The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) announced the release of the largest study in the history of home care on the present and future use of technology, practices and strategies by agencies throughout the country.
Co-Sponsored by NAHC, the 2013 – 2014 National State of the Home Care and Hospice Industry Report focused on key questions and issues of primary importance to home care and hospice agencies. “We were particularly interested in identifying what agencies were doing and were planning on doing in a broad range of operational issues,” said Val J. Halmandaris, President of NAHC. “Given the strategic challenges faced by agencies throughout the country, we felt that any information that could help agencies make more informed strategic decisions would be incredibly helpful to agency leaders.”
The study addressed a wide range of issues including backroom IS technology, POC, telehealth, EHR, clinical staffing, caseload strategies, hiring challenges and strategies related to partnering with new health care models. Study findings provided a breakdown of differences by agency size, auspices, legal status and geographic area.
“In developing the study, we started by inviting anyone in the field to submit questions to ask or issues to address in the study,” said Dr. Robert Fazzi, Co-Director of the study and Managing Partner of Fazzi. Over 3,000 responses were received. Responses were reviewed by a National Steering Committee of agency leaders who culled the list down to what they believed were the most important questions.
The questions were then refined and tested for reliability and validity before being asked to a statistical representation of agency leaders nationwide. Respondents were broken down by size, auspices, legal status and geographic area. Achieving this representation required that researchers from Fazzi interview a total of 1,104 agency leaders. The phone survey took an average of 25 minutes to complete.
The forty-four page report provides home care leaders with easy to understand overviews of key strategies and initiatives that agencies are using or are planning to use in home care. In many cases, it includes analysis of the relationship between the use of specific technologies or the use of specific strategies in relationship to the quality and financial outcomes of agencies using and not using those technologies and practices. Dr. Fazzi, presented an overview of the study’s findings to attendees at the NAHC Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington, DC.
The national study was sponsored by Delta Health Technologies and Healthwyse, two of home care and hospice’s leading technology firms. It was co-sponsored by NAHC, the NAHC Forum of State Associations, the Joint Commission, CHAP and Fazzi. Fazzi was responsible for the design, facilitation and reporting of the findings.