KLAS Released Study on the State of Home Care Technology
NAHC Report 2011. Copyright National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Inc (www.nahc.org) .— Reprinted with permission
NAHC Report Article
Friday, October 14, 2011
________________________________________ KLAS Releases Study on the State of Home Care Technology Report Says Some Software Programs Fall Short on CMS Data Capabilities
The health care market research firm KLAST this week released its report on the state of homecare technology, providing snapshots of eight of the top homecare technology vendors in the industry.
The report, "Homecare 2011: New Expectations, New Market Energy", also provided candid responses from home health care agencies and providers about the use of homecare technology software and solutions.
It stated that insufficient Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) regulatory compliance and data sharing/interoperable capabilities regarding software usage and functionality were the top criticisms raised by over 300 home health care agencies surveyed.
Although all vendors are required to make their software compliant for CMS billing, home care agencies indicated that some vendors do not provide timely updates to their software, thus making business operations more difficult. Other agencies pointed out that when system updates are implemented, new tools and features can be hard to use and adversely affect the agency’s workflow. Home care agencies identified OASIS-C reporting, face-to-face (F2F) encounters, new therapy requirements, and transition to HIPAA 5010 as the four most important regulatory issues for which software needs to be compliant and reliable.
As increasing focus is placed on identifying provider partners to participate in new care delivery models (e.g. ACOs, medical homes, etc.), further attention will be given to technology solutions that will position home care providers as key partners in improving transitions of care and care coordination, as well as reducing hospital readmissions.
Presently, technology integration is a healthcare system wide problem that affects all provider groups including those participating in the meaningful use program. The study found that only 15 percent of homecare agencies are sharing data electronically with hospitals. Facilitating seamless sharing of patient data between a home care provider and a hospital, physician/specialty practice, or clinic through the use of clinical care documents (CCDs), electronic medical records (EMRs), or health information exchanges (HIEs) will require ingenuity and collaboration among the homecare providers and vendors.
The adoption of new technologies and the selection of the vendors that develop them will continue to be an important business decision for CEOs, CFOs and CIOs of home care agencies both large and small.
Other topics also highlighted in the report include trends in point-of-care technology, telehealth, staff management tools, and the technology’s effect on reducing costs.