The Business of Caregiving and Home Care Agencies: Unleashing the Power of Data
In a recent Forbes article, Unleashing the Real Power of Data, data is described as “the new oil.” The article goes on to say, “raw data should be refined to extract more value.” Home Care Pulse has done exactly that with its most recent caregiving report where they surveyed 872 home care owners about their businesses.
According to Home Care Pulse. “It’s hard to imagine a better approach to learning the data deeply than repeated rounds of analysis, proofreading, and discussion. After the fifth time looking at a data point, patterns start to emerge that aren’t always obvious at first glance.”
Essential to home care agency profitability is the ability to retain clients. This ability is a multi-faceted key element of any home health franchise or business. Three key elements of maintaining home care clients are: (1) Consistently providing the right services to meet the needs of seniors living in their homes. (2) Having the right mix of quality caregivers to provide these services. (3) Structuring the right management team to take care of all the details needed to properly provide these essential home care and home health needs while supporting a higher quality of life for the senior population they serve. According to the Home Care Pulse recent survey, home care agencies are doing a better job at managing client turnover. The most successful home care agencies average client length of service at 36 months.
In addition to the daily tasks that any care agency supports, there are also additional services provided by these caregivers in the area of post-surgery care. Care for individuals that have just had a medical procedure done and may need help changing dressings, bathing or just putting on socks. Traditionally, while home care agencies have provided these services, they have not been good about tracking the data, or the results of improved health of these clients. According to Home Care Pulse, only 25% of agencies track hospital readmission rates. Many experts have documented the positive effects of home care services for post-surgery seniors stating that by keeping seniors out of the hospital they’re lifespans are increasing, their quality of life is improving, and healthcare costs are kept lower. The data shows that home care agencies need to do a better job of documenting their success at keeping seniors in their homes and out of the hospital.
Additional trends in home care agencies are the lack of the larger industry to adopt new technologies. One of the results of this lack is that client acquisition costs have risen significantly over the last 5 years. As the business environment continues to evolve those agencies that adopt the right technology to support their businesses will be the agencies that will see continued growth.
Caregiving is a balance between the needed details and the human touch. Care, by definition, is human and the highest value of a caregiver is the human touch and connection with the client. Technology and efficiency should never replace what it means to care.
“Caregiving. It’s a word that evokes a sense of empathy, connection, and support.” – Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving.
The value of care is the most essential element in the satisfaction of the client and the key driver to the client experience. Agencies that value the client experience and translate these experiences into client referrals have proven to be more successful. According to this year’s annual report, agencies that rank in the top tire of financial success say client referrals account for 73% of their gross revenue.
Moving forward as an industry, home care agencies will continually evolve to meet the needs of their clients and the senior communities they serve. It is only by continuing to evolve that they will remain relevant and profitable in the years to come.
Home Care Pulse - Connor Kunz. (2020). What We Learned Surveying 872 Home Care Owners About Their Businesses.