Home Care Heroes and Day Service Stars

Ankota

Practical wisdom and best practices for Home Care and Day Service professionals who keep older and disabled people living at home. This podcast is for  agency and center owners and managers focused on success, and the main topics are growth and caregiver retention. We consider members of this industry to be our heroes.

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Episodes

Caregiver Rewards That Make an Impact
Apr 6 2024
Caregiver Rewards That Make an Impact
This episode of Home Care Heroes and Day Service Stars welcomes Joe Kraus and Linda Donev, a brother and sister team who have had a long and positive impact on the Home Care industry. Joe and Linda created the home care software that eventually became the Resmed / MatrixCare solution.  They're back for an encore performance with a new offering called Perks4Care. The episode starts with some fun brother / sister banter as they tell their story, but then they focus on what they learned from years of delivering caregiver rewards and how it inspired their product.Some of their great suggestions for rewarding caregivers are as follows:It's better to give rewards oftenIn addition to the monetary value of the reward, caregivers appreciate looking back at these accomplishmentsGift cards make great rewards, but not every caregiver likes the same things (e.g., a Starbucks card isn't great for a caregiver who doesn't like coffee)Being able to cash in rewards and use gift cards on the spot is a great thing (and an app helps with that)Raffles (the chance for one lucky caregiver to win a big surprise each month) are a great way to enhance the value of the reward systemOne of the things that I love about their offering is that they don't charge per caregiver per month and instead they just charge a small fee on top of the rewards that you purchase, PLUS they pay for the raffles out of their own profit.  This is why we'll be recommending Perks4Care to our Ankota customers. Please enjoy the full episode with Joe and Linda and take the opportunity to learn more about their offering at perks4care.com. Home Care Heroes and Day Service Stars is produced and sponsored by Ankota - If you provide services that enable older or disabled people to continue living at home , Ankota can provide you the software to successfully run your agency.. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
Agency Owner adds High-Margin Revenue Stream from Facility Placements
Feb 22 2024
Agency Owner adds High-Margin Revenue Stream from Facility Placements
Rob Christensen is a home care veteran who has runs 4 agencies and day services. Sadly, some clients get to a stage where they need to have 24-hour care and they can't afford to have that service in their home.  Rob learned that facilities are willing to pay a handsome finders fee (generally one-month of the facility fee)  for a new referral.   So Rob added a service for placing clients in facilities.  The results have been highly beneficial in a number of ways, as follows:Finding the best facility is a beneficial service for the client and their familyBy building relationships with local facilities, they'll turn to your agency when their residents (e.g., in independent living or assisted living) need services.The payoff is both high dollar and high margin. Rob spoke of single placements that paid $8,000.After making this process work in his first location, Rob went on to improve the process and automate a solution. This includes cataloging detailed facility information for making the best match, the ability to send HIPAA compliant referrals for evaluation, and a tool for tracking all the placements that are in progress.Check out the full episode to learn more.Home Care Heroes and Day Service Stars is produced and sponsored by Ankota - If you provide services that enable older or disabled people to continue living at home , Ankota can provide you the software to successfully run your agency.. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
Trifecta: Care Coordinators add Career Path, Better Care and Profit [with Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss]
Jan 22 2024
Trifecta: Care Coordinators add Career Path, Better Care and Profit [with Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss]
