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The Top 5 Challenges Facing Home Care Agencies in 2014

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The Top 5 Challenges Facing Home Care Agencies in 2014

  1. 1. The  Top  5  Challenges  Facing  Home  Care  Agencies  in  2014     It’s  no  secret  that  growth  in  the  home  care   industry  is  on  the  rise.  More  new  agencies   emerge  on  the  scene  every  day.  This  is  good   news  for  our  aging  population,  but  makes   competing  in  an  increasingly  saturated   market  an  even  bigger  challenge.  Putting   your  agency  on  a  path  to  growth  in  2014   starts  with  understanding  these  challenges.   Let’s  take  a  closer  look  at  what  you’re  up   against  and  what  you  need  to  do  to  stay   ahead  of  your  competitors  this  year.         1.  Preparing  for  Increased  Demand   As  home  care  consultants  we  know  that  the  numbers  of  people  seeking  home  care  are  going   to  continue  to  grow  this  year  and  beyond.  According  to  iHealthBeat.org,  50  million  Americans   will  be  65  years  or  older  by  2020,  representing  approximately  17  percent  of  the  population.   With  more  aging  individuals  preferring  to  receive  care  in  the  comfort  of  home,  many  home   care  agencies  will  struggle  to  meet  the  growing  demand  with  qualified  staff  and  capable   caregivers.  You  will  want  to  start  preparing  for  increased  demand  by  ensuring  you  have  the   proper  systems  in  place  to  handle  it.  This  may  mean  upgrading  technology  or  hiring  a  home   care  consultant  to  help  update  your  policy  and  procedure  manual.     2.  Recruiting  and  Retaining  the  Right  Staff   Recruiting  qualified  caregivers  is  a  critical  part  of  growing  your  home  care  agency.  After  all,   satisfied  customers  are  the  lifeblood  of  referrals.  While  there  is  a  high  demand  for  skilled  staff   and  caregivers  in  the  field,  the  number  of  qualified  applicants  available  varies  around  the   country.  Some  regions  don’t  have  access  to  a  large  pool  of  well-­‐trained  staff—especially  those   agencies  located  in  areas  where  there  are  no  trade  schools  or  colleges  offering  home  care   education.       Once  staff  has  been  recruited,  home  care  agencies  must  find  a  way  to  retain  their  best   employees.  Pay  is  obviously  a  key  component  in  retaining  qualified  staff,  but  it’s  only  one  of   many  factors.  You  also  want  to  ensure  your  agency  provides  the  main  drivers  of  staff   satisfaction,  meaningful  work  and  appreciation  for  their  efforts,  as  well  as  a  comfortable  work  
  2. 2. environment,  clearly  defined  responsibilities  and  expectations,  and  opportunities  for   advancement.       3.  Getting  Referrals   Some  areas  of  the  country  have  highly  saturated  markets,  often  making  it  difficult  for  a  home   care  agency  to  obtain  referrals.  Still,  the  first  step  to  increasing  referrals  in  any  market  will   always  be  providing  the  highest  level  of  care.  Home  care  consultants  can  provide  marketing   support  to  help  create  your  overall  marketing  plan,  web  presence,  and  print  advertising  you   need  to  get  the  word  out  about  your  business.  Your  lead  generation  strategy  can  include   everything  from  sending  eNewsletters  to  existing  clients  to  distributing  your  brochure  to  local   assisted  living  buildings,  physician’s  offices,  hospitals,  and  outpatient  clinics.     4.  Establishing  Partnerships   Establishing  valuable  partnerships  with  new  and  emerging  entities  like  Accountable  Care   Organizations  (ACOs)  and  Medical  Homes  is  key  to  growing  your  agency.  These  partnerships   provide  another  effective  way  to  improve  referrals.  But  securing  these  partnerships  presents   a  challenge  because  you  need  to  strategically  position  your  agency  as  a  value-­‐added  partner.       5.  Training  and  Education   Regulations  and  certification  requirements  are  constantly  changing  in  the  home  care  industry.   Your  agency  must  keep  policies  and  procedures  up-­‐to-­‐date  with  these  regulations  and   communicate  the  changes  to  staff.  This  process  requires  you  to  educate  employees  regularly   and  provide  training  to  improve  patient  care.  Consider  creating  monthly  or  quarterly  training   programs  in  addition  to  continuing  education  programs  for  caregivers  and  office  staff.  This   will  keep  employees  current  with  best  practices  and  stay  up-­‐to-­‐date  on  any  new  compliance   issues.     Tackle  all  of  this  year’s  challenges  with  the  assistance  of  an  experienced  home  care  consultant   like  Kenyon  HomeCare  Consulting.  We  can  perform  an  organizational  assessment  to  see   where  you  are  today  and  help  develop  a  strategic  plan  for  your  future.  Schedule  an   appointment  by  visiting  www.KenyonHCC.com  or  by  calling  206.721.5091.  

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