Home Health & Hospice

Q: We are looking to better monitor and trim our expenses in 2014. What are some expenses that can be reduced or eliminated?

Homecare Insider, February 17, 2014

Q: We are looking to better monitor and trim our expenses in 2014. What are some expenses that can be reduced or eliminated?
 
A:  Here are some expenses that can be considered when looking to make cuts and questions you should ask yourself when examining them:
 
Supplies and equipment
  • Are we wasting supplies? Supply waste can happen in homecare if you leave supplies in the home and do not retrieve them before the patient has been discharged.
  • Is our supply company too expensive? It may pay to shop around and see whether there is another provider that offers better rates on supplies.
  • Can we buy in bulk? Do you find yourself running out of a particular supply over and over? If so, placing a larger order may be less expensive. Of course, only buy in bulk if you know you will use the supplies and they will not expire.
Forms and programs
  • How much do our forms cost? If your forms are expensive, it may be more cost-effective for you to devise them yourself.
  • Can we create our own disease management program? If you are paying for the creation of a disease management program, you can save thousands of dollars by doing it yourself. The same can be said about an infection control program.
Outsourcing
 
  • Do we outsource things that could be done in-house? Outsourcing can be expensive, but there are times when it may be a better option. It is important to weigh the financial implications before you make a choice.
Staffing
 
  • Before we hire a new employee, can we make things work with the staff we have now? Recruiting a new employee can be expensive. Explore the possibility of having someone who already works at the agency go from part-time to full-time, having someone wear more than one hat (two different roles), or hiring on a PRN basis, which can save money through benefits.

Some agencies operate efficiently enough that payment reductions do not affect them. Unfortunately, options such as layoffs and accepting fewer patients may become a reality for some agencies. But before resorting to these measures, an understanding of your payment and finances will help you assess what you need to do at your agency.