In the United States, the healthcare market is growing rapidly due to two primary reasons: the increasing number of individuals 65 and older and the ability to live with a chronic illness longer. Therefore, there is an increased need for long-term care. Home care is the preferred method for a number of reasons. The patient can remain comfortable in his or her own home. Moreover, the average daily cost to deliver home care services is $48, whereas a skilled nursing facility is $400, and a hospital is $1,835. Source1
Technology plays a big role in the home healthcare industry. Advanced tools are available to help improve efficiencies and keep costs down. The home care network consists of 3 major constituents:
Participants: The participant is the patient and, arguably the most important constituent of the home care network, since the participant is the individual receiving the care.
Providers: The provider is the healthcare professional or homecare agency who delivers services to participants. These services can be delivered in multiple settings, such as the patient’s home, a nursing home, a rehabilitation facility and a hospital. Providers can be chosen based on a number of factors, such as the type of care required and reputation.
Payers: The payer is the entity responsible for paying the providers to deliver services. Payers can be Public third-party payers such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration, Private third-party payers such as health insurance companies and managed care plans as well as the Patient and family (out of pocket). Source 2
So, you may ask, how can technology help these constituents? The global health technologies market will grow from $3.4 billion in 2014 to $13.7 billion by 2020, according to Tractica’s latest report “Home Health Technologies.” The number of consumers taking advantage of these tools will increase more than five-fold, from 14.3 million in 2014 to 78.5 million by 2020. Source 3
There are numerous technological tools available for all of the constituents in the home care network, such as monitoring devices, mobile health applications, and agency management software which can include the following features: scheduling, billing, payroll, and electronic time and attendance solutions. These tools enable the provider to track visits and help to ensure the proper plan of care is being delivered. Electronic time sheets reduce internal staff labor of having to track, collect, verify and enter data manually, which increases productivity. The payers can gain better visibility over operations to ensure the services are being delivered as authorized.
Technology alone can’t change the industry, but it can certainly help increase connectivity and collaboration. It is Sandata’s mission to help maximize the value of every in-home encounter, maximize the efficiency of home-care providers, and integrate payers and providers to improve care delivery.