In our previous edition, Home Care Sales’ Melanie Stover contributed her thoughts about the value of referral relationships for home health agencies. In today’s post, our very own Teresa Craig reflects on why home health agencies should focus being able to show their value to partner providers in order to be considered to provide home care to individuals who would benefit most.

Understand the Needs of All Stakeholders

Home care agencies need to become more a part of the communities they serve. Partnerships with other care providers are critical to the continued success of agencies all over the country. We are such a small portion of the overall care continuum, we have to be the best possible partner for the hospitals, physicians and other community providers. Home care leaders need to understand the regulatory and community issues that drive decision making for other providers and reach out to help them.

We must also understand how we can be a better partner by helping reduce the workload for others. When we can go into a hospital and share data that shows minimal returns to the hospital by our patients, we gain momentum in discussing how we can work together more often. Once we become viewed as a solution to difficult situations, we become better partners and will be called upon to help.

We must learn to leverage our own information so we know the impact of the services we provide. And, we need to share the important results with our own staff. Often they are not aware of the importance of their services. Once we share information about patients who were able to remain at home due to our care, it becomes more important to our staff to respond and assure other patients remain at home. We should not assume our staff understands how important it is to keep people at home or the difference it can make to our reimbursement and their future opportunities.

We also need to be sure we understand the claims data we are sharing with CMS. Many programs do not realize how important that data is in evaluating the quality of our programs. Sometimes it becomes just the claim or making sure we get paid the most we can, when in fact, it is a representation of quality care.

Home care should grow over the next few years as the baby boomers age and definitely wish to receive care at home. We have to make sure we are immediately considered by the community so they have the opportunity to stay home as long as possible.

Coming up on CareThreads, we’ll bring our Experts in Home Care series to a close with Netsmart Senior Vice President Dawn Iddings as she focuses on being a solid referral partner with healthcare networks. Join us next time!