by Darcey Trescone, RN, BSN
AlayaCare predicted that 2019 would be the year of caregiver engagement and home care agencies committed to this did differentiate themselves in their market. Clinical care and personal care began to become one in the same affecting the role of the caregiver as a driver in achieving positive outcomes for their patients. With these shifts we also began to see virtual care and remote monitoring become more important as a value-added service to home health care patients.
Recently AlayaCare published their 2020 predictions and trends for home care. With the accuracy of their 2019 predictions we knew we needed to learn more about their 2020 home care forecast. We were lucky enough to catch Adrian Schauer, AlayaCare CEO to discuss his viewpoints on 2020 and what will be important with home care for the year to come.
In the year 2020, healthcare providers will focus more on social isolation as a predictive of poor patient outcomes. Health systems are beginning to organize around social isolation and recommendations to enforce care.
Schauer: We know that social determinants are a factor in predicting patient outcomes and should be considered along with a patient's clinical picture. Our experience in single payer markets, such as Canada and Australia, where there is not a distinction between home care and home health services, provided us with a perspective to bring these two care models together.
In a non-skilled world, many systems operate by task list but in skilled care there is a clinical plan of care or care pathway. AlayaCare relaunched their Care Plan 2.0 module this summer for that reason. Like a clinical plan of care, every intervention in AlayaCare, including those related to social determinants, are in the context of a client goal that ties to a diagnosis. When a non-skilled plan of care is developed within this structure it drives what caregivers do during visits and allows for tracking the value of interventions against a goal. This helps close the loop and drive positive patient outcomes for both our non-skilled and skilled home care customers.
Additionally, within AlayaLabs, we are helping customers track and report on outcomes in a meaningful way. From a data science and decision support point of view, we track what interventions are most likely to achieve a goal and alert the caregiver when a patient may be headed towards an adverse event or negative outcome. Performance measurement against services and communication back to referral sources supports remaining competitive in a market space.
Satisfied caregivers are directly tied to satisfied clients. While there are many challenges with caregiver churn, data shows that consistency of hours is the single greatest predictor of retention. Savvy agencies are experimenting with new strategies to attract and retain caregivers.
Schauer: We believe caregiver satisfaction is driven by building a good schedule, i.e. consistent hours, respect preference/availability, avoidance of split shifts, minimize drive time, and maximize caregiver patient face time. Caregiver schedules should ensure hourly work assigned helps to maintain income stability for the workers.
Additionally, mobile applications should help caregivers feel empowered when providing care and allow them to finish paperwork while with the patient. AlayaCare built its AlayaCare Mobile application with the user experience in mind and included in it dependent logic that minimizes repetition and complicated documentation processes.
We are continuing to see a major trend toward diversifying payer sources. Private pay agencies are courting third party payers and health authorities; public pay agencies are investing in private pay business lines.
In the U.S., we increasingly watch private duty providers getting into Medicaid and long-term care insurance. AlayaCare's integration with Waystar facilitates a seamless claims process between providers and insurance payers. With Waystar, AlayaCare clients can pre-screen for claim errors, check insurance eligibility, and consolidate and manage their electronic claims from a single location.
Schauer: Private duty home care agencies traditionally have an easier time than other providers in working with third party payer sources because they already have a culture of client service and client experience in place. The back-office billing changes required of the private duty home care provider are manageable and AlayaCare tools support them in accommodating the changes of third-party payer sources.
Long term care insurance continues to become more prevalent as a payer source and we are seeing assignment of benefits to the home care provider to manage. AlayaCare has just released a Long Term Care Billing module which manages the whole insurance package for patients as opposed to delivering services, invoicing the patient, and leaving it to the patient to manage. Long term care insurance often presents with complex billing scenarios that AlayaCare's Long Term Care Billing module addresses.
Each agency needs an IT infrastructure that sets them up for success in a rapidly changing industry. Agencies must ensure their software is capable of growing with it. AlayaCare is an end-to-end solution for delivering home care – its cloud-based architecture is ready for all companies who have perfected tasks to integrate. The formula for success is to have multiple technological partners seamlessly working for an agency all in one space.
Schauer: There is a pattern for enterprise software architecture that is finally taking hold in larger home care providers. These providers want their enterprise software in the cloud with open API’s and event driven architecture. They also expect to easily plug in various solutions with the enterprise system and have it all work harmoniously together.
At the top end of the market larger providers are looking to differentiate themselves and they are choosing best of breed tools that help them realize their brand promise. They expect the chosen tools will work with their electronic medical record (EMR) systems. AlayaCare works closely with these customers to meet these needs.
For the smaller home care providers AlayaCare has been proactively building out an ecosystem of partners with pre-built integrations. Areas such as applicant tracking and customer experience are only a few examples of what the AlayaCare ecosystem addresses.
AlayaCare's platform supports back office functions, client and family portals, remote patient monitoring, telehealth, and mobile care workers in one integrated, secure, cloud-based system. Its stated mission is to "transform the industry from a traditional fee-for-service model to one that is technology enabled, outcome-focused for patients, and delivers better experiences for caregivers." AlayaCare was founded in 2014.
Darcey Trescone, RN, BSN is a Healthcare Software and Business Development Consultant in the Post-Acute Healthcare Market with a strong background working with both providers and vendors specific to Home Care and Hospice. She has worked as a home health nurse and held senior operational, product management and business development positions with various post-acute software firms. To learn more visit www.TresconeConsulting.com. She can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2019 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. email@example.com