CellTrak Blog

The latest home care trends and insights

7 Health Care Marketing Blogs Every Home Care Agency Should Follow

Jul 27, 2017 9:09:00 AM / posted in Communication

As an agency owner, growing your business is always top of mind. And yet, making sure your agency stands out and gets noticed by clients and referrers is hard, even for seasoned marketing professionals.


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How mHealth Is Transforming the Way Seniors Age in Place

Jul 20, 2017 9:02:00 AM / posted in Communication

With more seniors wanting to remain in their homes as they age — even during health challenges — emerging mobile health (mHealth) technology is making it happen. Home health agencies can leverage these new tools to improve the services they provide and help clients and their families take a proactive role in seniors’ health and safety.


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Electronic Visit Verification Mandates: The Impact of Open vs. Closed Systems

Jul 13, 2017 9:30:00 AM / posted in Electronic Visit Verification, Compliance

The 21st Century Cures Act has established January 1, 2019, as the deadline for states to establish Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) standards for Medicaid-funded personal care services. As this date draws closer, state Medicaid directors must soon decide on the type of EVV system they’ll require.

Specifically, states will need to decide whether to mandate an open or closed EVV system. These two options are very different from each other, with different implications for home care agencies.

Before states enact these sweeping changes for their constituent agencies, states must understand these differences, so they can endorse the best solution for their agencies’ — and their own — needs.


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9 Best Practices for Mobile Device Management in Home Health Care

Jun 22, 2017 4:00:00 PM / posted in Compliance, Communication

As mobile devices become more commonplace in the health care setting (the global mobile health market is expected to grow 33.5% annually through 2020), agencies are challenged to secure patient information and ensure compliance with confidentiality regulations.

Establishing a mobile device management (MDM) policy is one way to facilitate this.

In a 2015 HIMSS survey, more than 90% of health care provider employees reported using mobile devices to engage with patients, but only 57% of employees indicated their organizations have a mobile technology policy in place. This is a critical mistake; failure to meet regulations for data privacy and security can result in significant fees and penalties that can dramatically affect agencies both financially and reputationally.


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8 Tips to Keep Your Remote Home Care Workers in the Communication Loop

Jun 15, 2017 9:00:00 AM / posted in Communication

Effective communication is always important in the home care industry. But when it comes to remote workers, who likely spend a lot of time in the homes of clients but very little time in the office, a solid communication plan becomes essential.

This requires some thought. Not only do you need to keep your home care workers up to speed on agency-related information, you also need to keep them informed on care plans, schedules, and other client-specific details. And yet, when communicating any sensitive personal health information, agencies must be mindful of HIPAA compliance, data ownership, and security.

In the face of these logistical challenges when trying to connect remote workers, it’s easy to let communication suffer. But it doesn’t have to. Let’s look at eight ways you can improve communication with the remote home care workers in your agency.


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Improving Team Dynamics: Leadership Lessons for Home Health Agencies

Jun 8, 2017 12:27:19 PM / posted in Communication

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”

So begins the perennial best-selling business book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” by Patrick Lencioni. It’s a masterpiece of advice for any business leader, but it holds particularly potent words of wisdom for the home health industry.

From the care coordination teams that oversee the delivery of care to the operations teams that manage the business of care, home care agencies succeed or fail based on the strengths of their team dynamics.


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Understanding Overtime Laws and How They Impact Your Home Care Agency

May 25, 2017 10:00:00 AM / posted in Compliance

Employees are the single biggest asset most home care agencies have, and managing those employees is one of the biggest challenges agencies face. This not only means keeping employees happy – but also finding ways to manage labor costs. Given that most home care workers are not salaried employees and not exempt, keeping tabs on overtime laws is critical.

It’s important to note that overtime laws frequently treat home care workers as a special category, and eligibility requirements for overtime differ compared to most other industries. The changing regulatory landscape doesn’t help, either, making it extremely difficult for agency management to keep up with developments.

Here’s a breakdown of what home care agency leaders need to know about overtime laws, worker rights, and the current regulatory environment.


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Selecting the Right Type of Electronic Visit Verification for Your Agency

May 19, 2017 9:00:00 AM / posted in Electronic Visit Verification, Compliance

As the cost of health care and personal services continue to escalate and the concern of fraud in the home health industry continues to grow, agencies are under increasing pressure from payers to provide proof that the in-home services they bill were in fact delivered.

A driving factor in this growing demand for Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) is the 21st Century Cures Act – which requires states to establish EVV requirements for Medicaid-funded personal care and home care services.

Agencies naturally are concerned. With budgets already stretched thin, there is worry that meeting the EVV mandate will simply add yet another cost that further eats away at profits. And yet, EVV can bring a level of visibility to the delivery and management of care. This visibility may in turn yield unexpected – and potentially significant – gains in productivity, communication, cost, and care outcomes.


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Can Lean Principles Work for Home Health Agencies?

May 11, 2017 2:39:10 PM / posted in Productivity

Today’s home health agencies are constantly challenged to provide better quality care at lower overall cost. Achieving this goal isn’t easy, and agency leaders often grapple with finding the right balance administratively while maintaining financial margins in the face of shifting reimbursement levels.  

The environment is not unlike the automotive industry in the late 1980s, where U.S. manufacturers struggled to build cars that could compete with Japanese imports on quality and price without sacrificing profitability or productivity.


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8 Performance Metrics Home Care Agency CFOs Should Already Be Measuring

Apr 20, 2017 10:00:00 AM / posted in Cost Reduction, Productivity

When you’re managing care and service delivery, there are endless metrics you could evaluate to optimize care. From tracking the number of visits a care provider makes daily to the percentage of visits that start and end on time, it’s tough to know where to focus your attention.

It’s a critical decision nonetheless. If you select the wrong metrics, you risk chasing improvements that would only minimally benefit your organization. But monitoring too many at one time can overwhelm your staff.

By focusing on the right key performance indicators (KPIs), you can improve your agency’s service quality and outcomes for your clients, your own agency, and your payers. So, how do you determine what those KPIs are?


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