The defining challenging of home care, long term supports and services, and day services is recruiting and retaining caregivers.  One of the big recommendations that we hear regarding retention is to create career paths, but at the same time we struggle to make a reasonable margin at the rates that we're able to charge.  Today's guest, in his 3rd appearance on the Home Care Heroes and Day Service Stars podcast, is Steve "the Hurricane" Weiss, the CEO of the consulting firm Home Care Evolution. Steve's organization is one of the preeminent home care coaching and consulting organizations in the US.  I had the priviledge to attend one of Steve's Home Care boot camps and a specific session, on the topic of "Care Coordinators" resonated strongly with me. Today's episode dives into the way that adding care coordinators to a home care agency does three key things: 1) It creates a career care, 2) It results in a differentiated level of care, and 3) It gives you an opportunity to charge more. The term "TRIFECTA" comes from betting on horse racing. To win this kind of bet you need to pick the first place, second place and 3rd place horses, in order.  So the connotation is that a Trifecta is a big three-part win.  Some of the key concepts addressed in the episode are as follows:Having Care Coordinators creates a career path within your agency for the right kinds of peopleThese coordinators ensure that the client's needs are well understood and that the caregiver(s) are well-prepared to do an excellent jobSince the best home care clients have complex needs, having a coordinator check in regularly makes sure that the care is evolving with those needs as they change.Another key benefit is that unlike your competitors who will start recruiting for a caregiver once they close the client, your coordinators have flexibility in their schedules to start care right away and meet families right away when opportunities present themselvesYet another benefit is that junior caregivers are supported and know that a senior team member will be visiting regularly to help them. This cuts down on cases where newly trained caregivers feel overwhelmed and quitLastly, having coordinators results in a premium service that you can charge for.  Some agencies justifiably raise their rates when they have care coordinators and others charge separately for the coordinators, and families are willing to pay.Despite this episode being a deep dive into care coordination, it really only scratches the surface. Home Care Evolution will provide a free consulting session to your agency on this topic or many others.  Plus, as I said, attending one of their boot camps opens your eyes to many ways the best agencies are thriving.Home Care Heroes and Day Service Stars is produced and sponsored by Ankota - If you provide services that enable older or disabled people to continue living at home , Ankota can provide you the software to successfully run your agency.. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
Transforming Loneliness into Connection [with guest Deb Skovron]
Nov 19 2023
Transforming Loneliness into Connection [with guest Deb Skovron]
Loneliness and Isolation have been clinically proven to have hugely negative health outcomes. Just because there's a caregiver in the home or the person participates in a day services program doesn't mean that they aren't lonely and feeling isolated.  I lost my Aunt Myrna a few years back and she had in home care for the last years of her life, but while they were there to provide for her needs they weren't having conversations with her.  By contrast, my mom who is 86 and has Alzheimer's disease participates in a day program, but since she has poor hearing her engagement is low. Today's guest Deb Skovron, created a program called Circle Talk (see CircleTalk.org) which is used in home care and various day programs including PACE programs. She has witnessed many instances where a weekly program that encourages people to form relationships has dramatically improved participants' quality of life.I'd highly encourage you to learn more about Deb and the  CircleTalk program itself, but we always make sure that when you listen to Home Care Heroes and Day Service Stars, that you will come away from the episode with actions that you can put into place right away.  We're going to share this podcast episode via an email suggesting 10 great conversation starters that your caregivers can use to drive meaningful connections with clients.You can learn more about Deb and CircleTalk by visiting CircleTalk.org.Home Care Heroes and Day Service Stars is produced and sponsored by Ankota - If you provide services that enable older or disabled people to continue living at home , Ankota can provide you the software to successfully run your agency.. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
Increasing Recruiting and Retention Success with Science and AI
Oct 31 2023
Increasing Recruiting and Retention Success with Science and AI
This episode addresses the most critical concern in home care and day services - recruiting and retention of caregivers.  But as a bonus, it offers a way to improve it with science and artificial intelligence.  And... as if that isn't enough there's an offer to use this technology for free AND to get amazon gift cards for the caregivers who participate...  I'm excited already!Today's special guests are John Penrose, the CEO of a company called Agile Brain, and one of his chief scientists Dr. JD Pincus.  Most surveys are long, boring and not very accurate. Participants typically respond without much thought or even understanding. AgileBrain is different. It's a 3-minute exercise where you select images that correspond to ways you feel. So, it's fun, fast and easy to do even for caregivers with limited English language skills. And because AgileBrain is grounded in science, the results are astounding...  