The Ultimate Solution Guide to Home Care Provider Challenges

America is aging. Millions of seniors already need some form of assistance. By 2020, 56 million Americans will be 65 or older, with 70& needing assistance. 

While there is no silver bullet to the America's aging population, home care is emerging as a vital part of the solution. As the leader of a home care agency, you know home care is a critical segment of the health care continuum, allowing seniors to age in their homes- exactly as they desire. It provides peace of mind to family members who know their loved ones are getting the care they need and deserve.

Still, home care agencies face monumental challenges each day. Home care agencies are starting to embrace technology innovations to improve the efficiency and delivery of care. Of course, no app or smart device can provide the same care assistance as an in-home caregiver, nor can technology replace the human touch, connection and companionship between seniors and caregivers.  Personalized care will always be essential to healthy, active aging- but technology is an enabler and a critical path to address America's aging dilemma.  

8 Challenges Home Care Agencies Face when Finding and Retaining Qualified Staff

In numerous industries, hiring and retaining top talent is a challenge. In home healthcare, this is particularly difficult. What are some factors that contribute to the challenges agencies face when hiring and retaining top talent?

1. Too Many Jobs and Not Enough Staff

Is your home care services agency simply not equipped to meet the rising demands of today’s elderly population? If you have ever had to turn down a new client because your current caregivers were too overloaded, that’s lost revenue. For your agency to be profitable, you need to take on a sustainable number of jobs, while growing your staff to meet market demands. Unfortunately, that is often easier said than done. And, if your current staff is overworked, you will have a difficult time retaining reliable workers long term.

2. Work is Inconsistent

Though the demand may be increasing, there still may be lulls in the need for caregivers. Families that want to save money may not be interested in hiring home care providers. Recurring revisits lead to recurring revenue, but there are a number of issues that can prevent families from scheduling these visits, lack of consistent need or again, cost. When the work isn’t consistent, your caregivers are likely to look elsewhere for employment.

3. Making the Right Hires

Because the home care market is growing, you might find it challenging to hire top talent when they have so many potential employers to consider. Not only do you need to make hires, you need to make the right hires. Because the home care industry has a heavy focus on customer service, it is imperative that you hire the best caregivers possible. These caregivers have the necessary skills and training. They have pleasant attitudes and work well with the seniors they care for and visit. Importantly, they must be dependable. Your home care provider revenue is dependent on your caregivers showing up and providing care when scheduled.

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4. Oversaturated Market

Doesn’t it seem like a new home care agency pops up every day? Because providing home care for seniors is a growing need, the market for home care agencies has become oversaturated and increasingly competitive by the day. This can make it difficult to differentiate your business from other agencies in your area or region.

5. Bound by Lengthy Visits

Many home care agencies set a minimum visit time, typically about four hours. However, this can limit the availability of your workforce. If a caregiver is visiting for a minimum of four hours each day, they will likely only be able to visit one to two seniors per day. If any of those clients have recurring visits scheduled, that means your caregivers will only be able to work with a handful of seniors each week. The traditional model presents serious challenges in terms of efficiency and profitability.

6. Flexibility in the Workplace

One reason many healthcare professionals are drawn to home care is the flexibility that the industry offers. Caregivers aren’t tied to desks or traditional work hours; they have the autonomy to set their own schedule. However, this presents some challenges in terms of home care provider work. When you don’t have rigid, predetermined schedules for each of your caregivers, it can be difficult to create schedules or have visibility into the capacity for new clients that each of your caregivers has. While flexibility works in your favor when attracting new caregivers, it can be a burden when managing your agency.

7. Increasingly Remote Workforce

Your caregivers are constantly on the go, which can hinder communication and one-on-one management of their work performance. Although a remote workforce is more common today than ever before, it does make it difficult to have a cohesive workforce. You may find that it’s hard to get in contact with some of your caregivers, or you may not know how well your caregivers are performing their daily tasks, because you rarely see them in action. You need a better way to manage scheduling than by calling around to see which of your caregivers are available for work.

8. Overwhelming Amount of Paperwork

From an administrative standpoint, managing the high volume of paperwork associated with your home care agency operations is both overwhelming and time-consuming. From invoices to client paperwork, the sheer volume of paperwork increases each time you add a new client or caregiver. When you’re unable to manage the administrative work in your department, invoices will be issued late, payments will be collected late, and your revenue stream will be disrupted.

Though these high-level problems you’re facing may seem overwhelming, there a number of options moving forward that can help you stabilize your workforce and increase your revenue. We will address solutions for these issues in later sections, but first, let’s look at how you can provide consistent work for your caregivers.

