As health care organizations struggle to grow despite challenges presented by the pandemic (and less expected consequences such as the “Great Resignation”), technology is no longer just the best solution. It is the only real solution.
Take it from me. When I joined my current organization, it was losing money and I could not begin to stop the bloodletting until a deep dive into operations determined the team was not properly leveraging technology. The back-office staff was larger than it needed to be to compensate for the inefficient use of technology, and care workers in the field were frustrated by the lack of tools to help them do their jobs.
By automating recurring work processes, capturing real-time data, and streamlining billing and reimbursables, the right technology helps the entire organization run like a well-oiled machine. It lowers labor costs and allows organizations to reduce back-office expenses and re-direct resources toward critical frontline workers. In addition to the bottom-line benefit, organizations that provide their caregivers immediate access to all the information they need for patient visits can deliver the best care.
Being a tech-enabled organization also benefits recruiting. Care workers—especially now in this competitive employment market—are prioritizing job satisfaction and increasingly demanding state-of-the-art technology to help them do their jobs more efficiently and to deliver a higher level of care more confidently.
5 Questions to Ask
As you plan for the remainder of 2022, reassess and make sure you are leveraging every technology tool you can to lower expenses, maximize efficiency and be more attractive to a high functioning workforce. Here are five questions to ask current and potentional vendors to make sure you are taking advantage of all the features the technology has to offer.
1. Will your solution service all lines of business & make the transition to a single system, enabling the agency to meet billing compliance across all payers?
Many care agencies have one platform for their Medicare division, another for Medicaid-reimbursed services and a third for other payer types. Making the transition to a single system across all payer types is strategic for agencies to maximize reimbursement and decrease overall operating expenses through consolidation of information technology platforms.
2. Can I use this platform as a main & stack on all my systems?
Make sure the platform you select is compatible with your billing and payroll systems. You want to be able to build and stack your technology. You do not want a platform that cannot speak to your other systems. So, if you do all your financials with QuickBooks, make sure it will integrate before you have signed on the dotted line.
3. Does the platform offer mobile solutions that are compliant with electronic visit verification (EVV)?
Mobile solutions play a big role in boosting efficiency and caregiver satisfaction and experience. Meeting the strategic imperatives to attract and retain staff is critical for any agency; what needs to be a part of this strategy is assessing whether the platform will meet the unique EVV and compliance requirements in each state in which you practice.
4. Does this platform offer a variety of ongoing training options to support end users?
“Set it and forget it” is not a lasting solution. You will need a certain amount of onsite and virtual (given current public health considerations) hand-holding. You also want to make sure the training materials that are delivered as part of an ongoing support program are offered in multiple formats (text, video tutorials, visual guides, etc.) to guide different learners through work flows.
5. What role does your team play in helping us respond to any new regulations?
You need a partner who is a step ahead of you and proactively provides solutions to help you do your job better. A big part of this is monitoring and constantly adjusting for new requirements. Make sure any system you select will proactively inform you of the impact of new regulations in the states where you operate.
By prioritizing the issues outlined in the questions above, my organization was able to bounce back from hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and, within a year, deliver a profit that has since doubled year-over-year. Most importantly, the technology empowered us to find ways to shift resources from administrative back-office work to the mission critical front-line caregivers and provide them with the tools to increase their job satisfaction and consistently deliver a higher quality of patient care.