Why has home care not been included in so many of the new initiatives created by the ACA? Some say it is the lack of national unified leadership, and that there is no one coordinated voice for home care that speaks for our industry. The many factions at the national level represent only their constituents’ interests, and have not (until now) rallied together to try and impact how home care can be a true player in the health care delivery system. September 30 and October 1, the Institute of Medicine is holding a two day workshop, free and open to the public, but prior registration is required.
This workshop is an offshoot of the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation, a group spearheaded by Dr. Steven Landers, who is now with the VNA Health Group. Some might remember him from his Cleveland Clinic days when he was active with the Private Duty Homecare Association and received a prestigious award from NAHC.
The agenda is almost final. Online signups are open now. Not on your agenda? It would be a wise use of your time, as some of the leaders, the true leaders in home care, are either speaking or leading panel discussions. And the gambit ranges from home care to home health care to telehealth to insurance to CMS. It really is an open forum for the future of home health, and it is exciting. Also, the education process to move home care into the forefront when decisions are being made as to how care is best provided is crucial.
Without a unified message and lobby, home care has been relegated to only 4% of the Medicare spent on health care. Since it is the choice of 99% of those people who are asked about where they would like to recuperate or where they would like to go after hospitalization, and it is the lowest cost alternative, home care should have a more powerful role in the ACA.
Below are the stated workshop objectives for the September 30 and October 1 workshop:
· Provide an overview of the current state of home health care.
· Examine the particular role of Medicare-certified home health agencies in achieving the triple
aim: to improve the quality of patient care, improve population health, and reduce costs.
· Explore how to integrate home health care into the future health care marketplace.
· Discuss how to facilitate the future role of home health care (e.g., workforce, technology,
infrastructure, policy reform).
· Highlight research priorities to help clarify the value of home health care.
This study is sponsored by AXXESS, and they are a proponent of making home care the preferred choice of those who need care some time in their lives.
Get involved in shaping the future of home care in America.
Caregiving is a rewarding job, but, too often, caregivers receive little recognition for their kindness and compassion. Caregivers uniquely engage the older adults in their care, recognize and support the dignity of elders, and take on a difficult professional role with little glory. That’s why, when Caring.com approached me and asked if I would like to judge their 2014 Caring Champions program, I immediately said yes.
This fabulous program recognizes professional caregivers for seniors in the United States. I was honored to be chosen as part of an exclusive panel of senior care experts to provide insight about senior care and identify the professional caregiver nominees who have gone above and beyond based on their submitted stories. As Andy Cohen, CEO of Caring.com, notes, “This program highlights stories of extraordinary professional care, rewards caregivers, and helps families find the best service providers for their loved ones, too.”
Having owned a geriatric care managed in-home care agency, and worked in the home care industry for decades, I have seen firsthand the dedication of professional caregivers and witnessed the ways in which lives are changed by the companionship and friendship that caregivers can provide.
Yesterday, Caring.com announced the winners of their Caring Champions program. Take a moment to read through the winners and learn more about what makes them exceptional caregivers. I am so proud to have been a part of Caring Champions and I extend heartfelt congratulations to all the winners and a sincere thank you to all the nominees. You truly know what it means to care.
Click here to read more about all the Caring Champions nominees and find out more about the Caring Champions program.
Well, Howdy, Partners in Home Care! I am beyond delighted to announce that I have been asked to present two educational sessions for the 45th Annual Meeting of the Texas Association for Home Care and Hospice (TAHC&H) that will take place next month in San Antonio. The theme for this year’s meeting and conference is “Home Care and Hospice: Ingredients for Success.” (Notice those hot peppers on the meeting graphic? Those undoubtedly represent the passion it takes to run a successful aging care services business.) On Wednesday, August 20th, I will be speaking about two topics that are near and dear to my heart and absolutely essential ingredients for any aging care services business to succeed in today’s challenging new marketplace. The session descriptions are listed below:
Marketing Aging Care in this Mobile Device Era
Remember when the best we had in our lead generation tool box was the Yellow Pages? Those days are LONG gone. If potential customers can’t find your business in an Internet search, chances are good they won’t find you at all. Searching the Internet is the number one way aging services providers get found today. What does all of this mean? It means your company needs to have a strategic plan for making sure your website gets found when customers are searching. This presentation will focus on the essentials of digital marketing strategy, including, but not limited to search engine optimization (SEO), blogging and authorship, social media, email marketing, and creating systems that reach out to both the consumer and referral partners in real time and on the go. Mobile devices have created even a more important role for the agency website: calls to action and inquiry that funnel the interested person into the site for more action steps. Bonus? Physicians are adapting mobile devices at an even greater rate than other professionals!
Make It Meaningful: Mutual and Active Engagement in Care
As aging care providers in pursuit of providing the best “care” we often overlook providing active engagement with clients. In so doing, we sacrifice the greatest care need of all – having meaning in one’s life. Today there are a host of tools, kits, resources, and technologies that help caregivers make meaningful use of time with clients. Putting these into action can help create better client and family satisfaction, as seen in this video from the Music and Memory organization’s Alive Inside documentary, premiering this month. These tactics also can be used in marketing, since a top concern of adult children is that caregivers will spend time watching TV or otherwise disregarding their parent when not performing necessary tasks. You can learn to gauge client special interests, match activities to interests, and create activities designed to actively engage clients in meaningful ways. A variety of conventional, innovative, and technological engagement tools will be discussed.
In any aging care business, the key ingredients for success are marketing your services through the right channels to reach the right audiences, and delivering the best quality services to your clients so that they are well-served, satisfied, and say wonderful things about your company to others. It will be invigorating to speak about aging care service from both the marketing and operational perspectives while in Texas next month. I can’t wait!
To reach out to me about marketing your aging care services business, or if yours is a business that interacts with the aging care services industry and you’d like some industry insider advice on marketing, email me or call 1-800-370-6580.