5 Biggest Hurdles for Home Health Agencies


5 Biggest Hurdles for Home Health Agencies

As we look toward what 2023 may hold, it’s clear that many home health organizations will grow as more people opt to age in place. 

But, with a global pandemic still affecting the world, vaccine distribution slowed, and the market fluctuated, the industry also faces many challenges. 

To manage that growth and meet the challenges ahead, home health organizations will need to focus both on relationship building and on the urgent need for new technology to ease the delivery of care.

Here are the challenges you’ll be facing in 2023 — and how technology can help you turn them into opportunities.

Ongoing safety concerns

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and home health will have a crucial but difficult role in the ongoing fight against the virus. Providers will be on the front, administering vaccines for many seniors. Ongoing concerns for patient and caregiver safety will likely impact the smooth functioning of the business well into the first two quarters of the year.

“As cases continue to climb, more people are valuing and shifting to care in the setting of the home as an alternative,” said Paul VerHoeve, CEO of Mission Healthcare. “Furthermore, home health providers will be a tremendous vehicle for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine for many patients who are high risk, homebound, and unable to get to doctors or clinics.”

Increased demand for qualified home care staff

Home health has long faced the problem of high turnover rates. And though those rates have gone down in recent years, it highlights the need for the industry as a whole to adopt a more future-focused recruiting strategy, one that prioritizes the staff of tomorrow over the staff of right now. 

Today’s candidate is more remote, more digitally connected, and faster-moving than ever before.

Jeff Wiberg, CEO of Family Resource Home Care, sees a clear divergence between “agencies that innovate on how they recruit, retain, train and incentivize their caregivers, and those that continue to struggle with enough staff. I feel we will look back on this time as a watershed moment in-home care, where we truly saw advancement in the industry. 2023 is the year to make that a reality truly.”

To attract the right talent to meet the increased demand for home care in 2023, you can’t rely on cold calls to attract talent. By adopting an omnichannel strategy and automating outreach, you can connect with staff faster over email, text, and phone, answer their questions immediately with live chat, and create the kind of modern onboarding experience today’s candidates expect.

Continued isolation and loneliness

Seniors have long been a group battling loneliness, no matter how they receive their care. For those aging in place, the lack of a built-in community can exacerbate the issue. 

Throughout the pandemic, that sense of isolation has only increased for many seniors. What’s more, home health workers are also more isolated than ever before as they seek to remain as safe as possible as they care for their patients. 

“Isolation was already a big factor for our patients, and social distancing and other limitations on their ability to socialize have only exacerbated this situation,” said Susan Diamond, Home Care Business President at Humana Inc. “Further flexibility would allow us to fully leverage innovation in support of our members’ health.”

Now, more than ever, technology drives our connections. Whether it’s reaching out to one of your frontline home health workers or always being available for your patients, the digital connection isn’t just about getting things done — it can be a real lifeline. A 24-7 call center and always-on live chat system can be there when your team can’t to ensure that your caregivers and seniors have the attention they need.   

Technological silos

With all of this technology facilitating change and growth and helping companies meet the demands of this new year, it’s easy to develop a technological ecosystem full of silos. Perhaps your CRM doesn’t talk to your website forms, or your intake and discharge processes are segmented and rife with redundancies. 

These silos will not only cost your team time and effort. Each redundancy or breakdown introduces the possibility of error, which can slow down your payment processes, reduce customer satisfaction, and impact your bottom line.

A fully interoperable CRM that integrates with all your other solutions is the key to being responsive to your business’s changing needs, creating a best-in-class recruiting experience, and elevating your quality of care.

Looking for more on how technology can help you grow throughout 2023? Schedule a demo today.

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