How Savvy Providers Should Plan for Consolidation, Nurse Burnout, BI, RPM, and the Quadruple Aim.
The COVID Pandemic has doused decades-long global healthcare burnout with gasoline – then lit a match.
At a time when systemic fatigue and clinical and nonclinical workforces alike have traditional healthcare begging for the reset button, here we are, at the close of the first month of 2022.
In many ways, those of us in Home-Health and Hospice are in a sweet spot. In great part, we are exempt from many of the trappings burdening bricks-and-mortar operations. And while it may not always feel like it, We operate out of the reach of some regulatory burdens and broad-swath attacks associated with the pandemic. The silver lining is there, and CareXM is here to help you find – and keep – it. CareXM’s team of home health and hospice nurses built an easy-to-use, industry leading patient engagement platform with 24x7x365 nurse triage and remote monitoring for patients, caregivers, and staff. As we shift to value-based care models, we are seeing new trends and new innovations arise to elevate the patient and care provider experience.
Here is our short-list of trends transforming care we see impacting our business of care in 2022.
THE QUADRUPLE AIM OF HEALTHCARE
2022 will be a year of continuing transformation of what started in 2008 at the “Triple Aim of Healthcare.”
Former Medicare/Medicaid executive Dr. Don Berwick led the charge with the initiative, to improve population health while also improving The Patient Experience and lowering costs.
The Quadruple Aim gives us the opportunity to not only improve Patient Outcomes and Patient Experience and reduce healthcare costs, but to swiftly, surely address our current healthcare crisis: Elevating the Clinician Experience.
CareXM partners are uniquely equipped to tackle these challenges. By streamlining triage, patients access care more quickly and cost-effectively, improving their outcomes and experience, while reducing healthcare costs, and alleviating pressure on their clinicians.
CareXM clients credit us for helping them to execute on the Quadruple Aim initiative. After
engaging CareXM as a partners, one hospice was able to convince a burnt-out clinician to return after resigning (Hospice of the Northwest). Goshen Home Health and Hospice credits CareXM’s services contributing to accomplishment of zero turnover.
BUILD BACK HOW?
HHH enjoys bipartisan confidence from policy makers as an effective setting to reduce healthcare costs system-wide. CMS, for example, credits HHH with $3.5 billion in savings when patients are placed in the HHH setting versus skilled-nursing facilities and other post-acute options.
In 2022, expect to see more creative policy making. Ideally, we will move beyond the politicized 2021-attempted, $1.9 trillion “Build Back Better” legislation. Although it included $150 billion in sweeteners for HHH, the policy bogged with other areas of social spending.
Additionally, look for an uptick conversations about reimbursement for Telehealth and RPM technologies in this setting.
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE MEETS HEALTHCARE
2022 will be the year Business Intelligence (BI) meets Healthcare.
In healthcare, we are accustomed to “business as usual.” This dulling of our business sense often renders us unable to surface the questions to ask about our business operations. This includes a deeper understanding of our after-hours ops and other big-picture items. Business Intelligence or “BI” takes the emotion out of decisioning and provides actionable data.
TELEHEALTH, RPM PROGRAMS AND TECHNOLOGIES
COVID and its new fourth wave have informed us of our strengths and weaknesses. One silver lining, surely, is that the telehealth floodgates have opened. McKinsey reports that telehealth has increased 38-fold since the dawn of the pandemic.
Telehealth and Telenursing are here to stay – and not just “stay” but continue to see explosive growth and continuously innovative applications that change how traditional medicine is performed. Ever bullish on Telehealth, McKinsey foresees $250 billion in healthcare moving to virtual healthcare. Telehealth will move beyond basic care to integrated, chronic-disease management.
In 2022, RPM moves up on savvy administrators’ near-term planning agendas. There are currently 50.2 million patients being remotely monitored in the US. As tech-savvy Millennial and Generation X caregivers come to the aid of aging Baby Boomer parents and family members, RPM will become not just an occasional luxury, but an expected level of service. Look for RPM to swiftly move from occasional to entrenched for HHH operations, as the industry looks to become nearly a half-billion dollar industry within five years.
Look for 2022 RPM product announcements and delivery from CareXM.
VALUE-BASED CARE CONTINUES TO GAIN TRACTION
Keeping people well – what we in HHH want – will continue its virtuous steamroll to change the way we are compensated. With the late 2021 approval The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2022 home health final payment rule.
