Too Many Questions - Too Few Answers

 

Today’s hospice and home care environment is changing faster than ever, which is probably not news to you. We find ourselves in an environment where regulations continue to increase, putting downward pressure on margins and industry integration - the lifeblood of our industry and critical to our ability to provide the highest standard of care. So how can we successfully manage a business, offer the standard of care our patients deserve, and compete in an incredibly challenging healthcare environment? 

We may well have asked the right question, but finding the right answer is the real challenge that we face today. One strategy is to break down the current landscape into bite sized pieces and try to digest a piece at a time, as opposed to taking on the entire meal all in one bite. It is important not to let the numerous changes and challenges overwhelm you, but rather to devise a plan to understand and react.  What are some of the items that we can examine today and make the necessary changes to comply?

·       Medicare Part D requirements

·       Changes to NOE submission

·       HIS

·       CAHPS

·       And soon to be Hospice Compare

Unfortunately, the list does not end here and we can expect more down the road. While we cannot avoid facing these challenges, we can prepare ourselves to anticipate and react, maximizing our ability to respond while minimizing the impact on our day to day operations.

What about Palliative Care? How are we preparing to respond to the use of Medical Marijuana when it is legal on the state level but illegal on the federal level? For many providers, we have different regulations governing different facilities in our hospice network.

 

I find myself asking the question, “Why does it seem like more importance and attention is being placed on regulatory requirements and reporting, while the standard of patient care that our patients deserve is being sacrificed as a result?”

 

It’s time to take a step back and ask ourselves some critical questions:

1. How is your Hospice different from every other Hospice in your state?

2. How do we stand apart and how do we educate our staff and community on these differences? 

3. Where in the world are we heading and what are we going to do once we reach our intended destination? 

4. What are you doing not just to survive, but to thrive in this environment?  

These are the questions being asked, and it’s time we start finding the right answers and making the changes necessary to stop “surviving” and to start THRIVING.

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Katherine Gilbreth

Hospice and Practice Management Consultants

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