CellTrak Blog

The latest home care trends and insights

The Holiday Season Survival Guide for Agencies

Nov 9, 2017 8:24:00 AM / posted in Communication, Productivity, Care

The holidays are right around the corner. Although this may be the most wonderful time of the year for many people, for home care and home hospice agencies, the holiday season can mean stress, extra work, and lots of headaches. Staff may not be available for holiday shifts, patients may be lonely, and payroll time-and-a-half requirements can create a major dent to an agency’s bottom line.

What, then, can a busy agency manager do to survive the crazy busy holiday season – and maybe even spread a little good cheer along the way?


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5 Low-Tech Ways to Improve Your Patient Satisfaction Surveys Today

Oct 26, 2017 9:15:00 AM / posted in Communication, Productivity, Care

Patient satisfaction surveys are a major component of the rating system on CMS’ Home Health Compare website. Considering that patients and families use this rating system to weigh their options for Medicare-certified home health agencies, improving responses on these patient surveys should be a top goal of every agency.

Plus, happier clients are good for business.

Fortunately, there are straightforward steps agencies can take to ensure that not only are their clients thrilled with the care they receive, they’re also more than willing to write glowing responses on their satisfaction survey.


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Employee Retention in the Home Care Industry: Can Technology Help?

Oct 19, 2017 9:12:00 AM / posted in Communication, Productivity, Retention

If your agency doesn’t yet have a plan for holding onto your most talented caregivers, you could be in trouble. With turnover rates exceeding 65 percent and a potentially disastrous caregiver shortage looming, employee retention is one of the biggest challenges the in-home care industry faces.

As a result, agencies are scrambling to figure out how to make their employees happier, without breaking the budget. And they’re increasingly finding success from a surprising source: Technology.


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How Home Health Care Agencies Can Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Sep 21, 2017 8:55:00 AM / posted in Cost Reduction, Productivity, Care

One in five elderly patients is readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of leaving, creating Medicare costs in excess of $17 billion each year. To rein in those costs, payers are embracing outcome-driven reimbursements in which high readmission rates bring stiff penalties.

Desperate to avoid both readmissions and penalties, hospitals and health care networks are increasingly assessing their home health care partners with a more critical eye.


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4 Ways to Gain More Home Care Referrals for Your Agency

Sep 7, 2017 8:26:00 AM / posted in Productivity

The home health care industry is white-hot these days, and smart agency owners are looking for creative ways to capitalize on this growth market. With annual growth rates expected to hit 7.5 percent this year, the industry is anticipated to be worth a cumulative – and astonishing – $130 billion by the end of 2017.

So how can agencies save a piece of this pie for themselves?


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4 Home Care Agencies That Decided to Go Paperless with Key Processes

Aug 24, 2017 8:27:00 AM / posted in Cost Reduction, Productivity

As one of the most documented and regulated industries, home care routinely produces vast amounts of paperwork, costing agencies precious time and resources to generate and maintain. As technology has evolved, today’s digital solutions provide advantages that paper just can’t match, from enhanced productivity to better compliance, communication, cost, and care.


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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, Productivity

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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Understanding Overtime Laws and How They Impact Your Home Care Agency

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

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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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, Savings

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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