AgileBrain can predict how long a caregiver candidate is likely to stay and give you early warning about existing caregivers' likelihood to quit. Armed with this information you can take actions to recruit and retain better.If it sounds too good to be true, they'll let you try it for free AND 25 of the caregivers who complete the assessment will receive a $25 Amazon gift card every time they complete an assessment.  Why would they do this you might ask...  Whether you realize it or not, you are interacting with artificial intelligence (AI) every day. Two simple examples are when Amazon.com suggests "Customers who bought that item also purchased this one," or when Netflix proposes the next movie you might like to watch.  Their models are pretty good and the reason is that they're based on lots of data. Agile Brain is asking for home care agencies, Adult Day Service Providers, and disability server providers to use their technology for free so that they can expand their model to include a rich and diverse set of caregivers.To participate in the survey go to https://agilebrain.com/homecare.Home Care Heroes and Day Service Stars is produced and sponsored by Ankota - If you provide services that enable older or disabled people to continue living at home , Ankota can provide you the software to successfully run your agency.. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
Home Care + Day Care Services = The Perfect Pair
Jul 19 2023
Home Care + Day Care Services = The Perfect Pair
Today's episode of Home Care Heroes is exciting because we've expanded to include day services (like Adult Day Care and Day Habilitation for individuals with Intellectual or developmental disabilities).  From now on we'll be calling the podcast Home Care Heroes and Day Service Stars.Christina Vlosich is the perfect guest and today's topic explores why home care and day services go together so well.  As a short preview, here are some of the reasons why so many home care agencies are adding day services:Client benefits: Day Service Participants benefit from the social aspect of having friends who they can meet with at day care plus the activities and nutrition. Benefits to your agency: In a Day Services setting, you generally only need one team member for each 4 to 5 participants so it's easier to staff and even though the reimbursement is lower, the staff cost is much lower too.Secret Benefits to your agency: Two of the biggest problems in home care are 1) Being able to visit with and staff new prospective clients fast enough, and 2) training caregivers who immediately drop out when they get placed in a senior's home. With a day center, you can give your home care trainees hands on experience to better prepare them for their jobs. Plus, you can slightly overstaff your day center such that when a new prospect calls on the phone you can send a team member to meet them right away.We also talk a lot about the critical topics of branding and differentiating your day center.Christina Vlosich is the principal of Adult Day Service Consulting (adsconsult.biz). You can reach Christina on 1-330-719-8044​ or via email at cvlosich@adsconsult.biz.Home Care Heroes and Day Service Stars is produced and sponsored by Ankota - If you provide services that enable older or disabled people to continue living at home that Ankota can provide you the software to successfully run your agency.. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
Achieving Balance in Home Care Management [with Becky Reel, Executive Director of For Papa's Sake Home Care]
Nov 16 2022
Achieving Balance in Home Care Management [with Becky Reel, Executive Director of For Papa's Sake Home Care]
Today's episode focuses on the critically important topic of Achieving Balance in managing your home care agency.  Our guest, Becky Reel is the Executive Director of For Papa's Sake Home Care, an agency that she created to honor her grandfather. Becky reflects back on a time when her life was out of balance and running her agency was creating anxiety for her and putting stress on her most important relationships.  Not only has she overcome these challenges, her agency was chosen as the Top Agency of 2022 by Home Care Pulse.For Becky, achieving balance made all the difference. This talk covers the following critical topics:Why talk about balance?How to set boundaries and stick to themIt's OK to say noHiring right and setting expectations(also how to "hire" the right clients)Two great books by Starbucks founder Howard ShultzLinks to the two books are as follows:It's not about the Coffee: Putting People First, andPour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a TimeBecky kindly offered to help agency owners and welcomes you to reach her via email at becky@forpapassake.com.Home Care Heroes is produced and sponsored by Ankota - the Software for the Heroes of Home Care. We truly embrace the notion that caregivers and home care companies are heroes. Our top priorities are simplicity, caregiver retention and outstanding service. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
