There is tremendous potential to grow a home care organization by expanding care services, and with the market expected to grow to $528 billion by 2026, adding specialty programs should be a top priority. Successfully implementing a program will require avenues for promotion, committed people providing care and clearly defined processes.
Why Is Now the Time to Add a Specialty Program?
In 2017, home care organizations missed out on $2.5 billion from clients recommended to receive care after discharge, but never did. In terms of clients’ quality of life, it’s been confirmed that clients are less likely to be readmitted to a hospital after receiving home care. The need is there.
With the number of eligible Medicare recipients drastically increasing daily, the home care industry will continue to be an integral partner in the world of healthcare.
Creating a specialty program will require a knowledge of the business, determining the market and its needs, analyzing any competitors and what they offer, setting specific and attainable goals, outlining clear strategies and determining a realistic budget.
Choosing a Specialty Program
There are many care programs to choose from, depending on the market: senior safety, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, care transitions, rehabilitation, even cosmetic programs for those needing assistance after cosmetic surgeries.
It’s worth noting three common causes of hospitalization among older adults are falls, medication mismanagement and improper disease management. Specialty programs focused on these areas can assist with hospitalization risks – and should show value with a return on investment.
How to Create Clearly Defined Processes
Not only is extensively training your caregivers essential to proper client care and safety, it’s also a key factor in employee retention.
Create an in-house skills lab with donated equipment for caregivers to train with clinicians. Invest in an online platform that educates new caregivers on best practices and healthcare regulations. Contract a consultant or a subject expert to assist in the training. Use these partners in care to learn from and guide processes.
How to Promote a New Specialty Program
Home care revolves around disease management: structured treatment plans to help clients better manage chronic diseases and reduce symptoms, while keeping them healthy and improving quality of life.
There are many stakeholders and partners in care that have the same goal for home care clients and can help promote and support organizations looking to create specialty programs. While stakeholders have the same goal for clients, they may have different motivations for encouraging home care services, such as:
- Hospitals – Medicare payment is withheld for any readmissions.
- Nursing homes – Are compared with competitors using standardized tools.
- Skilled nursing facilities – Their Medicare payments are tied to client outcomes.
- Assisted living facilities – Bound by regulations that require certain functionality to remain open.
- Home health and hospices – Each have industry compare reports.
- Rehabilitation centers – Rely on value-based purchasing models.
- Payers – Want a reduced spend rate.
- Physicians – Are invested and concerned about the care of their clients.
- Clients – Most have a desire to age in place.
- Clients’ families – Want to see the client healthy.
Where to Find Caregivers for Specialty Programs
Healthcare positions are the fastest growing employment in the United States.
Caregivers can be difficult to recruit due to lack of qualifications, and difficult to retain because of the often emotional and exhausting nature of the position.
Successful avenues to find caregivers include: nursing schools, where students gain field experience; military veterans, because they’ve proven a dedication to a cause and passion to serve for the greater good; churches can be helpful in finding people led to help others; and displaced workers, a large group currently due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Retaining these caregivers can be accomplished through competitive pay, meaningful work, guidance toward a career path and teaching transferable skills.
Making The Process Easier With Technology
Having the right software partner to easily document care along the way and capture data is essential. Axxess Home Care is a home care software that provides real-time data on an easy-to-read dashboard and customized reports to track the progress of specialty programs and growth of home care organizations.
For a deeper look at creating specialty programs, watch this webinar.