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What Options Do I Have for Providing Consistent Work for My Employees?

Providing your caregivers with a steady flow of work will increase your retention rates and help you attract top talent. However, your workflow can often seem out of your control. How can you get seniors or their families to schedule care? What options do you have to improve the demand for caregivers? Below are a few steps you can take to ensure you have a steady flow of work for your employees.

Partner with Other Agencies

Partnering with other home care agencies can help you fill consistency gaps in your employees’ workloads. While another agency may have availability for some of your open client requests, you may have caregivers available to take on their requests.

Partner with Senior Living Communities

Senior living communities, nursing homes, or rehabilitation centers are often shorthanded, despite having staff members who work there. This leaves their teams unable to spend much one-on-one time with residents. Bringing in agency caregivers can alleviate the workload in these communities and provide residents with more individual care. It can also mean that your employees have a consistent flow of work from these communities, as well.

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Use the Care-by-the-Minute Model

Many seniors simply don’t need four-hour long care visits. These minimum visit requirements keep your employees occupied with one client for longer than needed in some cases. While this is the way that many agencies have always operated and will continue to operate, moving to a care-by-the-minute model greatly increases your revenue intake, frees up your caregivers to see more clients, and presents exciting home care provider opportunities.

While you may worry that removing the minimum hour requirement will cut into your profitability, it will actually have the reverse effect. Many families are worried about the cost of home care, but with a care-by-the-minute payment model, they can pay for the exact amount of care their loved one needs. They may be more inclined to schedule recurring visits or consistently use your agency due to the cost savings and flexibility in care visits. With this model, you avoid the sticker-shock that comes with minimum price models. You will increase your client base and increase the consistency of work for your employees.

Leverage Technology

Finally, leveraging home care technology within your agency can improve operations and help you better schedule and manage the workflow for your employees. Home care provider solutions like CaringOnDemand have the potential to change your entire business operation from the inside out. CaringOnDemand helps to stabilize your workflow in a number of ways, the two primary ones being simplifying scheduling and facilitating the care-by-the-minute model.

Using the right technology platform allows you to see which caregivers are available at that exact moment. You don’t have to worry about pre-planning caregiver schedules when you can see instantly who is available and who isn’t. You can also embrace the care-by-the-minute, on-demand model, allowing you to provide the exact care clients need and increase the number of clients your caregivers can meet with in a day.

Providing consistent work for your caregivers also provides a consistent stream of revenue for your business. You can project how much work your caregivers will generate with ease. Let’s take a closer look at the impact that technology can have on your business in the next section.

How is Technology Changing the Home Care Industry?

When you think of the home care industry, service is probably the first thing that comes to mind – not technology. However, new developments in technology can make providing high-quality service to seniors easier and more affordable than ever before. If you want to improve your home care provider work and outcomes, you first need to examine how technology can impact your industry.

Technology has added convenience to almost every aspect of our lives. Home care is no exception. With new apps and web portals, it’s easier than ever to connect caregivers with clients in the same area. Clients have more options to choose from than in the past, which means hiring home care providers or caregivers for their needs is easy.

A first way that technology has significantly impacted the home care industry is through the emergence of on-demand care. Instead of scheduling far in advance or being forced into recurring service visits, seniors or their families can now request care when they need it. Because they have access to more caregivers via the Internet, they can easily find a qualified caregiver to provide service, in some cases, within minutes of making the request.

Another way that technology is starting to change the landscape of home care is through the shift from traditional billing models to care-by-the-minute models. How does care-by-the-minute differ from traditional modes? In the past, seniors were charged for a minimum amount of care time, usually about four hours. Now, with enhanced reporting capabilities, you can charge seniors by the minute, instead of requiring everyone to schedule visits that met the minimum. Apps like CaringOnDemand make it easy to track how long a visit lasts, down to the minute.

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However, with the number of software solutions increasing daily, how can you find the right one for your home care agency? Before we look at CaringOnDemand specifically, let’s identify how you can tell if the solutions you’re considering could be the right fit for your company. Here are a number of questions you should ask yourself when considering different home care solutions on the market.

How Can I Determine if this is the Right Solution for My Home Care Agency?

There are numerous home care agency solutions on the market. Before you make an investment, you want to ensure you have selected the right solution for your workforce. As you search for the right platform, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • Does this solution make it easier to schedule visits for my caregivers?
  • Is this a dependable solution? (If you choose a solution that has not been well tested and frequently crashes, your entire business operation could suffer, especially your profitability.)
  • Have other users had positive experiences with the solution?
  • Would previous users work with this solution provider again?
  • Can this help me increase my workforce?
  • Can this solution help me generate revenue?
  • Will this solution act as a competitive advantage for my organization?

