Hospice agencies spend a huge amount of time entering and sharing data. Data is needed to track your communications with patients, other healthcare providers and report your actions to the government. But are you harnessing the data you collect to track the health of your own agency? Integrating data analytics with your EMR system can provide you with a real-time snapshot of the health of your agency, help you manage performance and create a plan for the future. Here are essential hospice analytics that every agency should track.
Your Hospice Analytics at a Glance
Compile these data points to create an analytics summary for your hospice agency. This data will give you a feel for where you are doing well and what areas need improvement. In many cases, this information can be pulled from your EMR system, but you may need an analytics solution like HCHB Analytics to assimilate the data into easy-to-review dashboards for your team. Your summary should include patient and budgeting metrics to create a target for your agency.
There are numerous patient-focused metrics to consider. But the following data points are a great place for hospice agencies to start.
- Length of stay by level of care
- Census, visits & days
- Admits & discharges
Length of Stay by Level of Care
Length of stay (LOS) by level of care (LOC) are two of the most important hospice patient metrics. These data points are key indicators of your budgetary expectations and help you understand several important details about your patient population including:
- Which types of services do you most commonly provide?
- Are you getting hospice referrals from providers too late or too early?
- Where are your patients on their hospice journey?
- Are new referrals coming in at a consistent rate?
Census, Visits & Days
Average daily census is a standard measure in the home-based care industry, but further detail is needed to truly understand census for a hospice agency. Your agency’s distinct year-to-date census is also an important data point for CMS and Medicare reporting. In addition, you may want to view your census numbers categorized by level of care, payor or branch location.
Your average number of visits per patient is an essential measure of your quality of care and is worth breaking down by discipline to ensure you are providing the right frequency for each type of care.
Tracking the days of care you are providing helps you estimate how much you can expect to bill for the month and avoid surprises when it is time to submit for Medicare reimbursement.
Admits & Discharges
Your admit and discharge numbers complete your hospice patient snapshot when combined with metrics like census and length of stay. Tracking admits and discharges will also help you gauge if you have gaps in care that are leading to an abnormal number of live discharges or if a referring provider needs more education on qualifications for the hospice service.
Tracking your key budget metrics is just as important as patient data. Make sure you have clear analytics for:
- Revenue per day
- Cost per day
- Gross margin
Each of these metrics is essential to understanding whether you are hitting your budgeting goals and the factors that are leading to your results. Make sure you are able to drill down into details within your analytics. For example, you want to ensure that your revenue per day is taking CMS reimbursements for LOC and the wage index into account. It is also important to be able to view your gross margin data broken down by LOC, since costs and reimbursement are drastically different depending on the level of care you are providing.
Compare Your Data
Finally, make sure your analytics are set up so you can easily compare key metrics across branches and regions. How do your branches ALOS, ADC or revenue compare with one another? Are all of your branches meeting their budget goals? Catching differences early protects your bottom line and ensures that all of your branches are providing the same exceptional care.
How to Gather, Display and Share Hospice Analytics
Manually gathering and reporting these data points is a huge and time-consuming undertaking. Even more frustrating, by the time the data is pulled, the information is often stale. Instead, tap into a data analytics solution that integrates directly with your EMR to pull the information for you. A good analytics solution:
- Updates at least daily
- Is customizable to your agency’s needs
- Integrates directly with your EMR/EHR
- Allows you to share information with the appropriate internal teams
For example, HCHB Analytics (powered by Tableau) integrates directly with Homecare Homebase to pull all of the information we have covered in this article and much more. The data updates automatically and can be optimized by role so decision makers can access the analytics they need at all times.
The importance of data for your agency will increase as the hospice industry moves closer to working in value-based payment environments. It is time to find a hospice analytics solution that works for your agency. With Homecare Homebase and HCHB Analytics you will be able to create your hospice agency summary and:
- Assess your care with quality measurements
- Plan ahead for PEPPER reporting
- Review a weekly agency audit report (WAAR)
- Evaluate future regulatory changes with an impact model
- Leverage data for business development