The number of seniors in America is expected to reach over 80 million by the year 2050, putting pressure on care providers across the continuum. In a 2012 study conducted by the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP), it was concluded that in order to improve the quality of care for retired Americans, there must be a shift towards home health care. Not only is home health care the more affordable option, but seniors who are able to maintain their health at home are often healthier and happier than similar individuals who require frequent hospital visits or nursing-home health care.
The push towards more in-home health care is also inline with consumers. The same AARP study found that nearly 90% of the seniors surveyed wanted to stay in their homes as they age. Even if they begin to require daily assistance or ongoing healthcare, 82% of seniors surveyed said they’d prefer to stay in their homes. As this trend continues, home health care providers are well positioned to play an essential role. However, providing agencies with the support and technology they need to create positive health outcomes is critical to their overall success.
To better understand this unique opportunity, and the potential challenges faced by home health care providers, I sat down Mark Tomzak, PointClickCare’s executive vice president and general manager for the home health care market.
Mark has worked in healthcare for over 30 years, half that time spent in the long term post-acute care (LTPAC) industry. His career started on the acute-care side, running a few consulting organizations focused on data quality audits and reimbursement outcomes. Mark then moved over to LTPAC, joining a software company called Achieve Healthcare, known as MatrixCare today. After his time with them, he went on to run SmartLinx, which offers labor management solutions for LTPAC providers and, more recently, CareWorx, which is a device and service company focused on long-term care.
Q: What got you excited about the work PointClickCare is doing in home health care?
A: What really drew me in was the vision Mike and Dave [Wessinger] had for the home health care market. Since the beginning, their focus has always been on providing a solution for the continuum of care so that, no matter where that patient or resident is located, PointClickCare can help to provide the correct care. As we all know, the silver tsunami is coming, and there’s a real opportunity to drive success in a market that’s been underserved.
Because PointClickCare has been operating in the senior care industry for almost two decades, they have the best foundation for serving the unique needs of home health care providers. Challenging times lay ahead across the industry, from serious staffing shortages to evolving regulations, and having the right technology partner is key.
Q: What is your vision for how home health care providers can use technology to drive positive health and operational outcomes?
A: The challenge in the home health care market will be getting the right person to the right location, to deliver the appropriate care, while achieving the expected outcomes. In order to get the same or better outcomes than a facility, agencies need to capture all care and client related details, end-to-end.
Documenting the correct information from the very start will translate to better care and cleaner claims down the line. This involves understanding the type of care or assistance needed by each client, and then capturing and communicating that information to home health care staff. Having the right information at the right time will empower the appropriate people to take action; helping to ensure the client is healthy, happy, and able to remain in the home setting.
Q: What’s next for PointClickCare?
A: The home health care market is poised to grow at a faster pace than the other care settings, and having the appropriate technology and support will be essential to success. To help agencies navigate and thrive in this rapidly evolving market, we will provide the right technology to build efficiencies, save time, and drive high-quality care.
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