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RE-BALANCING WORKLOADS UNDER PDGM

PDGM will require a more disciplined approach to case management and demand expanded activities from employees to maximize every visit.  Employees need to understand this before PDGM takes effect in order to reduce the chance of a negative impact to the workplace culture.

I was recently having lunch with some clinicians and their manager. The topic of conversation was compensation, and the clinicians were pretty unhappy: “When are we going to get paid for all these new changes you guys keep on making! When are we going to get a pay bump? After 3 years I should have at least had a cost of living adjustment!”

I watched as the manager squirmed for a moment before collecting herself and answering:

“Listen, I hear you, but we’re not in a position to give pay raises in the face of the cuts we are about to take next year with PDGM. We would love to give you all a pay raise, but the fact is—we’re going to have to do more with less.”

I can relate to both sides as someone who is both a practicing clinician and nose-deep in solving agency operational inefficiencies. The healthcare business can be messy—and PDGM is about to make it a whole lot more complicated. Especially on the therapy side.

The patient driven groupings model (PDGM), will require a complete cultural change for therapy. It’s not going to be quick or easy to undo years of clinical behavior that revolved around the PPS model’s carte blanche frequencies and limited oversight.

The new model will demand heavy focus on care planning – this will add stress to clinical teams because it will require a lot more time and attention. And their reward for that additional time investment? Fewer visits per patient, increased scrutiny, and tighter documentation timelines.

Agencies are being forced into a “Rob Peter to Pay Paul” position. This could very well lead to a drop in morale and a loss of staff, starting with top talent who may believe the grass is greener somewhere else. One might think the obvious answer is to either push more volume or cut back on lower performing staff to bolster visits in your core team. But the truth is agencies need to become nimble and find ways to re-balance workloads to help their teams deal with the increased stress of PDGM.

At the end of the day, Home Health employees care most about their ability to be efficient and productive. Anything you could do to empower their productivity effectively gives them a raise. If there was ever a time to pull that out of your pocket, it’s now.

At ClinicalHQ, we designed an easier way to standardize and manage resources. We call it Connect™.

Connect is a centralized communication platform that provides teams an always on, simplified workflow, making it much easier to be productive.  Things like HEPs, consents, contact lists, doctor protocols, sales sheets or even access to the last three years' worth of in-services can be issued to an individual, team or company-wide instantly.  Or I can just upload the resources that I like to use and distribute those to patients, facilities or whomever. It’s especially handy when doing community in-services and caregiver training.

I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted over the years with paper and e-mail systems. Connect is giving me back about an hour on a standard week and more on resource heavy weeks by putting everything I need in my phone and eliminating digging, printing or office calls. That may not sound like much but you have to imagine it at scale.

Another big time saver is our Insight™ baseline testing platform. In less than an hour it can identify specific areas of weakness, then target the people or information needing to be addressed. This is integrated into the Connect dashboard, keeping everything centralized on both ends.

From a management standpoint, how many times have you had to repeat the same training across the entire org because two or three people didn’t get it? How do you know where you stand? No trainer has the time to do a one-on-one with every person in the organization. We designed Insight to give you that power.

Being able to evaluate an entire team or organization for PDGM, OASIS, or field readiness in a single day allows you to focus your time where it needs to go, rather than burdening entire teams with information and processes they already know. This is critical when addressing potential turnover risks with the upcoming stressors of home health in 2020.

Both Connect and Insight are packaged with the ClinicalHQ PPS to PDGM Bridge program, providing a near turn-key solution to these challenging areas of employee operations.