World's First AI Virtual Care Assistant [featuring Miki Rosanis from SENSI.AI]
Jul 20 2022
World's First AI Virtual Care Assistant [featuring Miki Rosanis from SENSI.AI]
Today's guest, Miki Rosanis, is an Occupational Therapist working for an artificial intelligence (AI) company called SENSI.AI. They have created the world's first Virtual Care Assistant.  If you have no idea what this means, then you definitely need to check out this episode.Sensi's technology has been specifically developed to assist home care agencies in the US. The Artificial Intelligence technology senses sounds in the care environment and provides sights to the home care agency and to the client's family. A few examples shared by Miki are as follows:Falls can be detected via soundSimilarly a client can ask for help and be heard even thought they're not wearing a PERS deviceBy sensing excessive toilet use, the technology has been able to identify a Urinary Tract InfectionWhen caregivers are present, the technology can sense joyful interactions between clients and caregiversLet's face it, few home care agencies feel like they're ready for AI, but we're probably more ready than we think. The recommendations of what to watch next on Netflix  and suggestions of the best product to buy on Amazon.com are AI. Other examples are the fingerprint and FaceID we use to get into our favorite apps and the way that gmail and Microsoft Word make suggestions on how to finish our sentences.Agencies can use SENSI as a first step to better assess an individual's need for care and with the shortage of caregivers, SENSI can put us in a position not to have to staff shifts when the client is normally sleeping.You can learn more about Sensi by visiting their website https://Sensi.AI.Home Care Heroes is produced and sponsored by Ankota - the Software for the Heroes of Home Care. We truly embrace the notion that caregivers and home care companies are heroes. Our top priorities are simplicity, caregiver retention and outstanding service. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
BrightStar Care Proves that the Future of Healthcare is in the Home - with Founder and CEO Shelly Sun
Jun 14 2022
BrightStar Care Proves that the Future of Healthcare is in the Home - with Founder and CEO Shelly Sun
Whether we agree with it or not, there is a perceived canyon between what we do in non-medical home care and what happens in the "healthcare world." We're generally not reimbursed like healthcare is. Even in the Medicaid world where there are government payments, they're called "waiver programs."  But while non-medical care is often shunned, we know that an individual receiving our care will have better outcomes than  someone who doesn't. Without going on too much of a tangent, there's a growing body of evidence to that effect that you can learn about by Googling "Social Determinants of Health."BrightStar Care, a $700M national home care franchise set out to prove that their interventions not only result in comfort and quality of life improvements for their clients, but also generate hard healthcare cost savings. They hired a top healthcare research firm, Avalere, to compare the healthcare costs of Medical Care recipients receiving care from BrightStar Care to others who don't.The results were resoundingly positive showing that on average, BrightStar Care recipients had over $8,000 in healthcare savings, and in some cases the savings were almost $30,000.In this episode of home care heroes, BrightStar Care Founder and CEO Shelly Sun explains why they did the study, what they learned, and how this has effected their work and approach at BrightStar Care.  You can learn more about the study entitled at this link.  You can learn more about BrightStar Care here.Home Care Heroes is produced and sponsored by Ankota - the Software for the Heroes of Home Care. We truly embrace the notion that caregivers and home care companies are heroes. Our top priorities are simplicity, caregiver retention and outstanding service. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
Building your Home Care Agency to Run Without You with guest Gregg Mazza
May 31 2022
Building your Home Care Agency to Run Without You with guest Gregg Mazza
