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4 growth strategies for home care agencies from industry experts

growth strategies for home care agencies

Home Health Care News (HHCN), in partnership with AlayaCare, hosted a webinar: “Growth Strategies for Home Care Agencies” on October 4th, 2022. This webinar was focused on home-based care growth plans and what strategies are best for home care organizations to gain financial health and continue to grow and be successful in the industry.

Webinar panelists:

Tony Ott – Market Leader US Home Health & Hospice, AlayaCare
Billie Agnone – Senior Customer Enablement Consultant, AlayaCare
Jeff Howell – Director of Growth, AlayaCare 
Andrew Donlin – Editor, HHCN and panel moderator

We delve into the insightful discussions from the webinar that brought together a panel of industry experts in home-based care (panelists listed above). They shared their knowledge, experiences, and forward-thinking strategies for growth in this rapidly evolving sector. In this summary, we highlight 4 key growth strategies that emerged from the session, providing a roadmap for home-based care providers seeking to strengthen and expand their services in the market.

Scroll down to watch the full webinar.

4 strategies to grow your home-based care business from industry experts

1. Employee recruitment and retention is the secret sauce for growth  

In the realm of home-based care, growing your business is a multifaceted endeavor. The first strategy emphasized by industry experts is focusing on employee recruitment and retention. As Billie Agnone and other panelists discussed, this is indeed the “secret sauce” for growth in a home care agency.

Why is this so crucial? When agencies invest time, energy, and creativity into the hiring process and the ongoing support of their workforce, they see tangible expansion. Agnone notes that many agencies are being innovative and thoughtful in offering support services to their care associates. This proactive approach not only retains caregivers but also creates a ripple effect of positivity.

When the trusted advisor is satisfied and supported, they share their experiences. Similarly, when clients and their families are content, they spread the word. Even the care management team, when happy, amplifies their positive experiences. This coordinated, multi-level satisfaction leads to an organically blossoming agency.

Despite the short-term costs associated with investing in your employees, the panelists unanimously affirm the long-term benefits of such an investment. As Andrew concurs,

“The cost of turnover is a lot higher than it is to invest in your employees now.”

Andrew Donlin, HHCN Editor and panelist moderator

So, if you want to enhance your home-based care business, start by prioritizing your team’s recruitment and retention. The return on investment will be worth it, leading to a thriving, successful agency.

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2. Partnerships and acquisitions allow agencies to continue to specialize and grow their service lines 

In the competitive landscape of the home care industry, efficient growth strategies are pivotal for success. The second strategy to consider is leveraging partnerships and acquisitions to specialize and expand your service lines. As discussed by Tony Ott this approach can efficiently address operational challenges, particularly for smaller agencies.

Smaller agencies often grapple with the complexities of running all aspects of the business. Jeff identifies this as a significant hindrance to operational efficiencies within the industry.

However, Tony Ott provides a solution: partnerships.

These collaborations allow agencies to bridge geographic and service line gaps, facilitating growth and specialization.

“Partnerships are essential to grow your agency,” Ott emphasizes. Some agencies have a specific geographic footprint they cover, and they can expand their reach by partnering with health systems that have home care agencies in other areas. Beyond geographical expansion, partnerships also enable agencies to offer a broader range of services. Most agencies cannot cover all service lines on their own – they may excel in personal care but lack expertise in skilled pediatrics. Strategic partnerships, even with competing agencies, can fill these gaps, creating a win-win scenario.

Ott further elaborates on the benefits of partnerships:

“Because of those partnerships, they can see opportunities for growth because we are seeing even more specialization. In the market, agencies aren’t doing a little bit of everything; they’re having to figure out what they do best and do that efficiently.”

Tony Ott, Market Leader US Home Health & Hospice, AlayaCare 

Therefore, if you’re seeking to grow your home-based care business, consider strategic partnerships and acquisitions. It’s not about doing a little bit of everything but focusing on what you do best and finding partners to complement your strengths. This approach will lead to operational efficiency and sustainable growth in your agency.

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3. Technology and artificial intelligence allows us to retain and recruit more caregivers 

Technology and artificial intelligence are key drivers in the evolution of the home-based care industry, providing innovative solutions to enhance operational efficiency and caregiver recruitment. As Andrew stated,

“There are ways, very simple ways through technology, that caregiving can become an easier profession because of these technological tools.”

Andrew Donin, HHCN Editor and panel moderator

One such tool is predictive analytics, a technology that Todd believes can transform operational management. Rather than replacing caregivers, this technology streamlines their work, making their roles more efficient and impactful.

Imagine a virtual care framework that includes real-time video conferencing with clients in their homes. Billie Agnone envisions this as an opportunity for agencies to maintain traditional face-to-face interactions while also being able to immediately assess any changes in a client’s condition. This high-touch model not only enhances performance from home care associates but also increases client satisfaction. It facilitates a more effective triage process, helping to identify situations and next steps that could potentially reduce hospitalizations.

Beyond the direct impact on caregiving, Jeff Howell sees the automation of other industries as a boon for the home-based care sector. For instance, the advent of self-driving Uber cars may seem unrelated, but it’s this kind of technological advancement that could free up more individuals to become caregivers. Howell states,

“The real exciting thing is the automation of other industries that allow us to get more caregivers… I’m excited about how our industry can benefit from this.”

Jeff Howell, Director of Growth, AlayaCare

The strategic implementation of technology and artificial intelligence can significantly boost your home-based care business, enhancing operational efficiency, improving caregiver recruitment, and ultimately leading to increased client satisfaction.

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4. Leverage business intelligence by getting the right data the right way 

In the quest to grow your home-based care business, leveraging business intelligence by acquiring the right data in the right way is a strategy that cannot be overlooked. As discussed by Jeff, even in the era of big health systems, the importance of health informatics is often underestimated.

The journey to effective data utilization begins with the collection process. Agencies, regardless of their size, need to transition from paper-based methods to digital solutions. “You have to be off of paper. You have to have some kind of app with a digital form in the hands of the caregivers,” Howell advises. The caregivers then need to be trained to collect relevant and accurate data in the field.

The power of data lies not just in its collection but also in its application.

Howell provides a compelling example:

“If we as an industry say only 12% of knee replacement cases end up in hospitalization due to an infection, well, that’s what the aggregate data can tell us.”

Jeff Howell, Director of Growth, AlayaCare

However, the challenge lies in devising efficient ways to measure this at the point of care.

Without the right tools – a paperless system, a mobile app used by caregivers, and forms designed to collect necessary data – tracking and reporting these metrics becomes impossible. Howell concludes with a powerful assertion: “Technology is there as your friend.”

So, if you’re looking to grow your home-based care business:

  • Transition from paper to digital forms
  • Train caregivers to collect the right data
  • Leverage technology to track and report key metrics

Embrace technology and business intelligence to drive growth and improve efficiency in your agency. Remember, technology isn’t your adversary; it’s your ally in achieving business success.

Get a deeper understanding of how to authentically transform the data you’re collecting into real, actionable change.

Home care data guide

By focusing on employee recruitment and retention, partnerships and acquisitions, technology and artificial intelligence, and business intelligence, home care organizations can gain financial health and continue to grow and be successful in the industry. 

Check out the full webinar below:

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