The last quarter of the year presents an ideal opportunity to review several key operational areas for your Home Health agency in preparation for a new year ahead. As you begin the planning for the year ahead, take the time to review some of the following:
Home Health Providers End-of-Year Review
Review of Referral Sources and Relationships
You may think that you know where your referrals are coming from but does your data support that assumption? Which hospitals, medical practices, community agencies, and organizations are actually referring to your agency? Which ones are not? Plan to meet with your referrals sources by the end of the year. Don’t just drop by with a cookie tray; schedule an appointment with the individuals directly responsible for referrals to your agency. Give them a summary of any referral information that you can provide via your software including the number of referrals, average length of time on service, types of services, positive outcomes, etc. Be sure to include what your agency provides that might set you apart from the competition. Include any analytics about the referrals that you did receive and the outcome of the care you provided.
Don’t just review your current referrals; take a look at other opportunities that might be getting missed. Do you provide care to specialty populations like pediatrics, persons with memory loss, newborns, etc.? Are there providers in your area who are not referring? Do you know why? Can you develop a strategy to help you reach those potential referral sources?
Training Needs for Staff
If there are any new updates to your EHR or billing software, this is an opportune time for training. Regulatory updates, reimbursement changes, documentation requirements, payer updates, etc. may be anticipated with a new year. It is also a good time to offer the mandatory training for all staff that includes topics such as The False Claims Act, Review of any agency policies/employee handbook, safety training, etc.
Contract Review and Re-negotiation
All payer contracts should be reviewed at least once a year. Some organizations review them twice per year to ensure that all requirements are clearly understood and that reimbursement for any services is up to date. Are there any opportunities for your agency in different geographic areas?
Billing and Accounts Receivable Management Solutions
Does your EHR talk to your billing software in an efficient manner? Is it user-friendly? Does it give you the information that you need to successfully manage your revenue cycle process?
Remember that the community is also a source of referrals for your agency. Involvement at the local level will give your agency visibility and familiarity with referral sources. It will help to humanize the agency identity. Local health fairs, health assessment days, complimentary blood pressure checks at a community location on a regular basis such at churches, senior centers or libraries all present opportunities for that visibility. Do you offer a Speaker’s Bureau or presentation on a caregiver or wellness topic for area organizations? Do you have a website that offers articles or blogs for professionals and caregivers? Be sure to include some testimonials from patients or families who have been helped by your agency on your website and in your presentations, advertisements or information that you share with referral sources?
In summary, the end of the year presents an excellent opportunity to take a look at your agency’s operations and in particular how your processes impact collection of revenue. Your answers to the questions posed above should provide an indication of how well your agency is doing. If you need to have a more detailed look at your operations, the Consulting team at Richter Healthcare Consultants can perform a Process Review to specifically examine your internal processes from intake through to collections. You will receive a written report along with recommendations for any corrective actions. We offer consulting services, training, and revenue cycle management solutions. To find out more, contact Richter Healthcare Consultants today or call us at 866.806.0799.