This offers a significant business-development opportunity for HHH to partner with hospitals and other referral sources to decrease readmissions, increase satisfaction, and grow revenue.
2022 is the year of “Communication Elevated.” HHH patients and caregivers need “bat phone-level of communications” with clinical services. The comfort of home, with the added comfort of a nurse-call button at what will become the Hospital at Home is what the Patient Experience, the Caregiver Experience, and the Clinical Experience all demand.
This applies to during-business and after-hours access.
Patients and caregivers insist on rich media delivery, paired with back-end protocols to ensure effective care and use of resources. “HIPAA-compliant” becomes a given for medical data exchange.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEALTH IS FOR ‘THE SILVER TSUNAMI’
AARP now has an entire website dedicated to The Center for Aging in Place.
Mid-November’s AARP survey data shows 77% of seniors age 50 and older want to age in place. (Other sources peg this number even higher – at 90% of American’s age 50+.) Decades of AARP data demonstrate commitment of these older adults to the home. It is commitment to the home as a sacred space and delivery system for living, healing, and, ultimately, transitioning through the dying process.
“The Silver Tsunami” as we know is a 1960s-borne metaphor for the wave of Baby Boomers and the country’s fastest-growing population being its “oldest old.” Americans in specific and humans in general are living longer. Right now, 15% of Americans are 65+. The Tsunami, tidal-waving our traditional healthcare system, will continue to swell with 25% of Americans being 65+ by 2030. A full 92% of these seniors has at one serious chronic condition and 52% has two or more chronic conditions.
It is our honor, duty and opportunity to transform our healthcare system.
CONSOLIDATION OF BIGS, DECLINE IN MOM AND POP DOC SHOPS
“Mega-Mergers” is the word observers use to describe the 2021 healthcare market.
We augment that trend with noting the shift in closures of private medical practices.
As reported by the AMA this spring, the number of private physician practices is down. Less than half of physicians responding to AMA inquiries indicate working in practices owned by physicians. This represents a 5% decline since research gleaned two years prior.
In 2022 CareXM will target services specifically for independent practitioners.
CareXM will also expand clinical/non-clinical and “hybrid” services for a variety of new aspects of the care continuum.
Billboards in Victoria, Texas let consumers know how long it takes to be seen in the ER. In 2022 CareXM clients can access data benchmarking their results compared with thousands of other results.
RETAIL CARE: MAKING A PLAY TO STAY RELEVANT
Brick-and-mortar retail is seeking to stay relevant through expansion into healthcare services.
CVS and Target have brokered deals to provide physician services through 1,000-plus MinuteClinics housed within retail stores. Walgreens is partnering with VillageMD to provide 600 locations across the country.
Rating systems beyond CAHPS will become increasingly more important. Not just referral agencies but patients and caregivers themselves are wanting the information.
Online reviews, such as those from Google, will be supplemented by private-system reviews (such as those from Providence Health).
In 2022 CareXM customers will be able to generate very specific competitive marketing information. They will be able to comparatively benchmark – and then creatively market – their own operation’s after-hours performance.
The challenge and opportunity is understanding this landscape, embracing and fortifying our unique role within the care continuum.
Forbes summed it up well: “Consumers expect convenience, ease of access and quick responses.” Pundits added this mindful editorialization: “Not necessarily the features traditional healthcare delivery is known for.”
Aspire Home-Health and Hospice actively leverages Google ratings in its digital-marketing campaigns. In 2022 CareXM customers will be able to market benchmarked data for their specific performance in key areas.
THE HOME HOSPITAL?
The Home Hospital may be nigh.
Analyst Kaufman Hall indicates hospitals are increasingly seeking diversified business models. The consultancy suggests significant creativity with regards to Home-Health and Hospice, Palliative Care, Telehealth, and other strategies. There is an active hunt toward “identifying strategic partnership with payers, physicians’ groups and other adjacent sectors.”
However, one clear challenge we will face in moving more acute patients to a home hospital model in the requirement sophisticated remote patient monitoring, and agile care response models. CareXM will provide ongoing information about this trend for 2022.
CareXM’s earliest client, Bristol Hospice, emphasizes providing “Specific and unique levels of care,” says Roy Backus, Executive Vice President of Community development for the 25-location hospice. The LOC, he says, is “above and beyond what the Medicare conditions of participation require.”
