By Katie Cunningham, Medalogix’s client experience account managerThe National Association for Home Care and Hospice’s (NAHC) annual conference was last week in Phoenix, Arizona. Year after year, it proves to be a valuable meeting where industry players come together to exchange ideas.
If you weren’t able to attend this year, here’s a recap of a few of the sessions I attended and enjoyed:
How to Ensure the Future of Home Health in a Time of Shifting Accountabilities
Suzanne Sblendorio, Director of Healthcare Technology at Simione Healthcare Consultants
Barbara Hiney, Executive Vice President at MHJS Hospice and Palliative Care
Sblendorio and Hiney began by discussing the importance of population health management. They outlined the most popular ACO models and reinforced the importance of healthcare information exchange.
Sblendorio then delved into the importance of ACO-supporting technologies and processes. She emphasized that regardless of the technology platform your HCO is currently using, it’s crucial the technology increases clinical knowledge in care decisions, improves care operations and provides meaningful data insights that are exception focused.
Further, Sblendorio said these factors must facilitate decision making for every clinician, manager and executive in your HCO. Ultimately, if your technology achieves the listed objectives, it will serve the patient by reducing hospital readmissions and/or improving patient safety, satisfaction and clinical outcomes.
Hiney focused on palliative care and the importance of paying for quality, not volume. She mentioned that offering palliative care to high-risk populations is critical to drive better quality and reduce costs.
She then reported that:
- 95% of all healthcare spending is for chronically ill.
- 22% of all Medicare spending goes to 1% of beneficiaries.
- We as a country spend more for healthcare than any other developed country but we don’t have better outcomes.
- The average length of hospice stay is 13-20 days. (Hiney found that statistic especially alarming.)
Hiney then concluded by commenting that hospice, which exists under palliative care, is arguably healthcare’s best benefit, but yet, it’s not fully realized.
How to Serve and Prosper Even in the Most Difficult Circumstances
Kelly shared his inspiring story of supporting Giffords after she sustained a gunshot wound to the head. Kelly disclosed that after Gabby’s injury, he worried he didn’t have the patience to deal with her recovery. He gained inspiration after he recalled a day prior to his wife’s injury when the power of patience was realized.
Kelly and Giffords had the pleasure of meeting Stephen Hawking, a theoretical physicist living with ALS. Kelly asked Hawking a question. Since Hawking was unable to answer verbally, but instead depended on a computer monitor that typed responses based on ocular motor skills, there was a long delay. After waiting a few seconds without an answer, Kelly awkwardly walked away. He didn’t know how to react.
Giffords then sat down with Stephen and simply asked, “How are you?” She then stared directly into Stephen’s eyes for a solid 5 minutes and patiently waited until the screen read, “I’m good. How are you? Thank you for asking.”
After recalling his wife’s patient response, Kelly knew exactly how to move forward and support Giffords during her recovery.
Caring for the Caregiver
Ric Edelman, founder and president of Edelman Financial Services
Edelman opened with some attention-grabbing female-focused financial statistics. (Edelman focused his financial planning presentation toward women because the majority of nurses are women.) The stats point to why it’s so important for women to be smarter with money than their male counterparts.
- On average, women live 7 years longer than men.
- 80 percent of women die alone because they are unmarried, divorced or widowed.
- Women spend 10 years removed from the workforce to raise children and care for parents. Since social security is tied to income, this reprieve negatively affects a woman’s retirement.
Edelman goes on to say there are four ways to make money: 1. Win it. 2. Marry it. 3. Inherit it 4. Invest it.
Edelman urges nurses to start investing now. He realizes that most people think they don’t have enough to invest. His rebuttal is, you don’t have enough money not to invest.
The best place to start is with a 401k. Edelman also recommends speaking with a financial planner rather than getting information from coworkers who may have received his or her information from another coworker.
Capitalism with a Conscience
Doug Rauch, previous president of Trader Joes, current CEO of Conscious Capitalism
To support that statement, Rauch then described three key ingredients to a culture-driven workplace:
- Physical Environment. Clearly defined purpose is important in your organization, but it’s not enough. Business leaders must foster focus-friendly environments by preventing distractions.
- Valued employees. To engage customers, you must have engaged employees. Engaged employees are valued employees. Business leaders must put employees first—even ahead of customers.
- Trust. For a company to survive, you must have trust.
Ask the Five Right Questions before You Invest in Technology
Dan Hogan, founder and CEO of Medalogix
Chad Creech, COO at Alternate Solutions HomeCare
Our own CEO spoke alongside Chad Creech of Alternate Solutions about the best ways to determine if a technology will be effective after implementation.
Based on Hogan and Creech’s experience developing an end-user and solution-focused product, they presented 5 questions care providers should ask before they invest in technology to set the foundation for success.
Read more about Hogan and Creech’s presentation here:
If you attended NAHC 2014, what sessions did you enjoy? Add to the conversation by commenting below.