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3 Ways HCBS can prepare for an increased demand 

3 ways HCBS can prepare for an increased demand

President Biden’s announcement of a $150 billion pledge to home and community-based services (HCBS) has been met with widespread approval from advocates and organizations that serve the elderly and individuals with disabilities. This new budget signals a major shift in how healthcare is delivered, with much greater emphasis on home-based care over institutional care. 

To learn more, check out our blog: How the budget pledge is improving access to quality, affordable health care, where we covered how the $150 billion pledge can impact HCBS providers and what they can expect.  

The increase in funding could enable states to expand access to HCBS and reduce waiting lists, which are often lengthy and leave individuals without the necessary support (keeping in mind that the impact of the funding will depend on how it is allocated and implemented at the state level).

Here are the 3 ways HCBS providers can prepare for the influx of clients with Biden’s funding pledge… 

Evaluate current staffing and resources  

Take stock of existing staff, equipment, and supplies to determine if additional personnel or resources are needed for the potential influx of new clients. When assessing staff to identify potential gaps and evaluating resources, there are several questions you should consider to make sure your staff will be able to handle the upcoming influx of clients. Here are some to get started: 

  1. What open positions and roles are needed to provide optimal care? 
  2. What challenges or concerns arise from the current team size and structure? 
  3. How well are current staff members prepared for a possible increase in patient demand? 
  4. Are there any internal training programs that could help optimize outcomes? 
  5. Have recent changes to staff roles or job responsibilities been addressed effectively?
  6. Are processes in place to ensure proper record keeping and accountability of personnel decisions? 
  7. What skills sets do we need to fill vacant positions or anticipate future needs? 

As home-based care and hospital-at-home providers anticipate an influx of clients following the Biden administration’s $150 billion pledge fund, as an organization you should ask the above questions to ensure you are adequately prepared and do not become overwhelmed, which could lead to a decrease in the quality of patient care.  

Learn about how April Hansen and her organization experienced a rapidly high demand of clients and how they successfully prepared for and handled it by listening to episode 37 of AlayaCare’s Home Health 360 podcast, “How to get out of a decision-making funk and executing decisions efficiently – Tips from hyper growth expert April Hansen.” 

Evaluate the efficiency of current operational processes  

As the possibility of an increase in patient demand becomes more likely, it is essential for providers to evaluate the efficiency of your operational processes. This will help you make sure you are equipped to handle any additional workload that may arise and make sure they can provide quality care for all clients. Evaluating current resources and processes can also help identify areas of improvement and prevent any potential issues from arising due to increased demand. By taking a proactive approach to your operations, you can ensure that your organization’s resources are optimally utilized to provide the best possible care for your clients. 

Here are some steps to evaluate the efficiency of your current operational processes: 

  • Analyze current staffing models and performance metrics to identify any gaps or inefficiencies. 
  • Review existing policies and procedures related to patient management, record keeping, and personnel decisions. 
  • Assess technology infrastructure capabilities and ability to scale quickly when necessary. 
  • Investigate potential remote access solutions that could bridge gaps between personnel and clients. 
  • Utilize data analysis tools to measure resource allocation and cost effectiveness. 
  • Identify areas where existing staff need additional training or new skills sets are needed for vacant positions. 
  • Develop systems to monitor changes in workloads or job responsibilities and ensure proper communication among personnel regarding updates or changes in protocol. 

Evaluating operational efficiency all links to data and how to use that data to assess and improve processes to efficiently and effectively prepare for an influx of clients without exhausting workflows and processes.  

Learn more about what data reports providers should use when evaluating their organization, by downloading our checklist on top 10 key reports for agencies.  

Leverage and implement the right technology and tools  

Technology can enable your agency to scale your services quickly and efficiently while providing quality care. With technological solutions, you can streamline processes and improve communication between personnel so that you can manage larger patient populations without compromising the quality of service. Additionally, technology can provide real-time data analysis insights, automate tasks, reduce paperwork, and provide better customer service and experience with consistent access to client information, appointment bookings, payment options, etc.  Here are some steps you can follow when looking to implement technology in your organization:  

  • Research available solutions to assess which best caters to their needs. 
  • Develop a plan of action for implementing the technology in phases if necessary. 
  • Prioritize security and privacy when selecting a technological solution, ensuring that all data collected is kept secure. 
  • Invest in staff training so that personnel can make full use of the new technology, taking advantage of its capabilities. 
  • Monitor and analyze usage statistics to identify areas for improvement, update settings or revise policies for using the technological solutions where needed. 

Learn more about leveraging technology and preparing providers and organizations with a digital transformation by reading our blog, 4 steps to prep home care agencies for digital transformation [Free Checklist].  

President Biden’s funding pledge can positively impact HCBS providers and will be essential for them to prepare for the influx of clients without drowning or getting overwhelmed. By evaluating current staff and resources, evaluating the efficiency of operational processes, and leveraging technology, HCBS providers can ensure they are fully equipped in advance to meet the increased demand that comes with President Biden’s funding pledge. 

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