How Home Care in Texas Can Be Transformed by

The Power of Data 

Introduction

It’s no secret that home care agencies face increasingly challenging circumstances when it comes to providing efficient, high-quality care that Texans and their families expect.

With strict, shifting regulations, inconsistent Medicaid reimbursement rates, a dearth of caregivers at a low minimum wage in a highly competitive market, not to mention Texas’ recent Obamacare challenge -- the need for agencies to prove their worth to the government and their clients has never been more important. 

Houston alone is one of the top U.S. markets for home care agencies, as it is home to approximately 700,000 of the state’s 3.5 million individuals over the age of 65. As the Houston Chronicle recently featured, pay is a central issue that is causing high turnover rates and labor gaps, since Medicaid dictates the private sector’s wages, despite the fact that only 40 percent of home care services are government-funded.  

With few financial incentives for caregivers, Texas has a home care labor shortage that will no doubt rise along with its aging population. As the article points out, it’s estimated that at least 13 million new in-home caregivers will be needed by 2030. The stakes have never been higher for agencies to both recruit and retain the very best caregivers available.

If incentives can’t be realized through monetary means, then agencies must look to find them elsewhere. That’s where the power of harvesting the right data can set progressive agencies apart from the rest.

About AlayaCare

AlayaCare is a provider of revolutionary cloud-based home care software. With an end-to-end solution spanning clinical documentationback-office functionalityclient and family portalsremote patient monitoring, and a mobile home care app, we offer a platform for agencies to propel towards innovation and home care of the future.

Data: The Superhero of Home Care

Measurable data provides industries with a wealth of information that can help leaders make evidence-based decisions to move a business forward. From analyzing customer buying habits, to examining pricing trends for resources, to understanding energy use to curb hydro costs -- the list of how data underpins business is virtually endless.    

The healthcare industry too has seen enormous benefits in collecting clinical, research, claims data and more. This has helped to shape operational efficiency and, importantly, uncover crucial insights that form the building blocks for the future of care.

The home care industry is no exception when it comes to the myriad benefits that data provides, and 2019 is poised to be the year it takes off. In fact, Forbes’ top healthcare predictions for 2019 anticipate that by the end of the year, half of all healthcare companies will have resources dedicated to accessing, sharing, and analyzing real-world evidence for use across their organizations.  

Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the power and possibilities when it comes to data collection and analysis in the Texas home care market: 

Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the power and possibilities when it comes to data collection and analysis in the Texas home care market: 


Value-Based Purchasing


KPIs Promote Business Success


Attracting and Retaining Your Best Talent

Value-Based Purchasing

Value-based purchasing (VBP) is a form of payment that holds health care providers accountable for both the cost and quality of that care. It aims to reduce poor care and identify and reward the best-performing providers. VBP has been identified by Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to help advance key priorities for the state’s Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs. Namely:

  1. Keeping Texans healthy
  2. Providing the right care in the right place
  3. Keeping patients free from harm
  4. Promoting effective practices for chronic disease
  5. Supporting patients and families facing serious illness
  6. Attracting high performing providers

An uptick in the use of the VBP model is also on the list of Forbes’ 2019 predictions, which estimates that 15 percent of global healthcare spending will be tied in some form to value/outcome based care concepts by year’s end.

VBP is all about data, as payment correlates to each provider achieving defined, measured goals such as patient experience and quality of care. Agencies will need the right software to clearly track how patients and clients are doing and demonstrate the value of the care delivered to payers, providers and other healthcare stakeholders through quantitative data. These important proof points can then be used to show just how much both medical and non-medical services boost outcomes for clients -- for example, how many times a patient required transfer to hospital or metrics related to the quality of life, such as loneliness or chronic pain. 

Value Based Purchasing Guide

Ultimate Guide to Value-Based Purchasing

With this guide will you learn how your home care agency can prepare, adapt and thrive in a value-based purchasing landscape with the help of modern home care technology. 

Learn More

KPIs Promote Business Success

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Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can measure an agency’s success by revealing if objectives are consistently met or not. While KPIs can form the backbone of a VBP model, they also address all measurable aspects of home care: the number of on-time client visits, employee retention, HR and finance efficiency, and more. Essentially, KPIs can help track and address every single priority of the HHSC -- while improving business.  

