How to Create a Culture that Lifts Your Home Care Agency to New Heights

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Coworkers stand in a circle with hands in

by Connor Kunz, Home Care Pulse

Understanding culture will help you make your home care agency a place where great employees love to work.

We’re going to start with a thought exercise. Consider the following questions:

✔️  How often do your caregivers show up late to work?

✔️  What is the relationship between your caregivers and your office staff?

✔️  Are your employees (caregivers and office staff) prompt in communicating if there are any problems that would interfere with their work?

✔️  Do your caregivers see training meetings as compulsory time-wasters or opportunities to develop themselves?

✔️  Do you ever hear excessive amounts of complaining?

✔️  Do your caregivers consistently treat their work with professionalism?

✔️  Do they take responsibility for mistakes?

✔️  How often do your caregivers show up late to work?

✔️ How often do employees return to work for you again after working someplace else?

✔️  Do your employees look forward to coming to work in the morning?

You probably felt pretty good about your answers to a lot of these, but there were probably a few that might be concerns in your agency. If that’s the case, keep reading. The thing that all these questions have in common is that their answers are all determined largely by the culture within your agency. Let’s talk about what culture means (in an organizational sense), and how you can define and shape the culture of your agency.

So how do you find that balance? By incorporating systems and processes developed by people who understand home care and the challenges of running an agency.

employees each holding a puzzle piece

What’s in Your Garden?

Culture can be defined as the way people in your organization think, feel, and act, based on what they see each other doing. It includes the attitudes that employees learn from each other, the habits they develop (for better or for worse), the behaviors that are accepted as normal, and the priorities that are accepted as most important.

Think of your home care agency’s culture as a garden. Properly cared for, it will be a neat, well-ordered space full of plants that are nice to look at it and good to eat. Without the proper care, some useful plants may still grow, but they will be scattered and mixed with weeds and plenty of unwanted plants. Either way, plants will still grow in your garden. The question is whether you put in the time to help the right plants grow.

plant growning

Understanding and defining your organization’s culture means you don’t have to passively accept the way that people in your organization act. It means realizing that you can influence and shape the mindset and behaviors that become the norm.

Properly cultivated, a great culture will teach your employees to take great care of your clients (and each other), attract more great employees because of its reputation as a place people love working, and even help reduce your caregiver turnover.

Changing Your Home Care Agency’s Culture

There are probably things you love already about your home care agency’s culture, but you can probably think of three things right now that you want to change about it. Maybe they’re bad habits you see forming, maybe they’re ways that your staff respond to a certain kind of situation. If you want to change your agency’s culture, you need to define what it should be so that the change is intentional. Here’s some ways you can shape your culture:

  1. Take Michael Jackson’s advice and start with the man (or woman!) in the mirror. You, more than anyone, dictate what your company culture will be—so make sure you’re working the hardest of anyone to be what you want your employees to be. Seek feedback from your staff and your caregivers to understand how you—and your agency—can improve.
  2. Define your company’s core values. This should be a set of 3-5 principles that include the most important traits you want your company to have. These are your company’s DNA, and you should do everything you can to help your employees see the importance of them. Get your employees to help define them, so that they feel invested in them. Post them publicly and discuss them at trainings and meetings. If you already have core values, ask your staff’s help in revisiting them to see if any need change and in revitalizing them so that they’re of renewed importance to everyone in your agency.
  3. Rely on positive reinforcement rather than punishment wherever possible. Publicly recognize employees when they do something that exemplifies your core values. Allow your employees time in meetings to do the same for each other.
  4. Identify other culture-setters in your company and share with them your vision of what the company can be. Because your caregivers spend much less time around each other than employees would in other settings like retail or fast food, most of their learned behavior probably comes from watching your office staff and experienced caregivers like caregiver mentors who train them. Take these individuals aside, thank them for their contributions, and teach them specific ways that they can help lift the culture of the company.

