3 Ways to Keep Wage Increases From Ruining Your Agency's Bottom Line

Oct 26, 2016 8:02:00 AM

Across the United States, the “Fight for $15” movement has taken hold in many industries that employ hourly workers, and home care is one of them.

Wage-Increase.jpgWhen you think of the effect that wage increases will have in shrinking your operating margins, does that make you toss and turn all night?

It needn’t keep you awake.

Providing decent living wages to caregivers – your agencies most valuable asset – while simultaneously running a profitable agency and providing quality affordable care to seniors is an achievable goal.

Indeed, the underlying challenges of Fight for $15, to increase and improve service while controlling costs, are the same as health care’s Triple Aim:

  • Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction)
  • Improving the health of populations
  • Reducing the per capita cost of health care

For home care agencies, technology and information are the best ways, and perhaps the only way, to solve what seems unsolvable. Staffing a large decentralized workforce that delivers care in homes and communities is inherently costly. Many factors – such as wages, travel costs, and staff productivity – affect your costs. Even small improvements can have major positive impacts on your bottom line.

A mobile health care delivery management solution can help you counteract the impact of wage increases in three ways:

  • Reduce travel reimbursement expenses by 26%
  • Cut the cost and time associated with paperwork
  • Optimize care delivery productivity

1. Reduce reimbursement expenses

Travel expense reimbursement, especially mileage reimbursement, is often a significant expense for agencies. These costs add up in so many ways: during the admission process, from visit to visit, during visits when clients need transportation to facilities or stores, when caregivers make trips to get supplies, when staff take trips to the office to pick up or drop off paperwork or attend meetings, and more. 

Many agencies have developed complex rules and mileage reimbursement calculations to meet the requirements for their staff. Automating your mileage tracking and payment calculations with a mobile solution makes your mileage calculations simple, accurate and faster to process. Agencies commonly report saving 20-26% in mileage reimbursement once they switch from self-reported mileage to a GPS-based system.

Read how Hospice at Home saved 26% in mileage reimbursement, reduced over-serving by nearly 44%, and cut documentation time by 76%.

2. Cut paperwork

In home care, paperwork is everywhere: between the field and the office, and among your agency and all types of third parties. Admission forms, schedules, point-of-care documentation, payroll processing, and care documentation are all paper-based. It takes time to complete and process all these paper forms, which means paper-based processes and systems are siphoning money from your margin. 

A health care delivery management solution eliminates the need for paperwork at the point-of-care and provides you with a better, more efficient way to operate. The gains in efficiency translate directly into savings in cost.

3. Optimize productivity of care delivery

Each client visit provides a wealth of data: information about care delivery and how long the delivery took, comparisons of care delivery across caregivers, overall length of the visit, and so on.

Technology can harness all this information and turn it into valuable insights. By monitoring and analyzing the data, you can spot activities that are prone to over-serving. From there, you can proactively take steps to train field staff how to be more efficient, thereby leading to opportunities that reduce overtime or opportunities to schedule additional visits each day.

Finding a win for all

As wages inevitably rise, your agency can still thrive. By providing a competitive wage to caregivers, you will be able to retain staff. With the help of technology and information, you can run a profitable business by providing quality and affordable health care.

Learn more about how to focus your attention on measuring the metrics that matter by downloading our white paper below.

Download White Paper: Measure What Matters for Successful Home Care Management


Topics: Mobile Solution, Cost Reduction, Savings