Being a management service organization that helps to provide logistical support and enhancement for home care agencies, we know how difficult owning an agency can be. We have been able to witness the evolution of the home care industry firsthand, and are currently expanding our presence in areas around the country to help agency owners struggling. Today on the blog, we wanted to touch on a few key high level challenges that we have been able to see that agency owners are facing nationwide.
Here are 5 challenges facing home care owners in 2022.
- Caregiver Shortage
- Telehealth/Remote Care Shift
The reality is home care workers are struggling to get by at the pay scale they have traditionally been on when coupled with the impact of the economy. An industry that requires intimate care and personal attention requires caregivers that truly care. It’s not easy to truly care when the average wage for a home care worker is between $9 to $12 dollars nationally. When there are trends like a federal minimum wage increase that could offer up to $15 an hour, this could get tricky when balancing your books and managing your caregiver staff, hours, and pay. This becomes an increasingly difficult challenge as the industry continues to grow and demand for home care increases.
Between telehealth, billing, communication, social media, marketing, just about everything in a home care business is evolving. Technology changes everyday, and smaller, family run mom and pop owned agencies may struggle to keep up with emerging trends. Anything from sending and receiving important documents to managing your customer CRM has become much more difficult for some people who struggle with tech. This could lead to increased costs for outside help, IT backups, billing software, or other issues with business continuity.
Understanding that the home care industry is struggling to get workers across the nation, it’s more important than ever to assess and expand your recruitment and retention strategies. Oftentimes caregiver burnout leads to finding somewhere else to work, or changing roles completely. For someone who started a home care agency from the ground up themselves, scaling their agency to be able to grow their business and earn more revenue could be a challenge.
Even agencies who have everything down to a science with regards to providing adequate care for their patients are going to need to evolve with the emerging optionality of telehealth and remote care. Reviewing how your agency will evolve, adjust and continue to keep your well-established reputation won’t be easy once incorporating the new options available with telehealth. Some agencies may even reject the idea of telehealth, so to not change their functioning status quo. In reality this could eventually set them back behind other competitors in their region who could be more technologically sound, and affordable.
Billing & Back billing
With an increasing demand for home care, agencies who want to grow and increase revenue will struggle if they don’t have their billing workflow streamlined. This is again where technology could challenge a traditional owner with changes and needing to be more technologically sound. Payer expectations are also growing, with telehealth, flexibility for in-home appointment scheduling, and detailed, on-demand invoicing. Ultimately new software and capabilities can help make this process easier, but only when an owner is comfortable using it and has a team comfortable and skilled with the new changes.
These are only a few of the challenges that home care agency owners face here in 2022, and we will continue to talk about many of these challenges here on the blog. If you are a home care agency owner who is struggling with any of these areas, don’t be afraid to reach out to us. We are a management service organization here in the northeast, and we are currently expanding in North Carolina to help provide some or all of the solutions mentioned today. Remember to follow us on Linkedin for more trends in home care and home health care!