Down the Rabbit Hole of the Care Continuum
HomeCare visited sunny Orlando, Florida for the annual PointClickCare SUMMIT. PointClickCare is a provider of clinical software solutions in the long-term care, skilled nursing and home health markets. The annual SUMMIT brings together customers and integrated partners for three days of education, training and fun. This year, the SUMMIT centered the theme around Lewis Carroll’s beloved classic, Alice in Wonderland.
The SUMMIT went down the rabbit hole on the topic of the continuum of care. Many users in the long-term and skilled nursing markets were looking to expand into the home health market, an area where PointClickCare only recently launched management software. (The official product launch occurred at the LeadingAge conference in late October.)
The goal of expanding into the home health market for these providers is simple: increase referrals. Hospitals want to keep patients from returning for the same issues over and over; readmission penalties from CMS affect ratings and reimbursements. If a patient can recover at home, it saves the patient and the provider money in the long run. Patients also want to be at home, not in a facility, so offering home health care as an option increases the chances of a referral partner coming to your facility.
Along the care continuum, as SNFs and long-term care facilities add Medicare reimbursable home health, they become their own referral partners. In various breakout sessions during the conference, market leaders stressed the importance of working with patients as conditions change to ensure they stay within the same system of care. Integrating your care so a nurse continues to visit a patient when he or she moves into skilled nursing is key to patient satisfaction. Integrated software systems that move through the continuum help facilitate the charting, billing and process management aspects of care, as well.
But, all is not well in Wonderland. Providers worried about staffing shortages, particularly as nurses retire and institutional knowledge is lost. Rob Simione, CPA, director of data analytics, Simione Healthcare Consulting, in his session on financial management addressed the topic head on, telling providers to share gross margins and financial goals with all staff, including nurses and aids. It’s important, he noted to have KPIs that hold people accountable and show how what they are doing in the home drives the financial goals in the company; this can help them feel as if they have a stake in the company.
Simione also addressed performance-based issues such as rewarding a nurse for doing six assessments a day versus three. If the high-volume nurse is returning a number of errors on her charts, but the low-volume nurse is returning high patient satisfaction and low errors, it’s time to reevaluate, because your costs will go up.
The senior market is a moving target, with the population changing rapidly. The population growth in the market does not match health care spending. For the attendees at the PointClickCare SUMMIT, technology and innovation represent the tools to lead the way and ensure that gap stays as small as possible, without sacrificing patient care. As patients demand more in-home care, technology to keep them there will be more vital than ever.
- 15,000+ LTC providers using PointClickCare today
- Largest partner network in the industry
- 72 partners attending SUMMIT 2017
- More than 60 sessions at SUMMIT