We pulled together three key themes we heard at NAHC FMC21 that will dramatically impact home healthcare providers in the next 12 months. COVID-19, along with increasing traction of value-based purchasing (VBP) and risk sharing models combined with staffing shortages are disrupting traditional home health delivery models.
Home health agencies that approach the confluence of three major market trends by thinking beyond the current climate and investing in the right people, process and technology will be properly positioned to succeed in 2022.
1. More and more care will occur in the home.
The greater emphasis on total cost of care by CMS and patients’ desire to recover at home are driving more home-based care initiatives. Whether it be SNF at home, hospital at home, or Choose Home it’s all coming home. Initial test results reported at NAHC FMC indicate at home care can significantly reduce total cost of care and readmissions and improve patient function. And patient preference to remain at home has never been greater. The expectation is for a significant acceleration in demand for home healthcare in 2022.
Key takeaway: The predicted acceleration in demand for home health services is a major growth opportunity in 2022.
2. The biggest three pain points are “workforce, workforce, workforce”
Today’s workforce shortage is not going away and based on the increasing desire for care at home experts expect the demand for care will continue to outpace supply of clinicians available at many home health agencies. Organizations need to re-frame the challenge to consider how they maximize the hours of each clinical team member available for patient care. The more efficient clinicians become because non-clinical activity is minimized, the more hours become available to care for patients.
Key takeaway: The winners will have the most clinical hours available to address increasing demand.
3. Like it or not, performance-based reimbursement models are the future
While home health agencies are trying to balance the demand for services with the available supply of qualified clinicians, performance-based reimbursement models such as managed care, shared risk models, and VBP which is rolling out nationwide in 2022, are gaining significant traction. In these models, agencies will be evaluated and reimbursed on performance versus activity, including how well they keep patients out of the hospital and healthy. Stretched clinical staff will need to deliver high quality care or performance scores will suffer. Forward thinking home health leaders are putting process and technology in place now to prepare for the new VBP requirements.
Key takeaway: Success with new reimbursement models hinges on empowering your staff to deliver high quality patient care.
To recap, there will be more demand for home healthcare, your agency will be judged on your performance, and you will not likely have the workforce you really want to ensure high quality home health care for all the patients that want it.
There is no choice but to act now and find innovative technologies that support a hybrid plan of care including physical visits and virtual care and streamline care team communications.
To succeed in this new paradigm, experts we heard at NAHC FMC encouraged home health agencies to implement:
- Telehealth services
- Patient engagement solutions
- Care team collaboration
- Visit frequency optimization
Citus Health offers a comprehensive virtual patient care platform solution for home healthcare providers that includes video telehealth, secure messaging, electronic “app-less” signature capture, customizable forms and more, all on one platform. The Citus Health platform enables your team to deliver more hours of patient care by minimizing non-clinical activity and can help reduce the chance of an unnecessary hospitalization by improving communication between care team, patient and family caregiver.
Schedule a demo today to learn more about how Citus Health can help you prepare for VBP and help you increase clinical hours available for care.