The Future of Home Health Operations is Fueled by Artificial Intelligence
One of the greatest benefits of running any business in today’s world is the ability to employ technology to simplify operations. For home health agencies, the benefits often come in surprising areas such as documentation, telehealth, and referral source management.
But one of the most intriguing technological advances for HHAs of all sizes is the use of artificial intelligence (AI).
AI may still seem to be solidly in the world of science fiction, but this technology drives many of the tools we use in our everyday lives, including Google Maps’ real-time directions, voice-to-text functionality, face recognition in photos, and asking Alexa to deliver the news.
In healthcare, AI is utilized for jobs that are just as diverse, and the list will only continue to grow.
How Home Health Now Leverages AI
- Care plan assistance: AI can provide predictions of how patients will respond to care based on history and comprehensive data sets. This software can take massive amounts of information and distill it into something that is useful for a clinician making decisions and interpretations for the benefit of the patient.
- Telehealth: The latest monitoring equipment uses AI to sift through large amounts of data to quickly identify potential health problems.
- Patient compliance: One of the biggest reasons for poor outcomes is lack of patient medication compliance. Some providers are using AI to confirm patient identity and medication, monitor ingestion, and send reminders.
- Data management and transcription: AI can be used as a kind of virtual assistant to help clinicians enter and track patient visit data, easing the pressure on their time and enhancing the accuracy of the information.
- Referral source management: Targeting the most profitable referral sources is now much easier using AI-powered applications that merge referral activities with business and market data to inform future HHA referral actions.
AI Advancements in Home Health Documentation and Coding
While all the above uses are exciting, one of the areas with largest positive implications for HHAs is in the area of documentation and coding.
Home health coding is a field that requires intense specialty and precision – the profitability of an HHA depends on it. That’s why AI is such a natural fit for enhancing this vital job.
New AI-enhanced software analyzes clinical documentation, identifies supportive deficiencies and applies appropriate codes for patient records. Doing so cuts down on inappropriate claims, missed opportunities for reimbursement, and delayed payments. It also simplifies coding workflows and eliminates duplication of efforts on the part of the coder. When the technology and the professional coder work in tandem, the result is a complete and accurate patient record that enhances agency efficiency and business performance.
An additional foundational piece of this AI-enhanced puzzle is software that eases the time requirements for review of the overall patient documentation. By using AI-equipped software with natural language processing (NLP), the technology can read, extract, and interpret important health information in unstructured text such as physician notes and clinical descriptions.
When advanced tools are embraced by forward-thinking home health agencies, they see marked improvement in outcomes, processes and reimbursements. It’s an exciting time to be in home health and watch as technology continues revolutionizing the way the industry operates to improve efficiency, revenue, and overall patient care.