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.
For the most part, the obstacles that home health care practitioners face are caused by growth.
You have more patients to see with less time to spend on administrative work.
Thus, the need for time-saving homecare software solutions.
These tools have been designed to make health care practitioners’ and business owners’ lives easier. The more tasks that are taken off your plate, the more time you can dedicate with patients.
But that’s not the only benefit of home health software.
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Responding more quickly to trends
The current health care climate requires keeping an eye on what’s next. Here are a few main trends that health care professionals may encounter, and why software can help.
1. Value-based contracts
The move towards value-based contracts continues to gain popularity. More 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.
High-quality nursing home software 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.
The right app, which integrates with electronic health records, can ease the transition to value-based contracts, saving you time and money.
2. A growing need for home health care
There is an increasing demand for home health care due to the aging baby boomer population. According 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.
This generation’s desire to remain independent while receiving quality care creates a huge opportunity for home care professionals who want to help.
Finding software that can make scheduling and communicating with patients easier will make home health care even better for patients, and for you.
3. Staying current on regulations
Government regulations have also affected the health care field. These concerns range from insurance coverage to reimbursement and changing health care public policy.
Home health care apps must ensure seamless compliance, as training and regulations can change rapidly.
Compliance-focused software that integrates well with other tools can help you stay up-to-date so you can give your team and patients the best information available.
4. Data management and protection
Managing different types and vast amounts of data connected to one patient may also become a struggle for agencies trying to bring on the best patient care.
Without quality software and systems in place, managing data and patient records can be cumbersome.
5. Mobile team management
Finally, 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.
With all of these important considerations in mind, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed as the leader of a health care team.
Being able to overcome these challenges and foresee upcoming trends is critical to a home health care agency’s success. Here’s how software can help.
Homecare software solutions top picks for 2019
Modern home care agency software can deliver seamless tracking of billing, time tracking, patient communications, electronic medical records, and much more.
Depending on the size and focus of the organization, homecare software can fulfill different needs, and thus, can be used on its own or in conjunction with other tools.
These are the best of the best when it comes to managing health care teams and delivering home care for patients.
Time and attendance tracking with GPS and geofences
GPS tracking apps for health care allows your team to see how much time they spend with every patient and when they are on the move or taking a break, while geofences allows you to create job sites and your team to automatically clock in and out as soon as they arrive and leave job locations (as they enter and leave the pre-set perimeters).
Tracking work hours should never consume too much of your schedule. Streamlined, location-based time tracking with geofencing frees up your team and your day for more important tasks.
Hubstaff offers iOS and Android mobile apps that make tracking your home health care team’s time as easy as starting and stopping a timer. It’s even easier, in fact, if you add recurring locations to Hubstaff. Using geofencing features, time tracking can start and stop as soon as a member of your team arrives or leaves a work location. Everything happens from your team members’ own mobile devices, so they don’t have to think about turning in time cards at the end of the week. Read more about using geofences here.
As a manager, you’ll get daily and weekly timesheets emailed directly to you, which can then be downloaded and sent for payroll, saving the hassle of tracking down team members. Staff scheduling can also happen through the app.
Pricing: Free plan for one user, or $10/user per month for the full set of premium features.
Billing can be tricky for home health care.
You want a system that works with ever-changing payer requirements and offers electronic billing for the wide array of insurance carriers. Billing software should also be HIPAA-compliant, easy to use, and suit any health care service.
With these requirements, RiverSoft and Carecenta come to mind. Both platforms are designed for home care management, which means their features were created with you in mind.
Pricing: $99 per month for up to 25 patients for Carecenta’s lowest plan. $695 per month is the starting price for RiverSoft.
Home care management focused on compliance
All homecare solutions are compliant with the basic requirement, but some software has progressed more in terms or healthcare considerations.
For agencies that want to prioritize these efforts, check out the following software that makes staying compliant much easier. AxisCare is integrated with the most popular EVV vendors. However, note that if it is not integrated with the EVV of your choice (or state requirement), such integration may be time-consuming thus requiring a lot of extra manual work.
WellSky Home Health has automatic Medicare eligibility checks as well. Their patient intake, charting and documentation features all ensure compliance, relieving uncertainty.
Pricing: WellSky pricing is available by request. $99 per month is the starting price for AxisCare.
Electronic health records software
The storage of medical records is important because the medical history of the patient gives much insight to the practitioners.
Having electronic records at hand and easily accessible allows you to provide higher quality and faster medical assistance to the patient. For instance, Axxess AgencyCore allows you to document appointments and charts without internet.
HEALTHCAREfirst is a web-based software which allows you to store electronic data, too. Their coding capabilities can help optimize reimbursements and your revenue cycle. Both offer streamlined records that create a better experience for both you and your patients.
Pricing: Available by request.
Staffing and scheduling
When you’re looking for easy ways to deliver and schedule appointments, there’s no substitute for a simple app. Home care agencies are responsible for making sure patient care is booked in advance and delivered on time.
That means checking availability and confirming the team members are on-site as planned. However, the top tier software options out there make sure that you also get useful data from this process so it can get even easier over time. Careficient AMS emphasizes their integrated patient and staff scheduling capabilities.
Rosemark Home Care Management, on the other hand, has a scheduling module that is very easy to navigate. The software allows you to generate full reports for further analysis and data manipulation.
Pricing: Available by request.
Home health care solutions at a great price
You may have noticed one stark difference between the software listed here: price.
While many health care options start from nearly $100 per month, Hubstaff’s top plan is only $10/user per month.
That’s including GPS time tracking, mobile apps for your team, scheduling and attendance, timesheets that can be exported to your payment platform, in-depth reports, and more.
The reason is that Hubstaff was created to save business owners’ time and money. Simple start and stop time tracking ensures your team’s focus stays on the patient, while still delivering business-critical insights into productivity and more.
Want to give it a try? See what makes Hubstaff a great fit for health care teams.
Choosing the right home care software for your agency
Finding the right software for you comes down to your priorities and goals.
What do you hope to accomplish in 2019, and what will you budget for your business software? From there, start your free trial and see what works best for you.