Asking yourself these questions during the search process will help you gain a realistic view of the different solutions you’re considering. Remember, this is a big choice for you agency, so it’s important you make the right decision. Request a demo for all the solutions that your team is considering to ensure that you see each one in action.

How Can CaringOnDemand Help Home Care Providers?

From ordering food through applications like Grubhub or scheduling a ride service like Uber or Lyft, technology has changed every aspect of our lives. However, many home care agencies are still operating the way they operated a decade ago. With the new technological capabilities of apps and software platforms of today, you can manage your agency better than ever before. First, let’s look at what a home care technology solution like CaringOnDemand actually does.

Due to logistical and operational roadblocks, many home care agencies enforce hourly minimums in order to receive care. The average minimums in the United States typically fall within the 4-6 hours per visit. Many families don't need that much care, but are forced with the decision to overpay for the care they don't need, or risking injury by not getting any care whatsoever. 

Enter CaringOnDemand.

Think of CaringOnDemand as a complimentary service line for your business that will enable you to capture potential clients who need less than 4 hours of care per visit. 

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The value is incredible for families, and as you will learn, for your agency as well. 

What is CaringOnDemand?

CaringOnDemand is building the first national home care network.

We’re partnering with top home care agencies to deliver high-touch care-by-the-minute services on a national scale. We’re also forming partnerships with health system providers, payers, and other organizations along the care continuum.

Together, we’re building a first-of-its-kind national network to support better, more reliable home care.

CaringOnDemandEcosystemLet’s look at the four applications supported by the CaringOnDemand software platform:

  • Home Care Provider Web Portal and Application - Using the agency-facing version of CaringOnDemand, you can manage billing, reporting, and scheduling all in one convenient platform. You can see which caregivers are available and how much revenue you are earning.
  • Caregiver Application - You can invite your own employees to download the free app on their mobile devices. The app is easy to use, showing them when client care requests come in. They can set their own availability, removing major scheduling burdens from your shoulders.
  • Client and Family Application - The version of the CaringOnDemand app and web portal for clients and their families enable them to manage care, request visits, and automatically pay for each visit. Seniors can also call CaringOnDemand directly and perform any functions of the app over the phone.

The processes are streamlined and simple, making it easy for you, your caregivers, and seniors, along with their families, to use. Seniors just request care when they need it, and available caregivers in the surrounding area accept the request. All of these one-time or recurring care requests can be submitted through the app, online, or even by giving CaringOnDemand a call. It’s the easiest way for seniors to request care and your caregivers to respond.

How Does CaringOnDemand Work?

To gain a better understanding of how CaringOnDemand works, let’s take a closer look at the process for scheduling and receiving care. The CaringOnDemand app was designed to provide easily accessible, affordable care to all seniors.

As more and more seniors want to stay home as they age, your care scheduling and payment processes must be as streamlined as possible. In fact, 90% of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age, according to AARP. CaringOnDemand uses the care-by-the-minute model to reduce costs and ensure seniors are safe and well cared for regardless of where they live.

Scheduling care and using CaringOnDemand is a simple, multi-step process.

 

How Does CaringOnDemand Compare with Other Software Solutions?

Key Features & Benefits

CaringOnDemand

New Revenue Stream

Yes

No

New Census Growth

Yes

No

Up to 70% Gross Margins

Yes

No

Care by the Minute

Yes

No

Recruitment Advantage

Yes

Sometimes

Competitive Advantage

Yes

No

Extended Lifetime Value of Clients

Yes

No

Lead Generation

Yes

No

Automated Billing

Yes

No

Scheduled and On-Demand Care

Yes

No

New Revenue Stream

CaringOnDemand
Yes
Other Home Care Software
No

New Census Growth

CaringOnDemand
Yes
Other Home Care Software
No

Up to 70% Gross Margins

CaringOnDemand
Yes
Other Home Care Software
No

Care by the Minute

CaringOnDemand
Yes
Other Home Care Software
No

Recruitment Advantage

CaringOnDemand
Yes
Other Home Care Software
Sometimes

Competitive Advantage

CaringOnDemand
Yes
Other Home Care Software
No

Extended Lifetime Value of Clients

CaringOnDemand
Yes
Other Home Care Software
No

Lead Generation

CaringOnDemand
Yes
Other Home Care Software
No

Automated Billing

CaringOnDemand
Yes
Other Home Care Software
No

Scheduled and On-Demand Care

CaringOnDemand
Yes
Other Home Care Software
No

While it may seem like all home healthcare software solutions offer the same basic features, CaringOnDemand fills in the functionality gaps where other solutions fall short. Let’s look at a comparison of some of the main features you need in a home care provider solution.

