4 Key Factors When Evaluating Home Health Software
There are many reasons a home care agency may start evaluating home health software. A new agency may look for software that will provide the tools to acheive Medicare certification. An established agency may out grow their existing software, or maybe their software is not keeping up with the demands of the industry.
Thanks to the computer and software technologies with the use of advanced technologies, any home health agency can easily streamline the home health care business. You need the right software to help you manage your home health care business properly and efficiently.
Regardless of why you start searching from home health care software, here are some key factors that you should evaluate:
1. Does the home care software features meet my agencies needs.
The fact is, there is no one size fits all software. Take the time as a team to discuss with key agency staff the have to haves and the nice to haves. Make a list to reference as you talk to different vendors.
In reality, at minimum, you software should provide all of the clinical functionality needed to document care provided to patients. If you see or plan to see Medicare patients, this includes clincial items such as the OASIS-C and CMS 485 forms. In addition, the software should provide referral management, scheduling, employee management, billing and reporting.
Have a discussion regarding point-of-care documentation. Many agencies like this idea, but do not have the resources to send every caregiver into the field with iPads or similar devices. The post acute care industry is definitely trending towards point of care documentation, however, have a realistic understanding of your agency's goals and then evaluate those against the features offered by a software vendor.
2. Pricing Models
Make sure that you have a realistic picture of your budget and then evaluate against the pricing models offered by the software vendors.
If you are a startup, will the sofware offer a "starter package" that allows your agency to work towards Medicare certification in a budget friendly way. If this is your agency, make sure you have a good understanding of what happens budget wise once you acheive certification.
Is the pricing clear and easy to understand. You should receive pricing in writing. Review the proposal and do not hesitate to ask question. What if I add additional users? Is the fee listed per user or concurrent users. What does the pricing cover with regards to training and support. Every detail should be spelled out clearly for you to evaluate.
3. Test Run
One of the best benefits of web-based software is the ability for a home care agency to evaluate a test or demo version of the software. Agencies should request a 2 - 3 day evaluation period independent of sales representatives. This will allow the key players in your agency to evaluate the modules they will be using. For HIPAA compliance purposes, only use dummy patients when test driving home health software.
One of most critical factors to the success of an agency is getting paid correctly and on time while maintaining a strict adhearance to compliance. When evaluating home health software, pay particular attention to the billing module.
- Does the billing module seem complicated?
- When did they acheive HIPAA 5010 Readiness?
- What are their plans for ICD-10 implementation?
- Do their clients get paid in a timely manner, etc.
- Do they provide electronic submission to payors?
- How long after purchase can I begin billing?
The billing module should provide for electronic submission of claims to Medicare, Medicaid, Medicaid waiver, and commercial payors. In addition, many software vendors can work with clearinghouses.
When you run a home health agency, you want to focus on the care of your patients. A good home care software solution will help your agency to keep on top of things as easily and as efficiently as possible.
Home Care Software Solutions, Inc. sets the standard in integrated home health software solutions with CareSmart AMS software.
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