Changes in technology, a growing patient base and a more demanding set of requirements all combine to make home health care a challenging but rewarding field of work.\nFor the most part, the obstacles that home health care practitioners face are caused by growth.\nYou have more patients to see with less time to spend on administrative work — that means you need time-saving homecare software solutions.\nTrends to look out for\nThe current health care climate requires keeping an eye on what’s next. Here are a few main trends that health care professionals might encounter, and how software can help.\nA growing need for health care\nThere is an increasing demand for home health care because of the aging baby boomer population. \nAccording to Home Care Pulse, 89% of those aged 50 and older said they want to stay in their home as they age, as well as 95% of those 65 and older. That means the need for home health care will rise as the decade continues, and well into 2020.\nMobile team management\nFinally, managing a mobile team that goes from patient site to patient site, making the most of time with patients and making sure billing is accurate are also of utmost importance.\nBeing able to overcome these challenges and foresee upcoming trends is critical to a home health care agency’s success.\nValue-based contracts\nMore health care organizations are realizing that delivering a better patient experience will make the difference, as patients pay more out-of-pocket expenses and expect a higher level of care.\nHigh-quality software for health care professionals coupled with value-based contracts have been preferred among patients as well as providers. In this case, both parties benefit as this approach can potentially improve outcomes and lower costs.\nStaying current on regulations\nGovernment regulations have also affected the health care field. These concerns range from insurance coverage to reimbursement and changing health care public policy.\nHome health care apps must ensure seamless compliance, as training and regulations can change rapidly.\nTop home care software solutions\nDepending on the size and focus of the organization, home care software can fulfill different needs, and thus, can be used on its own or in conjunction with other tools.\nIdeally, you would want your home care software to be able to help you with:\n\nTime and attendance tracking with GPS and geofences: Hubstaff\nBilling: Caracenta and Riversoft\nHome care management focused on compliance: AxisCare and WellSky Home Health\nElectronic health records: HEALTHCAREfirst\nStaffing and scheduling: AdaCare and Rosemark Home Care Management\n\nDon’t worry about not being able to find one app that has all the features you are looking for. It’s much better to use two (or even three) separate apps with features that are well-implemented rather than go for one solution with all the features you need but are poorly crammed into it.\n1. Hubstaff\n\nOne of the most crucial tasks of health care organizations is ensuring that every hour worked by their team is correctly tracked and properly billed.\nThis software converts the hours your team has tracked into timesheets after they have finished working.\nView hours worked in a daily, weekly, or calendar view, along with the location of each member of your staff during the workday. When you’re ready to invoice, you can review and approve timesheets for greater accuracy. \nHubstaff has an automated geofencing feature, which clocks professionals in and out as they arrive and leave set patient sites. There’s also an option to issue reminders to start tracking instead of doing it automatically. These settings can be customized for each person.\nEverything happens from Hubstaff’s lightweight mobile app, so there’s one less thing for health care organizations to worry about.\nSchedule shifts, see how much time was spent at each location, and track attendance with Hubstaff’s web, mobile, and desktop apps. With these features, home health care groups can spend less time on paperwork and reimbursement and more time on patient care. Hubstaff handles all the manual admin work so everything is streamlined.\nYou can try Hubstaff free for 14 days. Paid plans start at $5.83 per user monthly.\n2. Carecenta\n\nCarecenta is a health care solution that’s built to simplify the workflows of health care agencies. The app is fully cloud-based and has a strong set of features that makes it possible to manage essential aspects of your home health care business from one place.\nYou can communicate with teammates inside the app with its messaging feature. It has payroll, reporting, and invoicing features, so billing isn’t a problem. Carecenta’s fraud prevention feature and HIPAA compliance make it one of the most secure and reliable software available.\nThe pricing depends on multiple factors like the number of people in your team and how many patients you’re attending to. Contact their sales team to get an estimate.\n3. RiverSoft\n\nRiverSoft comes with several features that aim to make running a health care business more easily. The app makes various aspects of running a care agency from managing electronic patient records to billing smoother.\nRiverSoft’s makes it easy to schedule patient visits, whether they are on a weekly or an episodic basis. Patients or employees can make adjustments through the app’s drag-and-drop interface in real time so no one misses anything.\nThe app also comes with a billing feature and lets you take patient notes so you can track your patients’ progress with ease. RiverSoft has a $499 setup fee for unlimited users.\n4. AxisCare\n\nAxisCare is a health care app that focuses on staying compliant with regulations. The app lets you stay connected with your team and your clients, as well as stay on top of your business with useful features like scheduling, reporting, and billing.\nAxisCare meets the Electronic Visit Verifications (EVV) requirements mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act, which means compliance won’t be an issue. You can also create custom forms that are tailored to the services that your business offers.\nYou’ll need to get in touch with their sales team for pricing information. This is also the only way to try out AxisCare’s free demo if you want to experience the features first-hand.\n5. WellSky Home Health\n\nWellSky Home Health is a popular home health care software that prides itself in having a 99% client retention rate. The app’s core feature is its scheduling, which lets you do everything from schedule visits to manage authorizations from one calendar interface.\nWellSky comes with standard functionalities like billing and scheduling, but it has additional features like financial reporting and predictive analytics that can help you maintain a smooth revenue cycle. The app is perfectly useful for small home care agencies, but its features make it great for hospital use as well.\nWellSky has several different pricing models. Like most of the apps on this list, you’ll need to get in touch with their sales team to find out more.\n6. HEALTHCAREfirst\n\nHEALTHCAREfirst is a cloud-based solution that’s designed to help home health care agencies seamlessly keep track of clients and patients. The app has features like scheduling, billing, patient monitoring, and more.\nHEALTHCAREfirst offers coding, survey management, analytics and billing in one app, so your back-office operations can be synced and completed together. \nFor pricing information, get in touch with their sales team.\n7. AdaCare\n\nAdaCare’s features make it a great option for health care agencies looking for a way to monitor their team. It has record management and attendance tracking functionalities that helps ensure that no patient is without an assigned caregiver.\nAdaCare’s has a smart scheduling feature that matches patients with caregivers based on the patient’s needs and locations so the best possible service is provided. It even has a built-in map, making it a well-rounded app for home health care management.\nThe software doesn’t have a free plan, and costs $69 per office monthly.\n8. Rosemark System\n\nRosemark System was created to help health care teams provide the best service to their clients. It runs on desktop and mobile devices so you can perform your work anytime as well as quickly respond to unexpected situations.\nThe app has a call monitoring feature that records calls between the people in your agency and your clients so you can easily keep track of all your transactions. You can also make edits to your patients’ care plans and note the tasks your team has accomplished with its intuitive scheduling feature.\nRosemark System offers a free demo if you get in touch with their team. This is also the only way to get a pricing estimate.\nChoosing the right home care for your agency\nFinding the right software for you comes down to your priorities and goals. One of the things you can do is make a list of your business needs and base your decision from there. It’s highly recommended to try out the apps you’re considering if possible.\nWhat do you hope to accomplish in 2020, and what will you budget for your business software? Let us know if there are any home care apps that worked for your business in the comments below.\nThis post was published in October 2018, and updated March 2020.