How Can Agency Leaders Use CaringOnDemand?

CaringOnDemand is a software platform that enables home care providers to offer service by the minute. However, it does more than just connect your caregivers and potential clients. Instead, think of CaringOnDemand as an extension of your core business, growing your revenue and workforce through streamlined processes and increased visibility into your operations.

The CaringOnDemand web portal offers a number of features that give you greater insight into the health of your operations, and enable you to make informed decisions about the future of your business.

  • Easy to Use - You won’t waste hours trying to navigate a complicated web portal. CaringOnDemand is so simple to use that you will likely have it figured out within minutes. And, if you ever need assistance, our home care experts are always available to answer questions or provide training.
  • Customizable - Different agencies have an interest in different aspects of their business. CaringOnDemand makes it easy to customize your dashboards to see the exact information that’s important to you. Other leaders and administrators can customize their dashboards, too, because every role in the organization has different metrics to manage.
    You can also customize the notifications that the web portal sends you. So, you can be notified when critical events happen, like your revenue dips below a certain point or you’re behind on a key performance indicator (KPI).
  • Increased Control over Billing - When it comes to billing, you want to stay competitive in your market, while maintaining your profitability. With the CaringOnDemand platform, you have control over your rates, and you can set them and change them as needed. You even have the ability to set tiered rates, charging different rates depending on the amount of time your caregivers stay. So, you could charge $0.99 per minute for up to one hour, $0.89 per minute for one to two hours, and so on.
  • Simplified Reporting - Your CaringOnDemand solution is a centralized source for all your key metrics. This makes reporting easier and more accurate than ever. Using CaringOnDemand, you can track KPIs like average visit time or total number of employees or visits.
    These reports are based on a single source of data – the CaringOnDemand solution – which means you know the information is always accurate. You can make informed decisions about the future of your business when you have a greater visibility into your business metrics. And, you will reduce reporting errors as the data will be integrated into your reports directly from the source.
  • Increased Visibility - Using CaringOnDemand, you can identify the status of employees, like if they are available, in a visit, or on the way to another visit. Knowing where your caregivers are and who is available for other visits can help you maximize your productivity.
    You also have visibility into your revenue stream. You can project how much revenue your employees will bring in, allowing you to make informed business decisions based on all the important facts. Also, because CaringOnDemand automates your billing process, you gain visibility into recurring revenue.
  • Streamlined Hiring - With greater visibility into your revenue stream, you can make the right decision when it comes to hiring home care providers. The CaringOnDemand platform will help you determine if you have enough clients to justify a new hire. You can also onboard your new employees easily by inviting them to download the CaringOnDemand app. They will be available to meet with clients and build up their client base in no time.
  • Reduced Paperwork - With CaringOnDemand, you will no longer be drowning in paperwork. Instead, many of your billing processes will be digitized and automated. Because clients will now be automatically billed when their visits are complete, you avoid creating invoices, accepting checks, or keeping up with who owes your agency. The entire process is handled for you. You’ll find that your team is more organized and operating with greater efficiency.
  • Increased Productivity - Do you feel like you and your team spend too much time on administrative tasks, when you could be working toward improving your business? Because key aspects of your operations like billing and reporting will be automated with CaringOnDemand, you’re now available to focus on other, high-impact aspects of your business.
  • Stabilized Client Base - The care-by-the-minute model facilitated by CaringOnDemand will help you attract long-term clients. While some seniors may need a little help now, their needs will likely grow in coming years. They or their families may not want to pay the high costs for four-hour minimum visits, when they only need a little help now. However, with the care-by-the-minute model, you can attract seniors at the early stage of their care, and stay with them for years to come as their needs increase. You will build a stable list of clients who will be with your business for their long-term needs.

Most importantly, CaringOnDemand can be your agency’s competitive advantage in a crowded market. The app is so easy to use that clients and potential employees alike will be drawn to your services. Not only will it streamline your business, it will also differentiate your agency, placing a focus on convenience and affordability.

How Does CaringOnDemand Help With Marketing?

CaringOnDemand is the only technology platform thats designed to grow your business. In the spirit of growth, CaringOnDemand Network partners receive a comprehensive suite of marketing materials for local marketing efforts. 

White Labeled Marketing Kits

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Caregiver Earnings Potential

The economics of a care-by-the-minute model are more favorable to higher margins, and thus offer opportuniies to leverage higher pay rates for caregivers participating in the caringOnDemand program. Caregivers are earning up to $25/hour in some markets, making CaringOnDemand a great marketing tool for recruitment and retainment of your workforce.

