the patient’s status regardless of time or distance.

The days of the patient being restricted to a specific service provider or plan are over; they now have the power and flexibility to choose all aspects of their services.

Providers need to be able to deliver choice and flexibility to their patients, so it’s important for home healthcare providers to have a solution that offers the same amount of flexibility.

AlayaCare’s home care software platform is uniquely suited to support the shifting home healthcare environment. Our end-to-end solution offers the tools necessary for care providers and patients to plan, deliver and improve care.

Home Care Agency Guide to Technology

Topics: Australia, Compliance, Canada, Back Office Suite, Clinical Documentation