A Look at the 2018 National Association for Home Care & Hospice

Early this October, CipherHealth’s post-acute team traveled to Grapevine, Texas to attend the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) conference. Thousands of home health & hospice leaders filled the Texan Gaylord for four days of networking, information sharing, and learning.

The CipherHealth team had the pleasure of joining educational sessions and speaking with providers in the CipherHealth booth. Many conversations stemmed from agencies’ curiosity about our technology and how it’s impacting the industry. Filled with questions regarding how we can assist their agency through patient engagement, providers willingly shared what pain points are top of mind. After speaking with hundreds of organizations, there were clear trends that stuck out across the board.

Here are the top four discussion topics from NAHC 2018:

1. Creating Meaningful Partnerships- When it comes to hospitals and health systems, home health providers can prove their value in the care continuum by demonstrating their ability to improve one specific measure: readmission rates. The importance of health system partnerships was clearly top of mind as agencies look towards strategies to increase referrals, strengthen partnerships, and implement innovative programs support to ACOs. With patient outcomes top of mind across the entire care continuum, home health agencies (HHAs) can create meaningful partnerships by focusing on ways to drive results.

2. A Focus on Patient Experience- As the home health industry transitions to value-based care, patient experience is becoming increasingly important. Agencies are realizing that if they hope to be successful, they would have to do more than deliver quality care. They have to ensure patients feel informed and involved in their plan of care. Not only are agencies finding innovative programs that focus on the patient experience, but they are hiring Leaders to own this initiative. We noticed a new trend of many agencies hiring Chief Experience Officers (CXO) for the first time!

3. Improving Staff Efficiency- With a 65.7% industry turnover rate, it was no surprise that staff retention and recruitment was a common theme in many conversations with attendees. From challenges dealing with competition from hospitals and MD offices to trying to free their staff of administrative task and give them back time in their day, staff turnover is high in this space and improving staff efficiency is a top priority. Many agencies are streamlining workflows by leveraging technology to give staff time back in their day to focus on patient care.

4. Transitioning to Hospice- Knowing when a patient should be transitioned to hospice is critical. This delicate time can often come during home health services. Providers communicated the pressure of deciding when is the right time to move patients to hospice, and how do they start such sensitive conversations with the patient and their family.

It was great to see NAHC and its affiliates truly embrace the need for technology in the home health industry at this year’s annual show. From sessions such as ‘Technology Adoption and Staff Education to Streamline and Financials’ to ‘The Uberization and Automation of the Home Health industry’, NAHC was sure to stress that the adoption of technology can help in areas such as staff recruitment/retention, developing new service lines, data collection, and so much more. Hearing the value attendees received from these sessions, it is clear to see that there is an immense possibility for improvement in home health care.

Year after year, attendees and vendors walk away from NAHC with meaningful insights and new strategies to help them achieve organizational goals. For the CipherHealth team, it’s always great to speak with thought leaders across the country and discuss ways of overcoming the obstacles agencies continue to face.

To learn more about the current challenges facing the home health industry, read the recent article, ‘Cutting Through the Noise: Insights From CipherHealth’s Post-Acute Roundtable’.

John Banks Powell, VP of Post-Acute Strategies, obtained his Bachelor’s from UNC-Chapel Hill and his Master’s from Duke University. Powell spearheads CipherHealth's post-acute and bundled payment initiatives by partnering with providers across the care continuum. When Powell isn’t helping post-acute providers reach organizational goals, he can be found 30,000 feet in the air piloting planes.

CipherHealth empowers providers across the care continuum to deliver enhanced patient experiences and communications through a modular, comprehensive patient engagement technology platform.