Gregg Mazza is one of the top home care growth coaches in the industry, and he got there the hard way. Gregg started an agency and like many, he struggled early on. He was spending too much time and not succeeding and this was putting stress on his well-being and relationships. Happily, he figured it out and now he helps others to do the same.In this episode, Gregg outlines the framework for building an agency that can run without it's founder, as follows:Getting the right foundation in place (Positioning, Goals, Key Measurements, the Right Team, and Culture)Two Primary Drivers - Recruiting/Retention and Growing your CLient BaseLeverage - working with partnersGregg is quick to point out that it's hard and that you need to celebrate incremental wins, but that when small improvements are made throughout the organization, that the overall gains are "greater than the sum of their parts."A great way to connect with Gregg is to go to his website, www.homecarebreakthrough.com and search for the free resources. You can sign up for email updates and join a Facebook Community of your peers. You can also call 813-785-3851 or email gregg@homecarebreakthrough.com.Home Care Heroes is produced and sponsored by Ankota - the Software for the Heroes of Home Care. We truly embrace the notion that caregivers and home care companies are heroes. Our top priorities are simplicity, caregiver retention and outstanding service. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
Getting your Compliance Documentation Right with Temperance Bruder
May 24 2022
Getting your Compliance Documentation Right with Temperance Bruder
Let's face it, our primary focus areas are recruiting and retaining great caregivers and growing our businesses. These are the topics we cover the most on Home Care Heroes.  Today we're going in a different direction, but an important one just the same.Our guest is Temperance Bruder. Temperance is a home care veteran with many skills. She is a nurse, she works as a case manager for a Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO), she's a consultant and she runs a home care agency in Virginia.The topic of the episode in how to get your Medicaid Documentation right. Temperance speaks in the context of Virginia Medicaid  documentation that includes an assessment and a plan of care.  Whether you work in Virginia, another state or even in Private Duty the teaching is important.  Note that Temperance doesn't go into detail on the specifics of the documentation, but instead she focuses on some key universal strategies, as follows:Understand the importance of your documentationReview your plans of care at least every 90 daysMake sure to meet your staff face to face at least every 90 daysMake sure that your documentation is always accessibleIf you'd like help with your documentation compliance, or if you're starting an agency and need help with a strong foundation such as policies and procedures, you can reach temperance on 804-286-9176 or via email at touchofedenhomehealthllc@gmail.com.Home Care Heroes is produced and sponsored by Ankota - the Software for the Heroes of Home Care. We truly embrace the notion that caregivers and home care companies are heroes. Our top priorities are simplicity, caregiver retention and outstanding service. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
Using Video to Attract Clients and Caregivers to your Home Care Agency - with guest Nick Bonitatibus
Mar 10 2022
Using Video to Attract Clients and Caregivers to your Home Care Agency - with guest Nick Bonitatibus
Today's guest Nick Bonitatibus runs a company called The Digital Champs, which is dedicated to helping home care agencies to create content (mostly easy to make videos) that can attract both clients and caregivers to your home care agency.Within the episode, Nick takes us through all the steps (which are easier than you think), but most importantly he tells us what clients and caregivers want to hear. The messaging is incredibly important, and it's NOT that you do med reminders and light house keeping. Instead, it tells your home care prospects (usually the daughter of the client) how you're going to give them peace of mind, reduce their stress and have them know that their mom is receiving great care.  When it comes to caregivers, it's about giving them a sense of purpose and letting you know that your job is to get them hours and help them advance.I met Nick when he was the master of ceremonies for the most recent "Steve the Hurricane" conference. He's a bundle of energy and you'll enjoy him immensely.To learn more, go to his site TheDigitalChamps.com.  An even greater way to start is to go to "theDigitalChamps.com/social where there are free resources for you.Home Care Heroes is produced and sponsored by Ankota - the Software for the Heroes of Home Care. We truly embrace the notion that caregivers and home care companies are heroes. Our top priorities are simplicity, caregiver retention and outstanding service. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
Adapting Your Home Care Agency for the Future with guest Melissa Bagley
Feb 10 2022
Adapting Your Home Care Agency for the Future with guest Melissa Bagley
