In the bid to shore up tighter margins, most home health and hospice organizations tend to focus on the same tired performance aspects to do more with less: squeezing schedules and staffing, rethinking productivity requirements, revisiting mileage.
As important as operational belt-tightening may be, SimiTree consultants say a handful of other strategies will have a significant and long-term impact on the organization’s bottom line.
Here’s their list of game changing strategies for boosting cash flow, increasing referrals, improving quality and efficiency, and driving overall home health and hospice profitability in 2023.
1. Use data more effectively.
Most agencies aren’t consistently tapping into the valuable information data offers. SimiTree consultants say home health and hospice and hospice providers should focus on collecting and using three layers of data:
• Internal data for improving operational efficiency and compliance. Data tracking pays off with compliance protection by showing exactly where staff training is needed, and prompts team members to action, expediting claims processing and generating better cash flow. Data tracking can also pay off with improved performance scores under value based care.
• Comparative data (or benchmarks) for improving performance quality and insulating against audit risk.
• Market data for informed growth strategies.
SimiTree consultants recommend identifying an internal point person—ideally someone who has a natural interest in reporting—to lead the charge and become the agency’s “go-to” resource on data tracking. Then train a wide range of staff on the what, when, why, where, and how to use data to be more successful in their roles. SimiTree’s data analysts can work with agencies to get efficient data tracking processes in place.
Check out the SimiTree analytics team’s tips on how to get more out of data. insert link to the Data Analytics article in this issue
2. Optimize your existing EMR for better cash flow.
Most agency software systems or EMRs generate useful operational reports, but SimiTree consultants say agencies often don’t invest time in understanding what’s available and ensuring the right people are fully trained to generate and use those reports for billing efficiency.
Moreover, most EMRs can be customized to better align with individual agency needs for stronger, specialized reporting, but most organizations never change standard user features to take full advantage of those capabilities.
Training quickly pays for itself in expedited claims processing and stronger cash flow, and customization is often a matter of making simple changes.
SimiTree IT consultants are not affiliated with any IT company and can work with any EMR to set up individualized dashboards for specific needs.
Join us for a complimentary webinar on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, to learn more about optimizing technology for increasing cash flow. Click here to sign up.
3. Get smarter about growth and referrals.
Reach the right ears with your organization’s messaging in 2023 by pinpointing higher-value referral targets and using market data to clarify what your organization offers them.
Do you offer specialized services such as CHF or wound care? Are your agency’s outcomes consistently better than the competition's? Market data enables sales staff to highlight how your services meet specific needs and current practices of providers and offers evidence of where your agency excels. Better outcomes and higher patient satisfaction are stories worth sharing with referral sources and your community and help develop the branding agencies' need for greater success.
SimiTree offers a user-friendly Market Analysis Platform known as MAP that offers visibility into key market characteristics and enables organizations to bring laser-focused understanding to sales efforts. Learn more about MAP.
In addition, our Growth Solutions experts assist agencies in developing branding, messaging, and becoming more strategic for sustained growth. With assistance for any sized budget, our experts deliver the guidance and resources to fuel agency growth.
4. Forge strategic partnerships.
Are you partnering with local businesses? Networking with other businesses in your area is an important part of establishing a community presence – and savvy agencies are also looking harder at existing or new community health networks and partnerships with an eye for how and where they can fit into the health services continuum.
Even the competition may turn out to be a valued partner, with pooled resources enabling organizations to make advances or sidestep issues in ways that otherwise might not be possible.
SimiTree consultants say strategic alliances are the future of home health, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to test models and move in the direction of supporting healthcare partnerships. Connect with community health leaders on LinkedIn, and consider hosting your own community health event, inviting the bigger community players to participate.
Joint ventures and partnerships are rooted in relationships, so start building yours today.
5. Rely on outside expertise.
In the same way that smart agencies are looking to forge partnerships within their communities, many are looking to supplement their healthcare expertise with outside help in areas where they lack the specialized knowledge required for growth and scalability.
Reliable outsourced providers can take care of billing, coding, and full revenue cycle management, increasing cash flow and freeing agencies of staffing and compliance burdens. Even functions such as Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) can be outsourced to free agency resources, improve star ratings, and support performance under Value-Based Purchasing.
The ideal outsourcing provider will function in the role of trusted advisor, quickly stepping in when needed to provide consulting services for compliance questions, handle audits or appeals, or offer staff education to expedite processes and correct workflow and staffing issues. An outsourced provider with the right team can even help agencies with strategic readiness for an eventual sale.
The quickest route to the next level for many agencies lies in finding the right partnership with an outsourced provider.
SimiTree can help
As your home health agency looks for ways to increase its profitability this year, SimiTree has the resources you need to ensure peak performance and sustainable growth.
We offer strategic market analysis and planning assistance, sales and marketing training, outsourced services, and more to take you to the next level.
Our expertise is the foundation for your agency’s growth and profitability. Use the form below to email us today and let’s get started.
Related articles to help your agency grow:
Finding your voice in the 2023 market with the right data and branding
Launching New Home Health Service Lines in 2023?
The right billing staff can help your agency grow
Are you an Insider?
Our free monthly report offers industry insight and analysis from SimiTree experts. Sign up here to get helpful articles like this one in your inbox each month.