Monday, August 6, 2012

Caring For Aging Parents With Compassion

Here are answers to your questions about home health care:

What is home health care?

These services offer a wide range of elder care solutions, from helping Mom change her post-surgery dressing to cooking a light lunch for Grandpa. Sometimes called custodial care, this option is ideal for seniors who require occasional help. Home health caregivers will ensure your loved one maintains as much independence as possible.

In addition to help with day-to-day tasks, some health care companies offer skilled nursing services. These medical professionals, often registered nurses, will, among other things, change surgical dressings, administer IVs, insert and replace catheters, and administer prescription drugs. These programs also may also offer physical therapists to do at-home rehabilitation.

If Mom or Dad is nearing the end of life, consider hiring a company that is experienced in caring for aging parents who need hospice services.

Is home health care expensive?

For custodial care services needed for caring for aging parents, the cost can be quite reasonable-especially if your loved one only needs help occasionally. However, the services can be costlier for those who need more skilled care.

While the cost of health care will play an important role in your elder care solution decision, remember that nursing homes cost about $70,000 a year and assisted living facilities cost about $36,000 yearly. That makes home health care a smart investment for many families caring for aging parents.

Be sure to find out if the company you're using for your elder care solution offers prepackaged services for one price or if the rates are charged hourly or per day. Always understand the terms before you or your loved one sign any contract, and make sure you understand how you'll be billed.

If you're caring for aging parents, it's always a smart idea to check with their health care provider to find out if home care services are covered.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Alternative Financing Options

Specifically, Credit Unions, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Micro Lenders and Accounts Receivable Factoring Firms all said YES to the majority of their small business financing applications while most larger banks repeatedly said NO.

Although a home healthcare agency owner could be approved for financing by any of the alternative lenders listed above, the best alternative financing option for them is to work with a home healthcare factor, and here's why:

1. Home Health Care Factoring Creates Positive Cash Flow

Some Medicaid waiver programs can take up to a month to reimburse an agency for its pre-approved non-medical in-home services. This lag in payments makes it difficult for new or growing agencies to be able to meet payroll and other financial obligations. However, when agency owners sell their Medicaid receivables to a home care funding firm, funds can be directly deposited into their bank account within hours. Instead of waiting weeks or months, factoring your home care business gives business owners immediate access to cash.

2. Home Health Care Factoring Helps Eliminate Overhead

In addition to providing capital, home health care factors provide invoice processing services, which include the following: posting invoices to a computer, depositing checks, entering payments, following-up on past-due invoices and producing consistent reports. Agency owners can greatly reduce their current overhead costs associated with processing invoices and eliminate the overhead cost of handling collections when they work with a factoring firm. Moreover, agency owners can use the time they used to spend on collections, administration, bookkeeping, talking to banks, etc. to focus on marketing, sales and other business-growing activities.

3. Factoring Medicaid Receivables Helps Home Health Care Agencies Build Credit

As was previously discussed, home health care factoring provides agency owners with adequate cash flow. This new found access to capital gives agency owners the ability to pay its vendors on time, helping them to establish a good credit rating. Having good credit will make it easier for vendors and other financial institutions to extend credit to the agency in the future. In addition, factoring home health care allows agency owners to take advantage of early payment discounts. For example, some vendors will offer a two percent discount if a home health care agency owner pays its bills within ten days. This savings can then be used to offset the cost of factoring.