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The CaringOnDemand Caregiver app walks your caregivers through each visit, as the client has already outlined the services they need assistance with for that day. The caregiver knows exactly what the expectations are for the visit. They also are accurately paid for every minute of the work since the CaringOnDemand app tracks the exact minute they arrive to and leave from a visit.

In addition to accurate billing, CaringOnDemand also facilitates care-by-the minute visits. Caregivers are not tied to four-hour minimum visits, so they can see as many or as few clients as they want to see in a day. This means they’re able to build stronger relationships with more clients and add to their pool of recurring visits.

Caregivers can also increase the continuity of care both through recurring visits and the ability to log notes and observations about their visits on the CaringOnDemand app. Recurring visits enable caregivers to keep a close eye on their clients’ health and wellbeing. They get to know the client and their family, making everyone more comfortable with in-home care. Keeping a record of their observations over the course of their visits allows the family and other healthcare providers to notice any changes that were made and if they need to be addressed.

Overall, CaringOnDemand enables home care professionals to provide better care, maintain their job flexibility, and increase their earning potential. In addition to CaringOnDemand being the easiest way to manage your workforce, it’s also the easiest way for your workforce to manage their own schedules.

Lead Generation

All network partners are automatically enrolled in our national lead generation campaigns. CaringOnDemand call center prequalifies leads and forwards them to your team to sevvice. While your caregivers are the ones who will benefit greatly from using CaringOnDemand, they’re not the only ones. CaringOnDemand gives your accounting team increased visibility through accurate, real-time reporting. In the past, you may have struggled to get an accurate view of your finances. Waiting on checks to come in from clients or losing recurring scheduled visits could make it difficult for your accounting team to really know what is happening in your agency.

Regardless of how your agency used to do it, now you have a number of uniform, automated billing processes that allow your accounting team to have an accurate view of your cash flow. They’re better able to create budgets for the upcoming quarter or year because they know exactly how much recurring revenue you have.

They are equipped to make informed decisions based on accurate metrics, mainly because all your key metrics are centralized into a single solution now. Instead of having separate scheduling, accounting, or human resource solutions, CaringOnDemand does it all. And, even if you still want to use these other solutions, they integrate easily with CaringOnDemand.

Self Service Operations

Accurate reporting makes life easier for your operations team, too. They are able to identify where your operations could be made more efficient. They have greater visibility into your budget, cash flow, recurring revenue stream, and more. Using reports generated by CaringOnDemand, your operations team has the power to be better organized and more streamlined.

Also, because you will significantly cut down on the amount of time your operations team spends on administrative duties, you can increase the amount of time spent on big-picture projects. These projects, like expanding into new markets, can have a lasting positive impact on your agency. Your employees’ talents are better spent on these endeavors than on tedious administrative work.

Referral Network Growth

Does your marketing team have a difficult time getting access to senior living communities, hospital system and other players in the health care continuum? 

How Much Does CaringOnDemand Cost?

The CaringOnDemand app is free for both caregivers and seniors to use. Any time your agency invests in a platform, you want to ensure that it yields a high return on your investment. This means having a positive impact on your workforce and, of course, your bottom line.

So, how does CaringOnDemand impact your costs? First, CaringOnDemand allows you to charge for care by the minute, setting your own bill and pay rates. You know your area better than anyone, and you know what rates are realistic for the market in which you operate. And, because in many cases your margins will be significantly higher than your core model, caregivers can earn a much higher pay rate as well.

Clients can see the rates they will be charged prior to scheduling their care visits, allowing them to make decisions about what length of visit they can afford. In the past, when you were bound by minimum visit lengths, many potential clients may have been priced out of the process. Now, you’re tapping into a new market that may be able to afford two hours of care, but not four. They still receive the care they need at an affordable rate.

CaringOnDemand also enables you to establish a tiered pricing structure. So, you could charge $0.99 per minute up to the first hour of service, $0.89 per minute for one to two hours of service, and so on. This tiered pricing structure rewards clients for scheduling longer visits since the price per minute decreases with each hour.

How much will CaringOnDemand cost your business?

Ultimately, CaringOnDemand will help you streamline your operations, increase your client base, and retain top talent. Regardless of any cost your agency will pay, you will make it back in increased productivity and a larger revenue stream.

Interested in learning more? We'd love to talk.

We are looking for partners who believe there are better ways to support families and are progressive leaders who want to pioneer the next evolution of home care delivery.

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