Kiss Misses Goodbye: How Home Health Care Missed Visits Impact Costs

Aug 23, 2016 8:00:01 AM

The squeeze is on. In the home health care market, operating margins are tight and getting tighter. Since agencies depend heavily on the capricious world of reimbursements, the fastest, often easiest way to boost margins is to reduce costs. Agencies need to examine every facet of their business, searching for ways to gain efficiencies and improve productivity.

When you consider the typical business model for a home health agency – staffing a large decentralized workforce that delivers care remotely – you can easily understand the challenges.

Many factors are at play to affect costs: wages, travel costs and effective time management of staff, to name just a few. Even small improvements can have a major positive impact on the bottom line.

But few areas in home health care influence the bottom line as much as missed visits.

Causes and Effects of Home Health Care Missed Visits

If your agency is compensated on a “fee-for-service” basis, the visit is your first step in the revenue cycle. Miss that visit for any reason and you may lose revenue. Unfortunately, many factors can lead to missed visits:

  • Out-of-date schedules
  • Caregivers who fall ill or are delayed due to traffic or other unforeseen circumstances
  • Current care plans that aren’t available when and where caregivers need them

reduce-missed-visits-0-pct2.pngOn the other hand, if your agency is compensated on a “fee-for-value” basis, it is still critical that you minimize missed visits. When you can ensure that the right number of visits occurs at the right time, you can:

  • Improve patient/client outcomes
  • Reduce the human and financial risks of complications when care is not delivered according to the care plan and best practices
  • Support the satisfaction ratings that payers and families consider when they choose home care agencies

Managing Misses with Mobile

What can you do to reduce home health care missed visits? For one, implement a good solution for mobile health care delivery management.

A mobile solution with a real-time connection to your scheduling system or EMR goes a long way toward minimizing missed visits. When you can deliver up-to-the-minute schedules, complete client information and care plans directly to your caregiver as she pulls up to the client’s home, you can help ensure the right care and service gets delivered at the right time.

And with accurate GPS-based tracking, your care coordinators will be able to see the where your staff are, relative to your clients’ locations. If a caregiver is delayed for any reason, the mobile solution can alert your care coordinators so they can contact another nearby caregiver and securely send detailed care plans. Missed visit – avoided.

Reducing missed visits is just one tactic your agency can use to cut costs. For more, read “14 Ways a Complete Mobile Health Care Delivery Management Solution Helps Your Bottom Line.”

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Topics: Cost Reduction, Savings