At Ally, we’ve studied the registry space like a science over the last year and compiled our best predictions and trends for 2024.
Home care isn’t as affordable — compared to assisted living.
The historical benefit of home care was that it was cheaper than assisted living. Now, that’s not the case. In 2024, caregiver registries can cling to this trend as an attractive alternative to moving to a senior living community.
The difference in costs between assisted living and home care is $500 a month is big, especially when just under half of Americans have less than $1,000 in emergency funds. Caregiver registries have an opportunity to grow market share in 2024, and sharing this message will be critical to your success.
We have to nail down what makes a caregiver registry the ideal option for families. Here are a few best practices:
- Clarify the vetting process. Explain the process a caregiver goes through to receive work through your registry.
- Emphasize the benefits of selecting a home care registry. Clients and families are in control of the hiring, firing, scheduling, and communication terms.
- Highlight the transparency. Many families dislike traditional home care work because of the small portion of the billing rate that goes to the caregiver. With a registry, caregivers are paid directly by the client.
Did you know that there’s been more than $2.5 billion poured into senior care from VC firms in the last few years? It comes at a great time as client growth and caregiver recruiting challenges call for fresh faces to lead the charge.
Beyond caregiver registries, virtual caregiver marketplaces are emerging as well. Expanding out to different service and business lines is also growing in popularity.
I can’t stress this enough: With more people needing care, we need more providers. They also echo how it’s never been a better time to look into business ownership in home care.
The original goal of EVV [Electronic Visit Verification] was to prevent and manage fraud, waste and abuse. In the grand scheme of things, it’s only one part of the home care technology equation.
We can only move forward as an industry when we can befriend (I won’t push it too far) technology. Your time is best spent building relationships, not fumbling around finding reports or manually entering data.
Clinical and health data must be found in the same place where the demographic and other information are kept. They shouldn’t be siloed or hard to find. We (Ally) are spearheading this progress for home care registries, wanting to create a robust one-stop shop that keeps the DOL at bay.
As of the first of the year, Medicare has expanded access to mental healthcare services. There are also a lot of companies and start-ups seeing the industry’s promise. That being said, they will become a new staple in your marketing/referral partner rotation.
Telehealth and in-person mental healthcare services won’t be sufficient to meet the needs of older adults, particularly for those who want to age in place. This creates a large opportunity to share the gospel of what we do, in this case: creating moments of happiness, quality of life, satisfaction, a sense of purpose, etc. If you want to differentiate in 2024, look no further than mental healthcare.
Better yet, start training your caregivers on common mental health concerns for older adults like:
- Grief and loss
- PTSD (may be more prevalent for veterans)
Beyond these few, we’re no strangers to the statistics by now on loneliness and isolation in seniors.
No, we’re not on the hook for these measures yet, but we should think about the value in care for families and other stakeholders — regardless of who’s paying for it. And knowing the consistent shifts in the regulatory environment, we have to get ahead of this trend before it becomes a mandate on a fixed timeline.
I am optimistic about where the industry’s headed and don’t need to be convinced of the value that these services hold. But many don’t know about caregiver registries or what non-medical means. Demonstrating value also doesn’t have to be a grandiose gesture, it could mean:
- Encourage clients or their family members to leave a review.
- Highlight the features your registry management system offers like a family room to facilitate hands-off but secure communications.
- Get involved in your community from education to politics, and everything in between.
Taking these steps today will make you better equipped and prepared if the day comes when registries have VBC payment models.
What do you think is in store for 2024?
Julio Barea is vice president of sale for AllyMS.