The global home healthcare industry size is expected to reach almost $663 billion by 2027.
At the same time, WHO has projected that the number of older people will double by 2050, which means that there will be approximately 1.5 billion senior citizens in the world.
These figures show that this landscape is about to become increasingly competitive and challenging. The fact that agencies will have to switch to a more patient-centric approach in offering healthcare services is something that will shape future efforts to meet future demands and deliver on client expectations.
To streamline your operations, ensure caregiver retention, and provide great customer service, you need to choose home health software that will allow you to stay on top of all this.
Here are some tips that will help you with this task and pick the best application for your home healthcare business.
What Is Home Health Software?
First things first.
Before helping you choose home health software that will meet your requirements, we need to establish what such an application is and discuss its essential features and functionalities.
A simple and straightforward definition would be that home health software is a system that facilitates home health care agency management and streamlines service coordination. Such a system allows agencies to schedule appointments and visits, prevent double bookings, track caregivers’ visits, simplify insurance billing, and facilitate invoicing and payment management.
Home health care can be used interchangeably with home care services, as both terms refer to agencies that provide skilled and unskilled as well as both short and long-term health care services in the comfort of patients’ own homes.
Spurred by the ongoing pandemic, hospitals are trying to reduce overcrowding, while insurers see this model as a way to slow and minimize health care spending. As a matter of fact, 30% of patients admitted to hospitals are eligible for in-home care, which means that there’s a huge potential for agencies and providers of such services to step in and pick up the slack.
So, it’s a solution that all parties will benefit from.
Benefits of Implementing Home Health Care Software
In order to properly choose home health software, you have to understand how it will improve your daily operations, customer service, as well as your clients’ wellbeing.
It’s obvious that you can’t run an agency using a spreadsheet and a simple accounting app. What you need is multi-faceted software capable of keeping track of all the caregivers and other non-medical members of your staff, allowing you to schedule appointments, notifying your workforce about any schedule changes, and exporting time records to major payroll software systems.
Also, don’t forget that electronic visit verification (EVV) is mandatory for every home care agency providing personal care services.
Now, let’s discuss all this in greater detail.
1. Stay compliant
As of January 1, 2020, home health care agencies must implement EVV solutions in an attempt to prevent fraudulently documented home visits and patient abuse and neglect.
That’s where electronic visit verification comes in to ensure your caregivers actually show up on time for their scheduled appointments. Using such a solution, you’ll be able to hold your staff accountable, bill your clients only for the services that were provided, and have everything documented.
Home care health fraud is a serious offense and it can result not only in your Medicaid or Medicare claims being denied but also in up to 10 years in prison per count.
Given that EVV is usually done using a GPS-enabled device paired with the tracking software, Timeero is the right choice. It comes with GPS-tracking, time-tracking, and scheduling features, which means that you will always know where every member of your team is or has been as well as when they arrived at or left a particular location.
In addition to that, you can use Timeero to
- Automatically clock in/out your employees if necessary
- Approve and export time to payroll software
- Create a schedule for your entire team and notify them about their shifts
- Monitor your employees even when they’re offline.
All this means that with Timeero you won’t have to worry about ensuring the best patient care, accurate billing, and compliance.
2. Improve the patient experience
The success of your home health care agency heavily relies on the satisfaction of your clients.
Patients are already worried about their condition, so giving them a sense of consistency and stability is something that will reduce their anxiety and make them feel more at ease. If your caregivers are punctual and reliable, it will be easier for them to establish credibility and trust with their patients. This will, in turn, improve the patient experience and the reputation of your agency.
Therefore, if you choose software for the home health business properly, you’ll have a powerful tool for monitoring your staff and ensuring they’re offering the best possible care. Also, if you notice some red flags, you’ll be able to act immediately and replace a team member who doesn’t live up to your patients’ expectations and your agency’s standards.
Also, since billing is automated, you’ll prevent potential legal issues.
3. Improve the caregiver experience
Similarly, by strengthening the reputation of your home care business, you’ll position yourself as a desirable employer. Needless to say, this will attract top talent and improve caregiver retention.
When it comes to the caregiver experience, home health software puts all the information about daily schedules and tasks at your staff’s fingertips, meaning that they won’t have to worry about missing an appointment or being late.
