Why Strategic Planning is Critical in the Success of Home Health Care Agencies

Strategic planning is fundamental to the continued success of an organization and its future growth. This goes for the home health care industry and its providers, particularly in light of recent developments such as reimbursement model shifts and overall changes in the care delivery system.

Strategic planning focuses on a business’s mid- to long-term goals and outlines the basic strategies for achieving them. It involves stepping back from the day-to-day operation and asking where the business is headed and what its priorities should be. For example, for a home health care agency it could mean expanding its services geographically to meet the increased demand of individuals looking to be cared for at home in lieu of an assisted living facility or nursing home. 

In making the decision to actively grow the business, it also means embracing the risks that come with growth. Spending time on identifying exactly where one wants to take the business –  and how it will get there – should help mitigate and manage those risks, including which insurance products should be included to address and transfer specific exposures. 

The basic elements of the strategic planning process involve the following:

  • Where is the business today? This includes understanding as much about the business as possible – how it operates internally, what drives its profitability, and how it compares with competitors. 
  • Conducting a SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).
  • Where does the business want to go? Here, management will establish top-level objectives, defining the business’s, mission, vision, values, techniques and goals. Where do you see the business in five or ten years? What, if any, changes in the market will either help or impede this goal? For example, does the home health care provider have enough cash flow to drive its goals? How will changes in the home health care industry impact a provider, such as the new payment model set to take effect in 2020? The proposed payment model by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is designed to enable home health care providers to spend more time on delivering care and less on administrative duties. This in theory should be a good thing and allow providers to expand their services. 
  • Another change that could impact a home health care providers goals is the way in which health care services are and will be delivered with the advent of advanced technology such as telehealth, Artificial Intelligence (AI), sensors and wearables, remote monitoring tools, and big data, among others. This new technology and delivery system needs to be a part of a provider’s strategic thinking when it comes to developing a plan. 
  • What does the business need to do to get where it wants to go?  What changes will the business need to make in order to deliver on its strategic objectives? For example, will a provider need to hire employees with advanced skillsets or retrain employees to leverage new technology in delivering its services? What is the best way of implementing those changes – what changes to the structure and financing of the business will be required and what goals and deadlines will need to be set? 

In establishing a roadmap for the future, home health care agencies should contemplate how industry changes will impact their goals and anticipate any new risks that may arise with their plans. With a sound insurance program in place, they can help mitigate these risks. 

About Manchester Specialty

Manchester Specialty provides a total business insurance solution for home health care providers. We can help you provide the following insurance lines to your clients: General Liability, Professional Liability, Workers’ Compensation, Management Liability, Cyber Liability and Non-Owned & Hired Auto insurance, among other key coverages. For more information about how we can help you protect your insureds, please contact us at 855.972.9399.