Home health care is on the rise. According to the CDC, more than 4.5 million patients received in-home care from one of 12,000 home health agencies in 2016.1 Pandemic priorities combined with increasing pressure on traditional healthcare systems, meanwhile, are now helping home home providers make even greater inroads. A recent Forbes article puts it simply: “The future of healthcare is coming home.”2
But growing market demand isn’t enough in isolation. To ensure sustained profitability, home health providers need to find, hire and retain the best staff — and this means finding better ways to manage, monitor, and maximize payroll efficiency. Let’s explore three ways home health software can help.
Track Time Worked
Complete and accurate payroll relies on reliable tracking of hours worked by home health staff. But with home health operations growing — 97 percent of healthcare executives surveyed said increased home care options are better for both insurers and members — tracking staff time worked across multiple locations and multiple patients quickly becomes complex.3
Home health care software can help improve time tracking accuracy. By providing staff access to timesheets and schedules via the mobile device of their choice, and allowing administrators to customize scheduling and “To Do” lists, home health providers can reduce the risk of time-tracking disconnects.
Capture Compliance Data
Compliance is critical for home health agencies. From ensuring employees complete key action items to entering details into home healthcare EMR solutions, compliance can’t be overlooked.
When it comes to home health payroll, meanwhile, providers face a different kind of compliance challenge: labor laws. Consider a growing home health organization operating in Washington state. As noted by the Economic Policy Institute, the minimum wage in Washington is $13.96 as of January 1st, 2021. In Seattle and SeaTac, however, this wage changes to $16.69 and $16.57, respectively.4 Head just south to Oregon and the minimum wage is $12, while California’s is $14 — unless staff are working in one of more than 30 cities or towns where minimum wage is higher.
The result? Providers need home health software capable of capturing all components needed to ensure all staff are paid fairly and compliance concerns are minimized.
Solve for Staff Issues
The biggest challenge for home health agencies in 2021? Staffing. According to recent survey data, 59 percent of respondents said staffing was their biggest non-COVID challenge.5 And with 63 percent anticipating their revenues to increase this year as more patients prefer to receive care at home, providers can’t afford to lose any of their current staff — and must find way to attract and retain new talent.
While this process starts with paying well — skilled caregivers now have a wider market to choose from and can afford to hold out for better compensation — it’s also critical for companies to ensure staff are paid on time, every time, and that any extra hours or overtime worked are accurately reflected and remunerated. Cloud-based, customizable software for home health can help providers streamline the payroll process and boost overall staff satisfaction.
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1 CDC, “Home Health Care,” March 11, 2016.
2 Forbes, “The Future of Healthcare is Coming Home: Three Major Trends to Leverage for Startups,” April 5, 2021.
3 Home Health Care News, “Care at Home Should Be the Main Course, Not Just a Dessert Option,” November 11, 2020.
4 Economic Policy Institute, “Minimum Wage Tracker,” May 17, 2021.
5 Home Health Care News, “Staffing Reclaims Title of Home-Based Care Industry’s Biggest Challenge,” January 28, 2021.