This article is sponsored by AlayaCare. This article is based on a discussion on home healthcare with Brady Murphy, Chief Revenue Officer at AlayaCare. The discussion took place on September 15, 2022, at the FUTURE Home Health Care News conference in New York. The article below has been edited for length and clarity.
Home Healthcare News: Today we’re going to talk about trends in home healthcare and how the development of technology is key to shaping the future of the industry. We’ll touch on everything from value-based care to workforce to partnerships.
We currently have many changes in home healthcare payment systems. How do you see payment model changes such as the home healthcare value-based purchase model, for example, shaping the industry and the direction in which it is moving?
Brady Murphy: We’ve partnered with a survey with Home Health Care News. We’re always gathering new opinions and contributions, and while we like to be assured that the information is good enough, it needs to be backed up with data.
We did a survey with Home Health Care News, and asked people, in the next 3-5 years, if they thought their income would be more than 50% based on performance? Forty-two percent of those respondents said they will, which was interesting, based on my observation. In terms of some of these ideas and implications, that still means that you really know the definitive metrics in terms of these performance-based contracts.
When we’ve talked to our clients who do this, they tell us, “You really have to do these three things; First, you need to be flexible. You have to allow us to be creative in how we make various assumptions, how we can influence change. The second thing,” they said, “is that you have to give us a comparative analysis. Fortunately, AlayaCare is a relatively young company at eight years old, but with the aggregate data we already have, we can create accurate and useful benchmarks. These benchmarks were inspired by this question itself. Finally, they wanted us to understand exactly where they sit on various bell curves. People say the staffing is overloaded. Well, how do you measure performance when there is a stress variable? »
Finally, our users have asked for the ability to pivot. They want to rotate the more random things so that we really have confidence in the performance contracts we are about to face.
HHCN: I really want to take that stat home, because it’s amazing that in this survey we did together, 42% of respondents said they expected value-based care contracts to be more than half of their income over the next 3 years. 5 years old, which is fast approaching. Shifting gears, a bit, I want to talk about partnerships. How can home care agencies better leverage partnerships to improve outcomes for their clients?
Murphy: We surveyed all of our clients and looked at how many of them had at least one partnership, which was ninety-eight percent. It was interesting. Then we took it a step further and looked at our major clients and businesses. We have seen that 80% of them have more than 5 integrations. The other a-ha moment was when we also looked at clients that have more integrations; how are their revenue trends changing from a revenue perspective? They doubled faster than any of the others compared to this cohort.
We certainly need to look at cause and effect here, but I would argue that more integrations are allowed, which is what our customers have told us. There were three things there. Compliance with the rules, which also helped in terms of being able to differentiate the patient experience. If you have all of these different direct-to-consumer tools that integrate into your system or case, it helps you differentiate yourself to the client, as well as your caregivers. The second and third were retention and recruitment, another important part of using these integrations in the war on talent. You need to be able to create your unique experience that is different from everyone else and integrations help you do that.
HHCN: When we talk about partnerships in this context, what partnerships are we talking about?
Murphy: We have partners here in the audience today, like Home Care Pulse, Nevon, applicant tracking companies, and we also have remote patient monitoring companies. I think we have to be able to recognize that one system can’t do it all. You have to have an ecosystem. This means you need to have strong APIs. The other thing we’ve learned from our customers is that these APIs need to be real-time, just like care is real-time. You need data flowing in and out of your systems and you need to be able to monitor that and provide that unique experience.
HHCN: Then the third area we wanted to talk about, which everyone continues to focus on, is workforce, recruitment and retention. How could agencies differentiate themselves from caregivers to become employers of choice? What are some of the sightings you saw there?
Murphy: We extracted our data and looked at two segments. I know there are people here from the private sector who only deal with private payments. As we looked at these segments, private payment first and our last 36 months of average tenure of home care aides, we found that the turnover rate improved for private paying customers. We kept digging to understand a bit more why this is happening.
The other thing we learned is that there is a juxtaposition, looking at the aggregates of all the caregivers that were changing. What was the number one consistent reason? The caregivers’ hours were not what they wanted and yet there are not enough caregivers and they leave because there were inconsistent schedules. What we have learned from some of our clients is that they guarantee 40 hours per week. By doing this, it puts a lot more pressure on being able to plan them better.
We also use the revenue predictor. Your system is a record, when they clock in, when they clock in, what they even send on narrative notes. You can use this data and you can see around the corner, and you can step in with a one-on-one conversation to ensure that the desired work hours pattern matches the schedule hours pattern. This is for sure the number one correlative component to a higher Net Employee Promotion (NPS) score.
Do you have any examples you could share of staffing successes?
Murphy: Yes. One of our clients was challenged by his network to reduce falls, which was one of the reasons patients visited the ER. They basically had 200 customers, or patients. They took a hundred of these patients and said, “We have a theory about these sets of interventions with the goal of reducing rehospitalizations. They had a control group and a test group. Within the test group, they were able to flex their creative muscles starting with the implementation of standardized assessments.
The test measured and analyzed customers’ gait while walking to collect structured data output. They had theories about different types of procedures, like compression stockings. They also gave all these patients a Fitbit and as a matter of care, they had to walk a certain number of steps. They were able to connect the Fitbit API to our API, and in real time, were able to collect this data daily, with thresholds and alerts where the lower limit thresholds or the upper limit thresholds were eclipsed. Everyone is connected in real time. What they were able to prove by retaking this assessment at the end of the testing period was that the gait scores were marked as material improvement. As a result of these interventions they created.
The formula was unique, and by having access to this flexible and creative approach, it allowed them to see if their billing rates were increasing or if they were gaining an advantage by achieving these results. Stories like this from our customers are what really inspire us to expand AlayaCare technology to be creatively flexible, helping us to share these new uses and ideas with you.
To learn more about how AlayaCare can help your organization ensure consistent operations across multiple sites with real-time information updates for key stakeholders, visit https://www.alayacare.com/.