It can be argued that no catalyst for change in the history of U.S. healthcare has been as sudden and monumental as the Covid-19 pandemic. The crisis has laid bare many previous inefficiencies and outdated approaches to care delivery, while springing into motion new priorities and development of care models intended to be more modern and effective.
Those who operated a home health or hospice business prior to 2020 definitely experienced a state of flux and a seismic shift in the direction the industry is heading. Some changes, such as the implementation of value-based care and Medicare Advantage, were set into motion prior to the pandemic and are now being emphasized more urgently due in part to lessons learned. Others, such as the widespread use of virtual care tools and a fundamental shake-up of the post-acute care structure, have come about because of the pandemic and are wholly due to lessons learned.
All of these changes will undoubtedly impact your financial baseline moving forward. If your business is still open after Covid, you have successfully navigated the chaos, but if you haven’t re-evaluated your operations and maximized the potential of technology, you will likely not emerge thriving and prepared for the critical changes to come.
Where Do You Start?
Begin with a basic audit of your staff and workflow.
- What is each person on the team doing and why? What are their expenses? What are they contributing to revenue generation?
- Is there transparency in all stages of the documentation process? Are there clear lines of accountability?
- What is the average life cycle of the referral-to-billing process? How long does it take for orders to be signed and completed by primary care physicians?
Look for ways to build efficiencies.
- Who are your high-performers? Is there anything they can do to essentially add a level of efficiency or effectiveness?
- Where are there bottlenecks in the process?
- What areas of your operations are automated? Have you established solid technology partners?
- How can the business better achieve goals, both from patient care and a revenue standpoint?
Develop for the Future
Once you’ve taken a good look at your business, you should have some idea where things are running smoothly and where there is room for improvement. If you are not harnessing the power of technology in your operations, you might seriously consider doing so. The ROI on a highly rated care coordination platform is almost immediate, transforming your agency into the powerhouse of efficiency it will need to be to meet government regulations and remain competitive.
Even if you have been using a care coordination platform or partial automation, it may still be wise to examine if the technology is being used optimally. During such upheaval as the pandemic and the pressing changes now occurring in home health and hospice care, it is logical to assume that some process-tightening measures are in order.
This is where having the technology is not the only important factor; it is also the relationship you have with your partner that is vital. A high-quality care coordination tech company will have live support services available anytime to assist you in your journey, help you realize business and clinical goals, train for best practices and configure functions for your changing business needs.
Be Prepared for the Dramatic
Armed with knowledge about your business and staff, and having the right technology partner to rely on, you can realize substantial reductions in administrative expenses, optimization of revenue management, and better clinical outcomes. The task ahead may appear daunting, but it is well worth the time and energy to be proactive and prepare your business for the post-Covid market. The results you and your staff will see will allow you to grow and prosper by adapting more seamlessly to new challenges and focusing on what your business is intended to do – deliver the best care possible to your patients.
Forcura, a leading healthcare technology company with a deep commitment to enabling better patient care, facilitates safe patient transitions and care coordination on behalf of providers across the continuum. With help from Forcura, Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia was able to offset a dramatic decrease in revenues by accelerating their accounts receivable by 55% in 2020. Download the case study today to learn more.