The home care sector is set for sustained growth in the coming years. In 2024, a few trends in home health care will pave the way for this growth. Technology emerges as a key ally in keeping up with healthcare trends. The integration of advanced home care software platforms addresses challenges and drives continued expansion in the industry.
The home health care software market is anticipated to experience a CAGR of 12.9% from 2022 to 2027, signaling a significant upward trajectory.
The general trends in healthcare preference show Americans opting for home healthcare increasingly. This inclination is primarily driven by the desire to age in a familiar environment rather than a care facility.
Further, the retiring baby boomer generation accelerates demand for healthcare at home. Projections indicate that by 2050, the elderly population will exceed 80 million, surpassing the number of individuals under 18. U.S. Home Health Care is expected to grow from $94.17 billion in 2022 to $153.19 billion by the year 2029.
It’s time for businesses to direct their attention toward the healthcare trends of 2024. What developments require consideration, and what challenges currently confront the industry? This blog aims to provide insights into the future of healthcare trends. Further, it also covers significant legal changes in some states that may affect agencies providing healthcare at home.
Home Healthcare Trends 2024
1. Expanding Services and Payer Diversity
The growing preference for healthcare at home offers growth opportunities for home health agencies. Notably, Large Managed Care Organizations and Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are driving agencies to broaden their service offerings, including advanced medical services at home.
New care delivery models like ‘SNF at Home’ and ‘Hospital at Home’ are promoting partnerships with acute care and skilled nursing facilities. It ensures continuity of patient care and enhances satisfaction.
Exploring diverse payers helps agencies navigate regulatory and reimbursement challenges effectively. With the rise in Medicare Advantage enrollment, home health operators must prepare for additional managed care business opportunities in 2024.
For the new year, home health providers should focus on various payment incentive models, including States Advancing All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development Model (AHEAD), Accountable Care Organization Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (ACO REACH), and Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE).
2. Innovative Caregiver Retention Strategy
To address staffing challenges, agencies must strategically enhance caregiver recruitment and retention through various initiatives. This includes providing competitive compensation, promoting training and career development, implementing work-life balance initiatives, etc.
Career development involves training programs, upskilling opportunities, etc. to ensure short-term competency and long-term career growth.
Retention and loyalty programs recognize exceptional work to reduce turnover. This can be done through performance-based bonuses, the most common form of retention strategy. The healthcare technology trends further ease the process. You can consider adopting a caregiver app, flexible scheduling options in your EVV software, and opportunities for career progression. Offering a competitive salary also recognizes caregivers’ value.
3. Personalized care services
Integrating personalized home care represents a progressive stride that involves comprehensive, individualized wellness programs. Using algorithms provides caregivers with predictive insights derived from historical health data.
Transitioning towards a patient-centered model at home, as opposed to a clinic-centric approach, brings added comfort to patients. Appointing preferred or specialized caregivers based on patient needs is another way of personalizing services. This can be done with the incorporation of healthcare scheduling software.
It personalizes the homecare process as agency managers can appoint caregivers based on patient preference. It further fosters a stronger connection between caregivers and patients.
Rehabilitation exercises and therapies tailored to individual needs delivered in a familiar home environment also contribute to the recovery process.
Changes In Healthcare Laws 2024
With the new year, health providers are faced with a multitude of state law changes in 2024. These address various critical aspects, including reproductive care, patient documentation, wages, and reimbursement. As a business manager, a strategic approach to legal compliance and healthcare trends is necessary to remain profitable in 2024.
Below are some of the state laws that have an impact on the home healthcare landscape.
The new California home health law takes effect from June 1, 2024. The minimum wage for healthcare workers, encompassing roles such as nursing assistants, medical technicians, and janitorial staff, will be increased to $23 per hour. The wage is set to further rise to $25 per hour by the year 2026.
These changes highlight the need for automated payroll management further. Since the EVV implementation deadline has passed for California, it is likely that you already have a system in place. To ensure compliance with the labor laws, consider adopting an EVV software that integrates with your payroll management software. Healthcare technology trends are reshaping the way EVV system is utilised.
Arizona home health law has new requirements for assisted living facilities discharging patients to emergency providers. It includes providing additional information in written documents such as resident information, care needs or requests, and the overall state of health. Facilities are required to contact the patient’s authorized representative if a patient is transferred to a hospital and maintain a copy of the required resident information.
Additionally, ambulances are required to install an electronic GPS monitoring device to measure response times, tracking when ambulances arrive on a scene. For gathering internal usage data, you can simply convert your ambulance service providers’ phones into a GPS tracking device. By installing a GPS time tracking software app, you can get real-time insights, location information, and a dashboard to manage your employees.
In Illinois, at-home healthcare facilities must inform the state’s attorney general of any intended merger or acquisition within a 30-day timeframe. Failure to comply with this legal requirement may result in a $500 civil penalty for each day the organization does not adhere to the notification mandate.
Recent legislation has elevated the damage caps, the upper limit on compensation that a plaintiff can obtain from a defendant, for victims of medical malpractice. The cap will witness incremental increases annually until January 1, 2028, culminating in a maximum amount of $750,000. From January 1, 2029, onwards, the malpractice damage cap will undergo an annual increase of 2.1%, rounded to the nearest dollar.
In conjunction with these legal advancements, the implementation of an EVV system emerges as a crucial tool in mitigating healthcare fraud cases. The automated tracking and verification features inherent in EVV contribute to increased accuracy and transparency, effectively reducing instances of fraudulent activities within the healthcare system.
The future of of at-home healthcare is driven by increasing demand, indicating a continuous evolution of services. In 2024, this expansion is expected to seamlessly integrate with emerging technologies, enhancing the level of care provided to patients in their homes.
Recognizing the transformative healthcare trends becomes essential for the broader home care landscape and your patient interactions. 2024 will likely witness a surge in adoption of healthcare technology trends, heightened demand, and a call for service diversification. Successfully navigating these trends requires a balanced and proactive approach.
Further, staying abreast of the dynamic landscape is crucial too, as demographic shifts, regulatory changes, and technological advancements continue to reshape the industry. For agencies, responding to the demand for personalized care and the strategic retention of caregivers are pivotal for success. Moreover, businesses must leverage technology, such as EVV software, to enhance efficiency, mitigate fraud, and align with emerging healthcare trends.
Remaining vigilant about legal changes is equally paramount, as illustrated by the impact of legislation on medical malpractice cases and wage regulations. Adapting to these shifts not only ensures compliance but also positions businesses to thrive in a highly competitive landscape.