Take a common scenario, where agencies could use KPIs to measure service hours (since payers will fund only specific hours worked). On the flip side, client feedback metrics can be used to track the perceived quality and level of care with opportunities for caregivers to weigh in on the feedback and describe how issues arose and how they were addressed. This data can then be used to improve care while ensuring your care teams are treated fairly during performance reviews and more. 

“Data is like the foundation of a house. Without it, you can’t make efficient decisions. Yet data in and of itself, is virtually useless. Taking data and turning it into information and making that knowledge that you can repeat: that is success.” -- Lee Grunberg, President of Integracare

“Having data automatically exported to the dashboard instead of manually entered into an excel spreadsheet has improved both the accuracy of inputting and efficiency of sharing the data.” -- Terri Soukup, Vice-President, Helping Hands

Attracting and Retaining Your Best Talent

Keeping your care teams happy goes hand in hand with better client outcomes -- not to mention greater profits. Given the competitive Texas market, it’s imperative to ensure you’re keeping your top talent happy -- and limiting costly, time-consuming churn. 

 

Our data shows that a workforce optimization solution can yield a 10-20% increase in caregiver utilization, 33.5% reduction in weekly travel time, 35% reduction in scheduling time, and a 15% reduction in recruitment costs.

Data plays a key role here too, as the right technology tracks trends within your organization and predicts specific reasons why employees might decide to leave. This is where machine learning and predictive technology are drivers for recruitment and retention, relieving caregivers of inefficiencies that contribute to burnout and eventual departure. In fact, our own data shows that a workforce optimization solution can yield a 10-20 percent increase in caregiver utilization, 33.5 percent reduction in weekly travel time, 35 percent reduction in scheduling time, and a 15 percent reduction in recruitment costs.

How?

Optimized scheduling and visibility: Better scheduling correlates with happy staff. This considers both client and staff preferences on an ongoing basis, whether it’s the number of hours a caregiver wants to work or the amount of time spent on the road. The right technology -- and the subsequent data outputs -- can optimize routes and visit times, ensuring hours and efficiencies are maximized. 

Furthermore, point-of-care clinical data can empower caregivers by enabling remote access to the most up-to-date health information at the appropriate time during the client visit. With immediate visibility into client history and real-time data capturing, caregivers can deliver high-quality, efficient care.

Seamless client/caregiver matching: Data can also match clients to caregivers, aligning skills and interests. This can be particularly important for clients with very specific needs, or whose personalities may clash. Ensuring caregivers to meet with their preferred clients boosts not only their satisfaction levels but those of their clients as well. Such matches can be expressed as a percentage value; for example: Elsie’s primary caregiver Barb is a 95 percent match because of her specialized training with diabetes, their shared political views, and work hour preferences.  

Soon, data will even be able to foster predictive hiring. For example, it could show that more PSWs will be needed in a particular county by the summer, or that a physiotherapist would be a beneficial addition to your staff roster.  This predictive technology will one day prove indispensable when it comes to agency HR planning.

The right technology unlocks the most powerful data

In all, harvesting said data to proactively manage care requires the right technology for each agency. And the right technology means choosing software that has the flexibility to grow with your needs and the demands of a constantly changing market.

AlayaCare is the only home care software provider offering innovative technologies such as a Patient App, Telehealth Dashboard, Family Portal, RPM software, and Machine Learning algorithm-based clinical support tools, which help agencies leverage data to best coordinate and deliver high-quality of care in Texas and beyond.  

It is the closest thing to a true platform in-home care and provides a combination of functionality, flexibility and efficiency, leveraging the “AlayaSphere” -- a group of apps and web services that AlayaCare integrates. By connecting data from multiple platforms, you can ensure all your data is in one place, unlocking unparalleled functionality.

 With this functionality your agency can:

  • Seamlessly integrate systems that have partnered with AlayaCare
  • Minimize manual data entry
  • Streamline the flow of data
  • Increase interoperability
  • Become more productive
  • Make informed decisions on both a business and clinical level
  • Help keep your agency aligned with the priorities of the HHSC
AlayaCare Platform

When it comes to meeting modern challenges of delivering home care in Texas, amid a changing climate, it’s wise to place the biggest bet where it has the biggest impact. One no longer needs to be a data scientist to leverage the numbers -- technology will do the work for you.

 

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