Melissa Bagley is one of the astounding home care coaches from Steve the Hurricane's team, and the topic for today is Adapting Your Home Care Agency for the Future. Interestingly we start with Melissa sharing that the Hurricane organization is adapting as well. They've historically been known as the experts in Home Care Marketing, but now they've expanded their scope to include coaching in marketing, sales,  caregiver recruiting and retention, growth, revenue optimization and even selling your agency. Their new brand will be Home Care Evolution and the new website will be HomeCareEvolution.com.The podcast covers three key topics related to Adapting your Agency, including the following:Managing by the Numbers: Tracking hours, revenue, gross margin and moreCollaboration: It's  critical that all team members, regardless of their function in the organization are striving for the same goals.Thriving: Agencies that thrive have strong operational processes that pull it all together.Hurricane Marketing will give you a free strategy consulting session with Melissa or one of their other amazing coaches. You can reach them on 848-444-9865 or at HomeCareMarketing.net (soon to be HomeCarEvolution.com).Home Care Heroes is produced and sponsored by Ankota - the Software for the Heroes of Home Care. We truly embrace the notion that caregivers and home care companies are heroes. Our top priorities are simplicity, caregiver retention and outstanding service. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) Behind the scenes: Present & Future with Brad Levine from Netsmart
Aug 25 2021
EVV (Electronic Visit Verification) Behind the scenes: Present & Future with Brad Levine from Netsmart
The home care industry has been doing electronic clock-ins and clock-outs for a long time, initially with voice telephony and now mostly with a GPS mobile app. But a new TLA (three letter acronym) has popped up in the past few years. That acronym is EVV (Electronic Visit Verification). This is now the official name because it's part of the law, and specifically the 21st century cures act.  In a nutshell, the EVV mandate in the 21st century cures act says that caregiving services reimbursed by government payers (mostly Medicaid and VA) need to electronically capture their arrival time, departure time, caregiver identification, service type and location. If you've been doing electronic clock-ins and clock-outs for years, you might be wondering what's different about EVV. A big part of it is that you need to share the information with the state, via an EVV aggregator.Today's guest Brad Levine started a company called Tellus that has been awarded EVV aggregator contracts in Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Nebraska and Georgia. Tellus has now been merged into Netsmart, where Brad now serves as Senior Vice President.Since the Home Care Heroes audience has a lot of private pay agencies, the podcast starts with some explanations of how EVV works and what's happening behind the scenes, but Brad goes on to tell us about EVV 2.0 and how this technology can be used to lives. Although this topic is a bit different than the typical home care heroes episode, Brad covers a lot of our favorite topics, including growth, community and a great appreciation for caregivers.Home Care Heroes is produced and sponsored by Ankota - the Software for the Heroes of Home Care. We truly embrace the notion that caregivers and home care companies are heroes. Our top priorities are simplicity, caregiver retention and outstanding service. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.
Turn your home care website into a strategic asset with Valerie Van Booven [Rebroadcast]
Aug 19 2021
Turn your home care website into a strategic asset with Valerie Van Booven [Rebroadcast]
Today's guest on Home Care Heroes is Valerie Van Booven, who is an on-line digital marketing experts for home care agencies. She didn't start as a tech geek and in fact she is a Registered Nurse (RN) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Her company is called the Approved Senior Care Network. We cover a great number of topics centered around your home care website. Among them are the following:Make sure that your site is updated every few yearsMake it easy for folks to get in touch with you when they come to your siteConsider reading the book "Don't Make Me Think" (Here's the Amazon Link) for a treatise on how to make it simple for your visitors to connectMake sure that your phone number is prominently displayed on the top of your website (and not just on a full screen but also on smart phones - and make it clickable so they can click it to dial you).We also went more deeply into the importance of letting people know who you are and telling the story of your agency. This is a great way to stand out in comparison to the national franchises.We also went deep into a concept called "long-form content" which means that Google is giving preference to web pages that give deep explanations of topics as opposed to pages that have only a few sentences.Valerie's Company is Approved Senior Network and her website is https://ASNMarketingPlan.com,Home Care Heroes is produced and sponsored by Ankota - the Software for the Heroes of Home Care. We truly embrace the notion that caregivers and home care companies are heroes. Our top priorities are simplicity, caregiver retention and outstanding service. Visit us at https://www.ankota.com.