Four Keys to Future Home Health Success

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Amy Shellhart By Amy Shellhart 
Vice President of Product Management, Change Healthcare
Future of Home Health

“The Future of Home Health Care: A Strategic Framework for Optimizing Value” discusses four key characteristics of the home health organization of the future. Let’s explore these four characteristics and address the ways in which McKesson Homecare™ and McKesson Hospice™ are working to help ensure you’re positioned to be leaders in the home health market today and in the future. (Editor’s note: McKesson Technology Solutions is now Change Healthcare.)

Patient- and Person-Centered

The 2017 Home Health Conditions of Participation places a heightened focus on patient rights and the provision of written information for the patient on visit schedules, medication schedules, treatments and other pertinent instructions. The Homecare and Hospice clinical solutions have been enhanced with an updated plan of care document to help ensure attending physicians remain informed of their patients’ care across the post-acute care continuum. Our care planning provides an interdisciplinary, patient-centered approach to focus on patient preferences, needs and values. This approach encourages patient involvement and understanding of their clinical status to promote their overall health.

This year, we’re in discussions with a long-recognized vendor of patient education materials to bring our customers a customized patient education solution integrated with our clinical product. Our intention for this solution, Health E-U™, is to provide clinicians with access to tools, built into their workflow, that allow for the printing or emailing of education materials to patients and/or their families. Furthermore, our intention is to bring the tracking and results of that interaction into the plan of care to help demonstrate that your clinicians are providing education and reduce the amount of manual documentation they must complete.

Finally, we believe that a great way to help ensure that the patient remains in the center is with a patient/family portal. We’re actively working through the steps to make this a reality. As that solution unfolds, we intend to bring care plan information and patient education tools directly into the portal for patients and family to feel informed and connected with you as their provider of choice for their home health needs.

Seamlessly connected and coordinated

As the barriers to the approval of home health services are torn down (example: homebound status), home health organizations of the future will find themselves more responsible for the coordination of care. The patient’s home will be viewed as the central node. A significant focus will be placed on the transition of the patient from institutional settings to home. For home health organizations to successfully coordinate care and services across different providers, suppliers and services, they must be connected across the continuum of care, according to the article.

We at Change Healthcare are continually evaluating and updating our strategic approach to connectivity, making sure that it is considered, not as a singular solution, but embedded within our applications along workflow paths.

Doc Center is an example of a tool that can be used to help coordinate vital information in the care of the patient. By attaching documents to the patient record with Doc Center, it’s easier for clinicians and staff to collaborate regarding complex referrals to determine whether to accept a referral. This approach allows your organization to get a decision to the referral source quickly and helps ensure patients get the care they require in a timely manner. This approach benefits not only the patient but also helps to foster goodwill with referral sources and ensure that your organization is not accepting referrals that are costly to your bottom line due to locations, type of care required, payer or other factors.

Document Manager, new technology included in Release 14.1, serves as a centralized location for tracking and printing clinical documentation. It allows you to not only choose which documents you need to print and send for signature or for claims, but it also allows you to track documents within the software. Additionally, Document Manager lets you track documents based on number of days outstanding, admission/episode, insurance payer and more. This gives you the ability to prioritize outstanding documentation for follow-up based on items that are most important to your business. Examples include whether it is items holding up claims with the highest revenue or those that have been outstanding the longest. There is no need to track documents outside of the Change Healthcare software manually or with another software platform.

Within our EMR, users have access to a continuity of care document (CCD). The CCD generated by Homecare not only includes vital clinical information such as medication, diagnosis and allergies, it also serves as a complete clinical summary of the patient. Capabilities such as secure direct messaging and membership in the CommonWell Health Alliance network enable us to easily exchange health information. This year we plan to extend the capabilities of our direct messaging as an intra-agency mail system that will allow you to share additional information.

High quality patient care

Above all else, home health organizations must ensure they can consistently deliver high quality care for their patients. While many studies point to the home care model as the least expensive care model, those models rely on that care preventing, or (worse) not causing, emergent or acute care admissions. As a result, home health organizations must not only focus on the acute or chronic medical conditions, but also on patient safety: medication safety, falls risk and disaster preparedness. Payers will pick organizations that can demonstrate consistency in care that allows patients to get and remain home safely, the article states.

This year we have designed and developed the functionality to assist you in documenting emergency preparedness information specific to individual patients. Additionally, we’re adding the OASIS Analyst™ solution to our portfolio, which provides scrubbing analytics and managerial oversight to help ensure the OASIS is answered accurately, as well as a readmission/emergent care predictor. An accurate OASIS and insight into a patient’s admission risk factors help inform the development of a care plan that facilitates the best potential outcomes. Furthermore, with our new Homecare Insight platform for business and clinical intelligence, we’ve made it easier than ever for you to demonstrate to your value to referral partners.

Technology-enabled

According to market intelligence firm Tractica, the number of consumers engaging in some form of home health technology is expected to increase from 14.3 million worldwide in 2014 to approximately 78.5 million by 2020. The different product categories include medical monitoring and management, remote consultations, eldercare, and health and wellness.

In the 2016 survey of US Health Consumers, Deloitte found that caregiver scenarios were most popular for consumers for remote patient monitoring. Forty percent of respondents said they likely would approve of sensor use for two caregiver scenarios: location tracking and fall detection. Deloitte’s research suggests that companies implementing home care technologies should prioritize keeping the patient information safe, including the patient’s caregivers and ensuring a seamless user experience.

While remote monitoring has struggled to take a significant foothold in home health due to a lack of financial incentives, we believe that it will play a key role in the future of home health. Therefore, we’re researching and investigating what role we can—or should—play in supporting you in procuring and utilizing remote monitoring tools, as well as incorporating that data into the medical record to help bring the right information to the right people at the right time.

At Change Healthcare, we see it as our responsibility to equip you with an enterprise solution that not only meets, but exceeds, your expectations so that you can focus your efforts on building and promoting your business. Now, more than ever, you need tools that clinicians not only find easy to use, but want to use because they enable better patient care. You need to know that clerical staff and management have the tools to easily identify exceptions where intervention is needed rather than pouring through reports and data to do their jobs. Last, but not least, you need your directors and executives to be able to spend their time on strategy and building the business.

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