A recent survey covering the home health industry reveals the greatest challenges in the year ahead, areas of expense specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic, technology adoption, and areas of growth and efficiency, among other findings.
Staffing remains the single most challenging aspect of home health. It’s been a top concern for a few years now, but the pandemic has intensified the challenges of sustaining a clinical workforce. Because of this, many agencies are looking into finding efficiencies in their staffing utilization.
- Getting on top of changing payment models was reported to be the second greatest challenge faced by the home health industry.
- The survey shows that staffing and PPE are expected to garner the greatest expense in 2021.
- Despite the projected expenses, many home health organizations still expect their revenues to rise in 2021.
- The most cited reason for prompting a shift in technology was improving patient outcomes, followed by the need to reduce operating costs and payment/reimbursement issues.
- Home health businesses are now more open to data sharing across tech platforms to process their information and help them drive business growth and improve patient outcomes. They believe interoperability will have a high impact on their organization’s ability to scale up in the coming year.
Looking ahead: Opportunities for efficiencies and growth
Investments in home health are predicted to reach new heights in 2021, and many home health businesses are now embracing the idea of utilizing third-party solutions, such as outsourcing, to support them for progress.
When outsourcing covers other key functions, agencies can regain focus on sustainable business growth and leverage the full utilization of their in-house clinical teams to elevate patient care.
Beyond allowing focus on core functions, outsourcing providers can be a rich source of industry best practices. It maintains the high-level clinical expertise needed over equally significant administrative tasks such as coding, documentation, and data analytics, to name a few.
On top of these, outsourcing partners also help ensure that home health businesses meet the CMS guidelines and are on top of the ever-changing systems so they can continue to optimize their revenue and resources.
Where there are challenges, there are also opportunities for growth and innovation, whether it be within the internal processes or in technology. This makes the home health industry a space ripe for growth, where players can flourish and thrive in the years to come. It is now up to individual home health businesses to keep up with the times and be receptive to the changes in order to survive.