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4 Strategies to differentiate yourself from competitors in home health  

Medicare advantage

The home health industry in the USA is growing rapidly due to an aging population and an increased demand for healthcare services provided in the home. This growth in home health has led to an increase in competition among different providers, making it necessary for home health providers to start differentiating themselves presenting the organization with an opportunity to grow their business.  

Organizations can achieve differentiation from competitors by adopting strategies that can guide better decision-making and focus more on their goals.  

Scott Herman, CEO of Elara Caring, oversees a home care business spanning 17 states with over 25,000 caregivers and 60,000 patients. In an interview with Home Health Care News Herman discussed some of the strategic principles that have helped his organization succeed. This blog will explore some of these principles and discuss how they can be applied to other home health providers.

1. Invest in technology and innovation 

According to Herman, technology is a key differentiator for home health providers. It can improve the efficiency of care delivery, allowing providers to see more clients and provide better care overall.  

Elara Caring has invested heavily in technology to improve patient care and streamline operations.

“Being able to really measure what you’re producing and make that credible requires a certain degree of sophistication in order to play in this game” Herman said during the interview.  

Other providers can follow Elara Caring’s lead by investing in technology and innovation. Through technology, providers would be able to gather the right data and view key insights to improve the quality of care by tracking client outcomes and using analytics tools to identify trends or areas for improvement.

“We use that data to provide better care to the people on service, but also to cross-serve and cross-sell to other lines of business. We refer our own business and our own patients amongst our different business lines, which really allows us to grow faster than the market” says Herman.

Having access to data and key insights helps providers to continuously refine their approach to care delivery and ensure that they deliver the best possible client outcomes. 

Hear about how Elara Caring streamlined its operations and eliminated double data entry into multiple systems by investing in the right home health care software technology: 

Learn more about home health data and business intelligence by downloading our e-guide.  

2. Focus on value-based care 

Herman notes that value-based care is becoming increasingly important in the home health industry. This means there needs to be a greater focus on outcomes rather than the volume of services provided.

“To be a value-based leader, I do think you need a diverse set of capabilities in the home in order to take that value experience and deliver that continuum of care while being accountable to the outcomes” shared Herman, CEO of Elara Caring.  

63% of care providers see the biggest benefit of Value-based care to be better client outcomes

According to a survey report conducted by AlayaCare and HHCN on value-based care, home-based care professionals anticipate value-based care to have substantial clinical and financial impacts on home health in the years to come. 63% of care providers see the biggest benefit of Value-based care to be better client outcomes, according to the survey report.  

Elara Caring has implemented several value-based care initiatives, such as a chronic care management program that helps patients manage chronic conditions. Other home healthcare providers can also focus on value-based care by implementing similar programs or partnering with payers to participate in value-based payment models that focus on client-centered care that is both effective and efficient. 

Download our ultimate guide on technology and value-based purchasing in home health

3. Embrace a team-based approach 

Home health is basically a team sport, and providers that embrace a team-based approach are more likely to succeed. Elara Caring has a team of interdisciplinary clinicians that work together to provide high-quality care to patients. The company also uses a team-based approach to manage its operations, with each team responsible for a specific area of the business.

“Payers want partners who can take risks and simplify their administration. They don’t like dealing with multiple vendors,” said Herman.  

One of the primary benefits of a team-based approach is that it enables providers to deliver more comprehensive care. By bringing together professionals with different areas of expertise, home health organizations can provide a more holistic approach to care that considers each client’s unique needs.  

Other home healthcare providers can also embrace a team-based approach by encouraging collaboration between clinicians, administrative staff, and other stakeholders. Communication and collaboration between home health providers across different settings can lead to improving client outcomes while also reducing costs. A team-based approach also allows providers to leverage technology more effectively for the team can share data and insights more easily, tackle specific challenges, establish regular meetings to share best practices, and even enable them to identify trends or areas for improvement to make data-driven decisions about client care. Enabling technology, such as secure messaging tools, can allow providers to communicate and share client data effectively while staying HIPAA compliant.  

Through collaboration and innovation, a team-based approach can help home health providers differentiate themselves from competitors by demonstrating their commitment to delivering high-quality care. 

4. Prioritize caregiver support

Finally, Herman emphasizes the importance of supporting caregivers, who play a critical role in home health.

“We’ve developed a secret sauce around hiring and retaining caregivers that we think is truly differentiated, which allows us to solve that problem,” said Herman.

Elara Caring provides training and resources to help caregivers manage the physical and emotional demands of their work. The company also offers a caregiver support program that provides counseling, respite care, and other services. 

Caregivers play a critical role in the delivery of home health, providing essential support to clients with a wide range of needs. In episode 37 of AlayaCare’s Home Health 360 podcast, April Hansen (a nurse, a tech entrepreneur, and a hyper-growth business executive) stressed that it is essential to provide caregivers with the support they need to do their jobs effectively and maintain their satisfaction.  

AlayaCare worked with an agency that saw immediate improvements in employee satisfaction by implementing a satisfaction score metric model. They did this by taking the bottom 10% of “satisfied” caregivers and applying intervention strategies, which resulted in a 30% increase in employee satisfaction over a period of 6 weeks. 

Other home healthcare providers can prioritize caregiver support by providing training, resources, and other forms of support to their caregivers.  As mentioned in the first strategy in our blog, technology is a solution to help organizations prioritize caregiver support. With certain types of technology, providers can utilize employee retention data and satisfaction score metrics to spot the warning signs of employee churn and dissatisfaction before it’s too late.  

Home health providers can learn a lot from Elara Caring’s strategic principles mentioned in HHCN’s interview. By investing in technology and innovation, focusing on value-based care, embracing a team-based approach, and prioritizing caregiver support, home health providers can differentiate themselves from their competitors and deliver high-quality care to patients. 

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