Author: Harper Dion
Posted: February 7, 2024
Every year, Lincoln Healthcare Leadership orchestrates the ultimate gathering for notable leaders in the post-acute industry: the Home Care 100 Conference. This flagship event isn't just a chance to network with industry players—it's a seminar of cutting-edge ideas, connections, and thought leadership. Once again, our leadership team was in attendance to delve into upcoming trends, looming challenges, and of course, reconnect with our trusted friends and partners in the industry. Throughout the event, a few key themes emerged, setting a dynamic future for post-acute care. The main items discussed were the need for adaptive strategies, possible headwinds of change, and the prospects for growth as the M&A market resumes activity. But amidst the many discussions, the main themes of strategy and technology took the forefront of consideration. Continuing success in the coming months requires tech-enabled solutions to supercharge efficiency and propel growth. With these vital themes in mind, here's the main takeaways from our leadership team, along with how MHA experts stand ready to guide the way.
Main Discussions Around Technology:
The main discussions at Home Care 100 (HC100) focused heavily on addressing regulatory pressures and leveraging technology to do more with less in the post-acute care industry. The emphasis is on streamlining the use of human capital, especially clinicians, by implementing the right technology stack, specifically to optimize efficient scheduling, timely visits, and patient care outcomes. MHA’s NOTIFYnana, and Caregiver Accelerator solutions offer intelligent remedies to solve these issues while empowering agencies to do more with less.
There is a notable shift in perception, recognizing that technology is no longer just a nice-to-have but a need-to-have in the industry. Countless discussions at HC100 outline the importance of technology as a solution to increase efficiency and productivity, particularly in the face of reimbursement pressures.
Additionally, emerging trends such as the integration of tech-enabled automation and the increasing interest in healthcare technology by private equity firms signal the shift; the question is no longer should agencies use tech, but how should agencies integrate technology into all facets of operations?
After slowed market activity, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are becoming more prominent, with a specific focus on automated tech-enabled agencies. Due to regulation, firms were required to hold assets for 18 months following acquisition, as this window comes to an end, investors are pushing to move assets to increase productivity and turn profit. As a result, the industry is witnessing a surge in interest from private equity, looking for opportunities to invest in organizations that can provide innovative solutions in response to the caregiver shortage. As the workforce shortage continues, the need for post-acute care only grows. Agencies that use tech-enabled processes not only empower clinician satisfaction but provide reliable higher quality care to all in need.
Interest rates leveling out and the election year dynamics are seen as additional factors contributing to the positive movement in the M&A market. Private equity firms are eager to make investments, and agencies that have been holding onto capital are seeking opportunities to redeploy it for better returns.
Overall, the key investments and strategic decisions for agencies in 2024 include leveraging technology for operational optimization, actively participating in the M&A market, and aligning strategies to capitalize on the current economic and political landscape.
The Role of Strategic Assistance:
MHA can play a pivotal role in the M&A process by offering operational assessments and optimization services throughout all stages of a transaction. This includes providing services such as caregiver training, intake centralization, scheduling centralization, and technology to streamline operations. As activity begins to resume in the M&A market, agencies navigating deals with a strategic approach will find increased success. Organizations armed with comprehensive operational assessments and optimizations will enter the market knowing the quality of their assets is primed for exponential growth.
Overall, the post-acute industry is witnessing a recognition of the value of technology in addressing challenges, improving efficiency, and driving growth. M&A activities, coupled with a focus on operational optimization and strategic planning are shaping the trajectory of the post-acute care sector moving forward.
Technology and strategic alignment remain the name of the game moving forward in all facets of care optimization. Many conversations throughout HC100 centered around assessing and optimizing intake and scheduling through technology. Specifically, technology like Caregiver Accelerator, NOTIFYnana, nanaCONNECT, and various services from our partner Forcura, curve inaccuracies while enhancing optimized resource management and compliance. Tech solutions like these ensure faster time-to-care, resulting in increased patient satisfaction while enabling nurses to practice at the top of their license.
Analytics and Continuous Monitoring:
Additionally, the use of analytics was discussed as a best practice for continued success after the implementation of tech investments. Although technology is a good first step, if agencies are underutilizing new solutions, the investment will result in waste. Having comprehensive, continually updated analytics provides a remedy for this outcome. Analytics offer valuable insights into potential gaps and areas of success. This allows agencies to obtain a comprehensive overview of sectors that may benefit from additional training and attention. As a result, they can enhance their strategic utilization of technology-enabled tools.
As stated, the use of technology will continue to drive growth and decision making in the post-acute industry as it shifts from a productive investment to an absolute imperative for success. With technology in place, many repetitive back-office tasks will receive error free automation, from there operational considerations become essential. Looking at processes that have a large influence over patient experience will require extensive consideration moving forward. Agencies must consider strategic alignment and centralization of intake processes, especially within large systems, to increase referrals and patient satisfaction. With tech-enablement and centralized efforts, agencies create the foundation for growth, from there smaller optimizations of troubled processes will increase success. Supplementing these changes with a continuous stream of quality data is the final step to ensure consideration and awareness never falls short.
Concerns of regulatory compliance, quality care, and clinician satisfaction are fully remedied with these implementations, and MHA is here to help along every step of the strategic path. Starting with a comprehensive assessment, our team of post-acute experts analyze every facet of your operations to uncover possible gaps and areas of optimization. From there we offer industry-leading tech-enabled solutions from our innovative suite of proprietary tech, as well as supplements from our heavily vetted strategic partners. We stay with you every step of the way, ensuring your staff is trained on any new developments, and fully prepared to supply high-quality care at the top of their license while remaining satisfied with outcomes and growth. If you would like to learn more about our services and strategic expertise, reach out to [email protected] or visit www.maxwellhca.com.