On Oct 4th, 2022, Home Health Care News, in partnership with AlayaCare, hosted a webinar: “Growth Strategies for Home Care Agencies”. This webinar was focused on home-based care growth plans and what strategies are best for home care organizations to gain financial health and continue to grow and be successful in the industry.
Missed the webinar? No worries! Read the key findings and quotes below and get access to featured clips.
Tony Ott – Market Leader US Home Health & Hospice, AlayaCare
Billie Agnone – Senior Customer Enablement Consultant, AlayaCare
Jeff Howell – Director of Growth, AlayaCare
Andrew Donlin – Moderator, HHCN
#1 – Employee recruitment and retention is the secret sauce for growth
According to the panelists, employee recruitment and retention is the “secret sauce” to growing a home care agency.
“When agencies are putting a lot of thought in the process of recruiting and retaining that workforce, they are seeing an expansion…a lot of agencies are also being very creative, thoughtful and offering support services to their care associates, and by doing this they’re retaining their caregivers. When the trusted advisor is happy, the caregiver starts to share their story. When the client and the family are happy, they start sharing their story. When the care management team is happy, they start sharing their story and the agency just blossoms. So, putting an effort on high satisfaction in agencies are doing that.”– Billie Agnone
All panelists agreed when Andrew said, “Even if those cost money in the short term, the long-term investment is really going to pay off because the cost of turnover is a lot higher than it is to invest in your employees now.”– Billie Agnone
#2 – Partnerships and acquisitions allow agencies to continue to specialize and grow their service lines
Jeff explained how one of the hindrances to operational efficiencies that aren’t easily addressed within the industry would be that “the smaller the agency, the more challenged they are with wearing all the hats of the business.” Because of this hinderance, according to Tony Ott, we are going to be seeing more specialization within these agencies and lots of partnering, and these partnerships are helpful for the growth of agencies to bridge geographic and service line gaps.
“Partnerships are essential to grow your agency. Some agencies have a geographic footprint that they cover, and they can cover another area by partnering with a health system that has their own home care agencies in that area. Then there is also the need to care outside of just partnering geographically, because most agencies can’t cover all lines of service. They need partners. They may be able to do the personal care, but they may not be able to do skilled pediatrics. So usually many of these, even competing, agencies have areas where they can sometimes help one another.”– Tony Ott
“Because of those partnerships, they can see opportunities for growth, because we are seeing even more specialization. In the market, agencies aren’t doing a little bit of everything, they’re having to figure out what they do best and do that efficiently.”– Tony Ott
#3 – Technology and artificial intelligence allows us to get more caregivers
“There are ways, very simple ways through technology,” said Andrew, “that caregiving can become an easier profession because of these technological tools.” Todd continued the conversation by explaining that technology with predictive analytics can help manage operations and optimize them. Technology will not be replacing any caregiver, in fact, technology will just help the caregiver and/or nurse do their job more efficiently.
“[Imagine] virtual care with real time video conferencing with their clients in their home. You know what it allows the agency? It allows them to have that traditional face-to-face, real-time care. It also allows them to have that high touch switch to an immediate look at the client’s condition when that in-home care professional is calling with a change in that condition. What we do know is that high touch models increase high performance from both the home care associate as well as satisfaction from the client. And when those conditions get called in and the caregiver is present, they help that back-office triage process to identify the situations and next steps that can reduce hospitalizations.”– Billie Agnone
“The real exciting thing is the automation of other industries that allow us to get more caregivers. Right, so it’s going to be a lot easier to have self-driving Uber cars than robots that can give baths. I’m excited about how our industry can benefit from this.”– Jeff Howell
#4 – Leverage business intelligence by getting the right data the right way
It is important to get the right data the right way if you hope to improve and grow your business. But how can business intelligence help drive growth for home care? How can agencies leverage data and business intelligence?
“I would say even big health systems aren’t really either happy or that advanced on their health informatics. If you look at your average home care agency, you might get a sense of 75 caregivers and 75 clients or something like that. You’re not going to be collecting that much data that you’re predicting negative health events, but you have to start collecting data to begin with. You have to be off of paper. You have to have some kind of app with a digital form in the hands of the caregivers. Then those caregivers need to be trained to collect the right data in the field.”– Jeff Howell
“For example, if we as an industry say only 12% of knee replacement cases end up in hospitalization due to an infection, well, that’s what the aggregate data can tell us. But we need to be creating the right way to measure that at the point of care. And if you’re still on paper, you have no way to track that. If you have a mobile app that caregivers aren’t using, you have no way to track that. If you’re not creating the forms to collect that data, you can’t report on it. Technology is there as your friend.”– Jeff Howell
By focusing on employee recruitment and retention, partnerships and acquisitions, technology and artificial intelligence, and business intelligence, home care organizations can gain financial health and continue to grow and be successful in the industry.
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Find the recording of the full webinar here
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