COVID, VACCINATION AND COVID-FUELED BURNOUT – STILL THREATS TO HHH AND HEALTHCARE IN GENERAL
Look for Covid to continue to be a presence, with the U.S. Supreme Court handing down split rulings for vaccination requirements. Large employers are exempt, but healthcare workers at government facilities bear a vaccination onus, according to mid-January Court rulings. Look for ever-intensifying healthcare workforce fallout accompanying these mandates.
The Vax/Anti-Vax Divide will continue to be an issue in 2022. The vaccine issue will drive already spent clinical and non-clinical workers to other, non-frontline positions. Or when no desirable opportunities avail themselves, long-term clinical and administrative staff will continue to leave the field in droves as career-changing Great Resignationists.
American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger posited the term “Nurse Burnout” in 1975. Only recently have healthcare organizations, policy makers, and the media recognized burnout as a global crisis. The impact will continue to be profound for HHH, where clinical roles are already prone to burnout.
CareXM’s longest-term client, Bristol Hospice, leverages the Vimeo platform to successfully attract clinical and non-clinical candidates alike, amid the global crisis of care. Promotional videos for after-hours RNs are offered in both English and Spanish.
THE UNIVERSAL CRISIS OF CARE
Clinical burnout is not just American in nature. It is a global issue.
NAHC President William Dombi cited the societal impact of care in his 2022 “crystal ball” presentation. It is not a compartmentalized concern for patients, caregivers, payers, and providers, but for us all.
In 2020, the PwC Health Research Institute indicated 94% of provider executives branded “improving the clinician experience” as a top priority for 2021.
That figure is 100% for 2022.
CareXM’s focus on – and proven formula for – The Quadruple Aim of Healthcare is positioned to help HHH retain long-term and new-entrant employees and shore up your ability to provide work-life balance and actively, daily show your employees your commitment to leading-edge technology as part of the Quadruple Aim.
Bristol Hospice Executive Vice President/Chief of Quality, Jeannette Dove, MFCS, started her career as a hospice case manager and finds CareXM’s clinical expertise and insights incomparable to other providers’ offerings.
‘THE CLINICIAN FACTOR’ – WHAT DISTINGUISHES ‘PARTNERS’ FROM VENDORS
In 2022 savvy administrators will recognize the difference between mere vendors and true partners.
They will recognize salespeople pushing standalone products versus partners buoyed by clinician savvy and technical integration teams presenting value-added solutions.
The definitive pioneer and leader in “solutions partnering” to HHH, CareXM will shortly announce our new consulting practices which will continue to help our existing clients thrive and encourage more to come on board.
CareXM is laser-focused on providing clients with a hybrid model of technology and clinician-informed protocols. Our partners tell it best: ”The CareXM difference is not available elsewhere in the industry.”
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva from Pexels
SOLVE, DON’T SELL – SWAS VERUS SAAS
SAAS or “Software As a Service” bows to the richer, necessary “Software With a Service.” Non-consultative, non-clinician-informed IT-based software does not fit the bill for HHH.
2021 IN REAR VIEW, FAST-FORWARD WITH CareXM
In 2021 CareXM aligned three major companies: Telemed (nimble, best-of-class 24/7/365 clinical, non-clinical answering service), Total Triage (technical telephony backbone, phone app), and TouchPointCare (RPM, Patient Engagement).
This month we are doing what we will fully embrace throughout 2022: This is our flagship year with an aligned, fully built, laser-sharp focus. CareXM is uniquely positioned to transform healthcare. CareXM is working to be – and, as in the case with many of our clients, will remain remain – your ideal partner for decades. Our offering is “hybrid” clinical and non-clinical services, anchored by our communications platform and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) programs and technologies.
CareXM leadership nails our offering: “Our largest customers need all three opportunities, rolled together as a seamless experience.
“It is a seamless experience for the patient, the caregiver, and our customers’ staffs.”
We seek to delight customers in terms of services and software.
Let’s best welcome the New Year by releasing emotional exhaustion and being ready, rejuvenated, resilient.
THE INVITATION: PARTNER WITH CareXM
The invitation to you is to do more than read – but provide your insights. Call us or jot thoughts at the close of this article.