Home health agencies today face a formidable challenge as CMS implements significant changes and proposes further reforms for the future. With reimbursement reductions and staffing shortages compounded by a rapidly growing senior population, agencies are compelled to reevaluate their care delivery models to ensure financial sustainability, operational efficiency, and desirable patient outcomes. CMS’ evolving perspective on care seems to indirectly demand that agencies adapt and align in order to thrive in the years ahead. Our mission is to support home health agencies in successfully navigating these changes and achieving long-term success in this evolving landscape.
To assist providers in better understanding the untapped potential of virtual care services and solutions, we highlight why embracing virtual care strategies can establish a cost-effective and outcome-focused care model while simultaneously improving clinician satisfaction and creating a competitive differentiator from others agencies in their market.
Managing the Balancing Act
Virtual care services pave the way for a balanced care delivery model that is patient-centric, profitable, and efficient. By incorporating virtual care programs, home health agencies can proactively set the stage for an efficient and profitable care delivery model, which will be essential as payers continue to roll out value-based care initiatives.
Decreasing Costs and Amplifying Operational Efficiency
Integrating a virtual care strategy can significantly reduce costs for home health agencies by replacing unnecessary in-home visits with virtual engagements, thus eliminating travel, staffing, and overhead costs that negatively impact profit margins and productivity models. By aligning virtual care with point-of-care delivery, agencies can enhance resource management and serve more patients with existing resources, increasing revenue and improving profit margins.
Amplify Clinician Satisfaction
Workforce satisfaction and retention are now more crucial than ever before for home health agencies. However, the transition from fee-for-service to value-based care has presented challenges for care team members who were accustomed to reimbursement models where quantity was prioritized over quality. Fortunately, virtual care services bridge the direct care gaps clinicians are concerned about during this transition. Virtual patient engagements and intuitive technology provide clinicians with the peace of mind needed to determine visit frequencies that reduce the financial challenges associated with visits where patient updates or education could be effectively addressed through a more cost- and time-effective approach.
Patient Engagement is Patient Satisfaction
Virtual engagements between routine visits offer a simple yet effective solution to actively involve patients in their care management. By reinforcing key aspects of care that contribute to quality outcomes and prevent hospital readmissions, home health agencies can enhance the overall patient care experience, leading to improved satisfaction scores. Leveraging the right virtual care technology, whether in-house or through outsourced services, enables seamless care coordination and collaboration among care teams. This streamlined distribution of updates and information ensures that patients see how well-informed their care teams are about their needs and are working together towards their care goals, fostering a heightened sense of care continuity.
Establish a Competitive Advantage
As the competitive landscape of the industry rages on, with consolidation and value-based care arrangements with referral networks, agencies should look for innovative ways to differentiate themselves from others in their market. Providers who implement strategic virtual care programs can take advantage of an early competitive edge that not only sounds good but is also backed by data-driven results. Virtual care will inevitably become the standard in the future, but forward-thinking agencies that take advantage of early adoption provide themselves a leg up on their competitors who are late to the party.
Integrating virtual care services into home healthcare brings numerous benefits. By utilizing virtual engagements, home health agencies can empower patients, promote active participation, and cultivate a patient-focused approach that improves outcomes and enhances the overall care experience. The time is ripe for agencies to embrace virtual care and position themselves as forward-thinking organizations capable of navigating changes without compromising patient care outcomes.