A new year can bring new possibilities to the home care and hospice industry. While many are preparing for the year ahead, most are still dealing with a big issue dating back to the COVID-19 pandemic – workforce recruitment & retention.
NAHC President Bill Dombi and Mike Dordick, SVP Post-Acute Strategy at Netsmart & president of McBee hosted a recent webinar to talk about that issue and the outlook in general for the industry.
Workforce Issues Continue in 2023
Dombi said he believes that an underestimated aspect of workforce issues is image and respect.
“We have to respect the workforce in order to attract the workforce,” he said.
Dombi added that compensation also plays a part, along with career opportunities. He also pointed out that the workforce wants to see improvements to their safety and security.
Another factor impacting the workforce is education. Some schools of nursing are preparing students to go right into the home care field after graduating.
“That requires a lot of change in their educational formatting to do that,” Dombi said. “Working independently in the home is a lot different than working under the structures a hospital or nursing facility may offer.”
Managed Care Is Growing
You may have seen ads featuring NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath and actors Jimmy Walker and William Shatner talking about the benefits of Medicare Advantage. Dombi said there has been some success recruiting people to join a Medicare Advantage plan over traditional Medicare.
“The most recent numbers have us knocking on the door for 50% of the Medicare enrollees to be in traditional and 50% to be in the Medicare Advantage program,” said Dombi.
Along with marketing, the ability of the plans to offer services beyond what the traditional Medicare program offers has helped with expansion. Dombi added that another reason for growth is due to members of Congress and regulators who are promoting it.
What’s Happening in Washington
After the November midterms, the House of Representatives flipped from Democrat to Republican control, resulting in new leadership in the House. While there is still division among Democrats and Republicans, there is hope for a better opportunity for bipartisanship.
“I think healthcare is going to be one of the big issues for this Congress,” Dombi said. “We’ve got some good support in Congress, and I know we have it among regulators as well.”
A big focus from the National Association of Hospice and Home Care and other outlets this year is the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM).
“One of the first things we expect to see of PDGM is Sen. Debbie Stabenow calling for a hearing or investigation to take a deeper dive look at PDGM,” said Dombi.
Advice for 2023
The pair closed the webinar with what listeners should consider this year and beyond.
Dombi offered this: Be engaged – engaged with advocacy, education and staff. He also said it is important to keep an eye on the road but to also make sure you are looking to the future.
“That doesn’t mean you want to run a red light in order to get to the future,” he said. “But you also want to make sure you know what’s on the other side of that red light and be there to have an effect on it as well.”
His final pieces of advice included recognizing yourself and the value you bring to the delivery of healthcare services because that gives you the confidence to move forward; and don’t assume what you are doing is right, re-examine everything and change where it is needed.
Dordick added that as agencies move through the year, it is important to look inward into your organizations – determine what you are doing well and what is not working and if certain programs are not producing, then stop.
“You may need to look at becoming smaller to become larger,” Dordick said. “You may need to look at that differently than you did 3-5 years ago.”
Listen to the full webinar for more of Dordick and Dombi’s 2023 outlook on the home care and hospice industry.
Netsmart is a leading provider of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions and services, including electronic health records (EHRs), health information exchanges (HIEs), workforce management, data analytics and telehealth solutions, among others. We make the complex simple and personalized so our clients can concentrate on what they do best: provide services and treatment that support whole-person care.
Call to Action: Proposed Cuts Could Deprive Home Health of Necessary Funds
Wednesday, September 20 | Post-Acute Care,Value-based Care
Millions of older Americans could be greatly impacted if the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services goes through with its proposed rate cut to the Home Health Prospective Payment system for Calendar Year 2024. One of the most concerning aspects of the proposed rule revolves around its potential impact on home health reimbursement.More
Monday, September 18 | Thought Leadership,Human Services,Care Coordination,Cause Connected,Legislative/Policy,Value-based Care
The opioid crisis is one of the most serious healthcare issues in our nation today. But there is hope. We believe there are three strategies your organization can leverage to combat opioid addiction and overdose: integrated care, policy and technology. This blog outlines some examples of all three and lists helpful resources your organization can use.More
Thursday, September 14 | Thought Leadership,Human Services,Netsmart in the Community
By understanding mental health and suicide go hand-in-hand we can take the first step in reducing suicide risk and help heal our families, friends and loved-ones heal and grow forward as a community.More