A series especially for home care companies
In this post I am continuing a series about ways that home care companies can benefit from working more closely with Aging Life Care™ managers. Through my company, Elder Pages Online, I work with both groups. By sharing the results of many interviews I’ve conducted with home care companies, I hope to further help these two elder care professionals build stronger ties for collaboration.
The benefit for the home care company
In this blog post, the focus is on the monetary advantages for a home care company to bring in an Aging Life Care Manager. Put candidly: What’s in it for a home care company to start referring to an outside professional? (See the original blog post to get a sense of which situations will be most appropriate.)
The financial barrier
The home care business owners I met with in my interviews were all very kind and compassionate people. They want to do the right thing for their customers. That said, when I asked about barriers to referring to a care manager, they all mentioned concern that money is already tight for families as they struggle to pay for daily care needs. It was simply very hard to suggest another expense. (See my previous blog post about how care managers stretch dollars for home care customers for thoughts on how to overcome that concern.)
How does a home care company benefit directly?
It turns out that there are not only improved health and financial outcomes for families, but also for the home care company. For instance:
- Decreased hospitalizations result in more billable hours. Anything that takes a client away from home, reduces the number of hours a home care agency can bill. The presence of an Aging Life Care Manager can increase adherence and reduce adverse reactions. Furthermore, a professional care manager can smooth transitions to home when there has been a hospitalization and reduce the chance of a readmission.
- Well-managed medical conditions result in longer lengths of service. Anything that stabilizes a client’s condition will help the client be able to stay home longer and avoid a move to a skilled facility. In addition to a care manager’s in-depth understanding of chronic conditions, if the care manager is a nurse and has the licensure to create medi-sets, then that’s one more way they can augment the home care company’s service and avoid/forestall the need to move to long-term care.
- Improved family communication reduces wear and tear on staff (or the owner!). Anxious family members can take up a lot of time, and it’s not always something a home care agency can handle or bill for. By referring their distressed families to an Aging Life Care Manager—a professional with specific training in family dynamics—the home care company is liberated from family demands that can threaten to sink the company ship. Care managers also have a much greater ability to create a fee structure and contract that acknowledges their expertise in these areas and allows them to bill the family for the time that is needed. It becomes a win–win. The family gets the information and assurances they require, and the home care owner is relieved of questions, worries, and concerns that can become overwhelming.
- Reduced turnover results in fewer staffing headaches. Many Aging Life Care Managers take an active role in selecting the caregivers. In fact, they may ask to interview several in order to find the ones they are confident can handle the relative complexity of the client and family situation. Although it can be more work to set up the interviews initially, the home care business owners I spoke with said there were much fewer requests for a new caregiver in those situations. The staffing was more stable which was a huge relief.
Consider a trial referral
If a home care owner is feeling stressed by a micromanaging daughter, a client that is in and out of the hospital, or a family that keeps firing caregivers, a trial referral is a good first step. It’s easier to test drive a referral relationship than it is to commit for the long term. Start with a one-time task with one family.
“Try it, you’ll like it” 🙂
What I heard from my interviews is that once a home care company feels the difference of having a professional care manager in the picture for those difficult cases, they really like it—for their clients AND for themselves.
To Find an Aging Life Care Manager
Go to the website of the national organization: AgingLifeCare.org.
A Marketer Specializing in Elder Care
Anyone can build a website. But if you are interested in smart marketing for your elder care business, be it home care, care management, hospice or home health, give me a call at 707-477-0700, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to discuss the innovative websites, newsletters and blog posts we create so our clients can reach out to families and network with referrers. With 90 clients around the country, we know elder care!