Over the last couple years, the home care industry throughout the United States has been facing a shortage of personal care assistants and home caregivers. This issue has been especially difficult for families with loved ones that require 24-hour or daily in-home supportive services as they are forced to provide the care themselves or turn to family members and friends for help. Families have even gone so far as to bring their loved ones to the hospital to be cared for while they search for at-home care services.
Unfortunately, Minnesota home care agencies have been affected by this shortage as well. According to state workforce data, the vacancy rate of PCAs in rural areas hit 14% last year. This is the highest rate we’ve experienced in at least 15 years. By 2020, the Minnesota Department of Human Services estimates that Minnesota will need to fill 60,000 direct-care and support positions.
How can a Smartphone App Solve this Issue?
The Homecare Timesheets app is working to help families struggling to find personal care assistants and caregivers. The app allows the user to self-staff with other local PCAs when their PCA is absent. This “on-demand PCA services” technology is very similar to that used in popular ridesharing apps. Within the app, home care recipients are able to set criteria for the personal care assistants or set criteria for the personal care assistants or get help from any available worker at their home care agency.
The Homecare Timesheets app adheres to all relevant Minnesota laws and applies to those receiving home care services through Medicaid.
Best Home Care is Proud to Offer the Homecare Timesheets App
In order to best serve our customers and help them access the PCA services they need, we are proud to be one of the first home care agencies in the Twin Cities using the Homecare Timesheets App. To learn more about how you can use this technology, contact us today!
The Justice Department recently announced that it is charging hundreds of individuals with committing Medicare fraud worth $900 million dollars. This marks the largest takedown of fraud committed by personal care assistants, home care agencies, and other medical companies ever. Most of these cases involved billing Medicare and/or Medicaid for treatments that were never provided. Sadly, this is just the latest example of an issue that has plagued the home care industry for decades.
For years, the standard method for billing for home care services involved completing and submitting paper timesheets that outlined details on the care provided. Unfortunately, this method allows for inaccurate time keeping and makes it difficult to analyze the quality of home care being provided. While there have been steps taken to ensure accuracy and prevent fraud, there is still an opportunity to greatly improve these regulations.
The home care professionals at Best Home Care work hard to ensure accurate and honest billing for all our home care clients. One way we do this is through the use of our Timesheet app. This compliance software for smartphones tracks the amount of hours a personal care assistant works, provides a unique way of verifying these services, and allows for the quality of home care to be assessed. Here’s how it works:
- A home care worker or PCA records the hours they worked and details the services they provided.
- To ensure compliance, they may be asked to photograph themselves with their client.
- This data is sent to and stored in a secure database.
- The information can be downloaded and analyzed by home care agencies, home care recipients, and payers like the state or insurance companies.
- The data provided can also be compared to a home care recipient’s goals as a way to measure the quality of care.
While fraud is still an issue in this industry, we believe that technology holds the answer. We encourage all our employees to use the app and are working with other Twin Cities home care agencies to bring our Timesheet app into their system. To learn more about the Timesheet app and how Best Home Care is working to prevent fraud in the home care industry, contact our home care professionals today!
There are hundreds of Minnesota home care agencies that all claim to provide the same services. As a personal care assistant, it can be difficult to know which agency is the right match for you. A simple search will return the names of many companies; however, the majority of the time, using this process to select a home care agency simply does not work.
Selecting a home care company to work with is not a decision that should be taken lightly. You should do thorough research and trust the company to support you in providing the best home care possible. Do not be afraid to call or visit an agency’s office and meet the people who work there in-person. Remember, you should want to work with them as much as they want to work with you.
At Best Home Care, it’s no secret that we believe we provide the BEST home care administration services in Minnesota. With a decade of experience in the home health care industry, we have learned what personal care assistants desire from a home care agency and that’s exactly what we do! Our current clients say that we are the easiest and most convenient agency they’ve ever worked with because we:
- Accept all documents by fax, email, or electronically
- Offer a home care timesheet app that’s easy for employees
- Make the process of transferring to our agency quick and simple
- Provide multiple PCA training resources
- Send email and telephone reminders to submit timesheets each pay period
- And much more!
Personal care assistant and caregiver jobs should be enjoyable, professionally rewarding, and personally fulfilling. Best Home Care strives to be a great place to work by making the administration process easy and convenient for our employees. We’d love to hear from you! If you would like more information about transferring to Best Home Care visit our contact page or call us at (651) 330-2550.
A sad trend that has developed over the last decade is the prevalence of financial fraud by home health care providers. Each year, hundreds of millions of Medicaid dollars are paid out for home care services that were unnecessary or weren’t provided at all. In 2014, it is estimated that fraudulent home care charges totaled $60 million of taxpayer dollars in Minnesota alone.
How does this happen? In most situations the personal care assistant or home care agency responsible for providing care will exaggerate the amount of service provided or make it up entirely. With no effective way to monitor the validity of these billings, Medicaid or the insurance company pays out the money in good faith. All the while, the patient is unaware that he or she is being taken advantage of.
Why does this happen? In short, the reward often outweighs the risks for caregivers looking to make an extra buck. Last year, The Star Tribune reported that, “Of the 425 home caregivers and agencies notified of wrongful billing practices since 2008 in Minnesota, just one in four were ultimately convicted.” Over the last decade, Minnesota’s Medicaid program has exploded while fraud referrals have stayed stagnant or dropped. Without proper monitoring, legislation, investigation, and enforcement, these crimes will likely continue.
What is being done? Six states now require electronic verification whenever a caregiver visits a patient. This process helps deter fraud by eliminating easily falsified paper timesheets. Federal data mining tools are also helping state governments monitor Medicaid claims for fraud. Minnesota is not participating in any of these practices yet.
Andre Best, founder of Best Home Care, has been fighting against home care fraud for years. Best has spoken with legislators about the need for better monitoring of home care services and has even developed software to help address this problem. His smartphone application creates a digital record of all services billed to the state and documents the care that the patients receive. Best Home Care currently uses this app and Best hopes other home care agencies will join as well.
Learn more about our founder’s fight against fraud as well as options for proven care services by contacting our trusted home care agency today.