Also, the time-tracking functionality will ensure that your employees are properly paid, which plays an important role in their satisfaction and staying with your agency. Having long-term caregivers is important for the patient experience too since some people feel more comfortable when the same caregiver is assigned to them.
With Timeero, it will be much easier for you to manage and coordinate schedules and streamline invoicing, payroll, and billing.
Last but not least, if you choose home health software suitable for your business, you’ll reduce both your and your employees’ administrative burden, which means that your caregivers will have more time to focus on what really matters - their patients.
How Do I Choose Home Care Software?
It’s evident that you need help managing health care appointments, monitoring your field staff, ensuring better patient care, staying compliant with federal regulations, and automating your workflows.
However, it’s not easy to choose home health software as there are numerous solutions on the market.
Here are the factors you should take into consideration before investing in this application indispensable for your home care agency.
1. Essential features
Before you choose home health care software, you need to make a list of all your requirements and find a solution with all the necessary features that’s within your budget.
Some of the core elements to look for in your home health software include:
* Scheduling. With this functionality, you’ll easily organize your staff, eliminate the risk that a visit will be missed or double-booked, and ensure that every shift will be covered if a caregiver cancels at the last moment. Timeero’s “Who’s Working” tab shows you a list of all available employees and allows you to easily re-schedule a visit and notify caregivers about any changes in their schedule. This makes managing and communicating with your staff hassle-free.
* Time tracking. What happens when a caregiver forgets to clock out after completing their visit? You don’t have to worry about this, because Timeero will notify you about suspicious behavior so that you’ll be alerted if someone’s working overtime. Also, this feature makes it easy to track patient visit times and caregiver work times. Paired with GPS- tracking, this feature provides you with proof of service, which is necessary for electronic visit verification.
* Mileage tracking. Since your employees have to visit patients, it’s clear that mileage is an important element of your budget. Caregivers drive around in your vehicles, and you should know how much that costs if you want to save money. Timeero helps you track mileage and automate the entire process so that you can get a breadcrumb path of your employees’ movements without having to ask them to log their mileage. The geo-fencing functionality will remind your team to start tracking time and mileage.
* Billing and invoicing. To facilitate billing and invoicing, your home health software should be integrated with billing and invoicing applications, so that you can easily generate accurate invoices and send them to your patients.
* Data security. Health care agencies collect and store a lot of sensitive patient data, which is why it’s crucial to opt for a solution that will keep all this information safe and secure.
2. Integrations and adaptability
We’ve already mentioned that home healthcare marketing has been growing rapidly, which means that you have to think ahead and choose home health software based on its ability to adapt to new requirements.
Pick a vendor that offers a number of different integrations and has been steadily upgrading their software. That way you’ll be sure that the software will be updated in the future to include new legal regulations and ensure compliance.
For example, Timeero integrates with popular accounting and payroll applications such as Quickbooks, Xero, ADP, and Paychex. In addition to that, it also comes with a Zapier integration, which means that you’ll be able to connect with more than 3,000 different applications that will streamline any aspect of your business.
3. Ease of use
Don’t underestimate this factor as it’s what will decide whether your new home health software will turn out to be a success or failure.
For this reason, it’s essential to choose home health software that is easy to use and that your staff will quickly adapt to with minimal training.
To check this, ask for a demo, as sometimes the features you see in writing fail to properly materialize resulting in a clunky system that both you and your employees will have a hard time learning how to use.
Timeero’s intuitive user interface guarantees that you won’t have to waste time on hit-and-miss attempts to implement it.
Besides that, happy users’ testimonials can serve as a great vote of confidence, so it’s a good idea to read what others from your industry say about the software you’re eyeing.
You can read what Timeero’s clients from the home health industry say about using the software and how it helped them organize their workflows and get rid of the administrative burden. Besides that, they praise the reporting feature, which allows supervisors to pull reports by groups and evaluate their teams and monitor their performance in a couple of clicks.
So, How Do You Choose Home Health Software That Will Help You Grow Your Agency?
With the right home health software, you will be able to automate your flows, go paperless, and optimize administrative tasks.
All this means that your employees will have an opportunity to focus only on their job and care for their patients. The features and functionalities we discussed will help you maintain high standards and improve both the patient and caregiver experience.