Why Home Care Agencies Need Paperless Operations and Value-Based Care
In today’s world, the cost of providing care can feel insurmountable, and our old methods of paper documentation could be the silent killer to your business.
Additionally, insurance payers and state governing bodies are demanding a different perspective of care to take place. These changes can seem difficult, but how do we navigate these to help home-based care instead of hurting it? CellTrak’s Senior Project Manager, Kerry Meabon, walks us through the importance of paperless operations, value-based care, and how CellTrak can help easily achieve better operations and outcomes for home and community-based care agencies.
Why Should My Personal Care Agency Go Paperless?
Audit Risks - To be HIPAA compliant, agencies must maintain six years of patient data. If this data is being maintainied in an offsite storage facility, it can be difficult to retrieve when an auditor comes in. Office staff have to sift through dozens of boxes for one specific document, reducing productivity. Keeping data electronically makes retreiving data for auditors simple and easy, done within a few clicks.
Documentation Errors - Working on paper, supervisors cannot easily require caregivers to provide complete and accurate responses. Important patient condition questions could get skipped on paper, meaning supervisors may miss updates in patient condition that could hinder patient outcomes. Electronic forms can have required fields in order for the caregiver to and you can make sure that you're getting that adherence to those requirements.
Data Analysis - Today, data can be used to prove your business' value to payers. Without maintaining data electronically, agencies have to go through the painful process of manually inputting data. Additionally, electronic data analysis tools such as CellTrak's Data Warehouse tool, Insights and Analytics, can allow agencies to find valuable information on how to fix compliance issues and offer better care -- something that would be impossible using paper.
The Costs of Using Paper
Maybe your business is small, and you're not sure you're ready to invest in an electronic solution. But as your business grows, what costs come with using paper?
Storage and Supplies - A Medium-Sized Office may spend $900 to $1200 a month between your paper and storage documentation. Office storage costs ranges from about 50 to 95 cents per box, and forms cost $20 per package. Electronically maintaining data eliminates bulky storage and supply costs.
Some costs are more individual and difficult to quantify, such as the time wasted completing paper documentation instead of faster electronic documentation. In a time where most providers are experiencing a labor shortage, time is a precious resource.
Time and Mileage - Time and mileage costs associated with using paper include making sure people come into the office to hand in timesheets, travelling back and forth between the home and the office. Using an electronic system, documentation is real-time, and supervisors can be aware of patient concerns as soon as the visit happens
HIPAA Compliance - Using non-secure paper, there is potential for HIPAA compliance breaches, which can incur costs that range anywhere from $100 to $50,000, up to $1.5 million in a year in violation fees. For larger personal care agencies, costs continue to grow.
Historically, providers have been compensated for their work using a medicaid fee-for-service rate. But value-based care could change things for providers, allowing them to receive compensation based on patient outcomes. Value-based care aims to incentivize better outcomes for patients and reward providers for offering higher-quality services.
Value-based care is a healthcare delivery model based on improving care for patients through preventative treatments and assessing patient wellbeing; improving patient outcomes and reducing costs.
For Medicaid providers using value-based care, the focus has shifted from how you are utilizing reimbursement rates to how you are adapting to changes in the ways a patient receives care, enabling agencies to decrease patient emergency visits, hospitalization, and proactively support changes to a patient’s condition with a goal to keep patients at home safely. Value-based care looks out for subtle changes in condition to respond before crises occur in order to prevent patient deterioration.
How CellTrak Can Help
CellTrak uses a simple form functionality within the CellTrak mobile app to help you seamlessly capture value-based care documentation. CellTrak’s form functionality is flexible – any data you may want to capture, be it for payer requirements, or to improve care, we can build into a form easily and quickly.
CellTrak Value-Based Documentation From The Aide Side - Using value-based care forms, caregivers can review communication notes regarding previous patient visits. This is valuable when patients are seen by multiple caregivers, opening the line of communication among the care team. Caregivers can see changes in progress, condition, medication, or issues to be noted before they take care of the patient. Notes to be displayed in value-based care forms is configurable depending on what values (medication, hospitalization, mobility change, etc.) are of value to your team. Caregivers may also note if their supervisor needs to intervene or follow up with the change in condition.
Value-Based Documentation On the Supervisory Side - Value-Based Care documentation and forms can also be viewed on the supervisory side. When a patient’s condition requires intervention (such as a fall) the supervisor is alerted both in the CellTrak app and in the Operations Team Portal. Interventions on the supervisory side may include providing better support to the aide on how to best deliver care provided the new changes, looping in a skilled care provider for assistance, or following up with a patient’s funder to note changes in condition.
In CellTrak's backend staff portal, The Operations Team Portal, supervisors can view and print a full PDF of notes that the patient’s caregivers have made throughout their time with the agency, including progress notes, changes in condition, activities performed, medications administered, so supervisors can easily see what went wrong and how future interventions can be prevented, and changes in the caregivers schedule can be updated accordingly.
Q: Can I add any type of forms, or does it have to be aide-specific?
A: Great question. CellTrak can handle pretty much any type of form that you might need, whether it's a progress note or full assessment. It’s very configurable to your specific needs.
Q: How long does it take to get set up when I need a new form?
A: Forms are quick and easy for our team to create for you and can be turned around anywhere from 48 hours to a week, depending on the complexity of the form, if the form is logic-based, etc.
Q: Why should I go with CellTrak for forms and value-based care needs?
A: CellTrak value-based care forms are quick to develop and deploy to caregivers, they make communication simple for everyone in your care team to offer better patient outcomes, and are configurable to your specific needs. We are here to support you!
Want to learn more? See CellTrak forms in action in our webinar below!