As regulatory oversight and competition for referral sources increase for nonprofit hospices, agencies need to look at new ways to sustain growth and manage costs. Options for innovation include adoption of a hospice EHR, implementation of a palliative care EHR or architectural restructuring, such as an affiliation or network.
For three hospice leaders, managing growth required a reassessment of the classic nonprofit hospice architecture. To map this emerging hospice structure, Netsmart hosted “The Rise of Nonprofit Hospice Affiliations,” a webinar featuring COO of Ohio's Hospice Amy Wagner; CEO of California Hospice Network Jan Jones; and CEO and President of Care Synergy Tim Bowen.
These leaders shared the benefits of joining a hospice affiliation, what membership entails and their number one piece of advice for those considering revamping organizational structure.
Here are a few highlights from the webinar. You may watch the webinar in its entirety at the link below.
What gains have members experienced by joining an affiliation?
CEO of California Hospice Network Jan Jones
With a formation date of 2019, California Hospice Network is fairly new. Despite this novelty, their members have been able to achieve immediate gains resulting from their initial formation, with the largest increase in purchasing power. In addition to purchasing power, California Hospice Network members benefit from lowered procurement costs, including health benefits, pharmacy costs and a common electronic health record.
California Hospice Network is also working to develop best-practice procedures through collaborative processes, looking to affiliate members for advice and direction. “We're doing a lot of best-practice sharing and finding opportunities to reduce costs and to improve practice as a result of those best practices,” said Jan Jones, Chief Executive Officer.
How has technology enhanced the way the hospice affiliates deliver care?
Care Synergy CEO Tim Bowen
For Bowen, “Technology is such a key tool for how we and our affiliates deliver patient care and run our organizations.” Bowen noted the organization’s ability to drive more consistent utilization of technology and the optimization of hardware and software.
Through the affiliate structure, Care Synergy was able to invest in additional technology and software resources. These investments allow the organization to access and mine more data, which, in turn, aids in identifying direct patient care and equipping healthcare partners with information about their patient base. This increased access to data has proved extremely valuable to Care Synergy, benefiting at both an organizational and member level.
What's the number one piece of advice for hospices transitioning to a new organizational structure?
COO of Ohio's Hospice Amy Wagner
For Wagner, the best advice for transitioning to a new organizational structure is simple but often sidelined. Wagner encourages organizations to start with the why.
If organizations are able to understand the why, able to see past potential challenges, able to remember the shared mission, people are more willing to face change unflinchingly and move in the necessary direction. “We've always said that there's no roadmap for what we're doing,” noted Wagner. Despite this lack of clear-cut route, the why serves as compass, directing toward an ultimate goal.
For these three hospice leaders, the decision to reshape their organizations came from a willingness to adapt to a shifting landscape. This adaptation allowed nonprofit hospices to grow in new ways, including expanded use of technology and reach of care. While the shape of these affiliate hospices may be unfamiliar, their mission of care delivery remains unchanged.
To hear the full conversation from these top industry affiliation leaders, watch the webinar now.
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