The need for home care has grown rapidly in the past decade.
- Between 1980 and 1996, the number of individuals receiving Medicare-sponsored home care increased by more than 400 percent.
- During the same time period, the number of agencies delivering that care increased by 200 percent.
Repeated reports from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission regarding excessive profit margins and accusations of questionable business practices forced the home care industry into the government spotlight. The negative attention prompted the government to issue a number of reforms. In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) took matters into their hands by reducing payments and implementing new compliance requirements.
How Home Care Reform Changed the Industry
The changes brought about by the CMS include:
- A 4.75 percent decrease in Medicare payments to home health agencies for 2011. Agencies estimate this could mean a $900 million decrease compared to payments received in 2010. Home care services everywhere are feeling the sting.
Homecare Software Can Play a Positive Role
New standards of care and policies have also created a ripple throughout the home health care industry. With an emphasis on proper documentation, it is becoming more and more important for providers to complete all forms and reports. As compliance challenges in home care increase, accurately documenting visits and completed tasks has never been more critical. ClearCare’s Telephony functionality gives your agency the best tool for increasing accuracy and reducing costs. ClearCare’s fully integrated telephony also reduces the risk of fraud by automatically verifying the location of where a call is coming from.
Anything your agency can do to improve communication and reduce costs is essential to your organization’s success. Staying current and up-to-date with the latest technology is the best way to remain competitive in today’s tough economy. By proving that your agency can improve patient care monitoring with real-time visibility to point-of-care, you will bring in more business and maintain a higher rate of satisfied clients.