Consistency is Key to Culture

The quickest way to let weeds start growing in your garden is to say one thing and do another. Ensure that you set a strong example and ensure that your rewards and punishment are consistent. If employees are acting in ways that aren’t in line with company policy, don’t let it slide. Likewise, if they’re doing great work and doing what they should, reward them! Start today and shape your culture to make it an asset to your agency.

caregiver rewards

What do you value in your home care agency’s culture?

This blog post was brought to you by Connor Kunz from Home Care Pulse. We at AxisCare love the expertise Home Care Pulse provides to home care agencies and encourage you to check out their resources!

Wyoming

Supported: YES

Wyoming has chosen to use an open vendor model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare has developed a direct integration with CareBridge, Wyoming’s EVV aggregator, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.


Illinois

Supported: YES

Illinois has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Illinois’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Minnesota

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with HHAeXchange, Minnesota’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to HHAeXchange. 

Michigan

Supported: YES

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Massachusetts

Supported: YES

Massachusetts has chosen an open model, but has not selected the aggregator.  AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.  

Maryland

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Maryland has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use ISAS to collect EVV required data.

 

Maine

Supported: YES

Maine has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Maine’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Louisiana

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with LaSRS, Louisiana’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to LaSRS. 

 

Kentucky

Supported: CONTACT US

Kentucky has chosen an open model with Tellus serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Tellus for Kentucky yet (AxisCare supports Tellus integration in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

 

Kansas

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Kansas has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use Sandata to collect EVV required data.

Iowa

Supported: YES

Iowa has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, CareBridge) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with CareBridge, Iowa’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Indiana

Supported: YES

Indiana has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Indiana’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


Idaho

Supported: YES

Idaho has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Idaho’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Missouri

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Missouri’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


Hawaii

Supported: YES

Hawaii has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Hawaii’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

 


Georgia

Supported: YES

Georgia has chosen to use an open vendor model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare has developed a direct integration with Tellus, Georgia’s EVV aggregator, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.

 

Alaska

Supported: CONTACT US

Alaska has chosen an open model with Therap serving as the aggregator.  Therap has not provided the detailed specifications yet, but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us.

Florida

Supported: YES

AxisCare currently provides direct integration with HHAeXchange and Tellus, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.

 

Delaware

Supported: Coming Soon

Payers in Delaware have selected Sandata and AxisCare is completing the necessary development. We are planning on being fully compliant soon.

 

Connecticut

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Connecticut has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.  Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use Sandata to collect EVV required data.

 


Colorado

Supported: YES

Colorado has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Colorado’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


California

Supported: YES

California has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, California’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


Arkansas

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed integrations with HHAeXchange, AuthentiCare, and CareBridge, Arkansas’ contracted aggregators, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Arizona

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Arizona’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to Sandata.

Mississippi

Supported: YES

The Mississippi Department of Medicaid has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Montana

Supported: YES

Montana has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Wisconsin

Supported: YES

Wisconsin has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Wisconsin’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Rhode Island

Supported: YES

Rhode Island has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Rhode Island’s contracted aggregator, which allows agencies to easily send required visit information.

West Virginia

Supported: CONTACT US

West Virginia has chosen an open model with HHAeXchange serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with HHAeXchange for West Virginia yet (AxisCare supports HHAeXchange integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Washington DC

Supported: CONTACT US

Washington DC has chosen an open model with Sandata serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Sandata for DC yet (AxisCare supports Sandata integration in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Washington

Supported: YES

Washington has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, ProviderOne) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with ProviderOne, Washington’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Virginia

Supported: YES

Virginia has chosen to use an open vendor model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare has developed a direct integration with Tellus, Virginia’s EVV aggregator, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.

Vermont

Supported: CONTACT US

Vermont has chosen an open model with Sandata serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Sandata for Vermont yet (AxisCare supports Sandata integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us.

Utah

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an export with UEVV, Utah’s aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information. 

Texas

Supported: CONTACT US

Texas has chosen an open model with TMHP serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with TMHP for Texas yet, but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us.

Tennessee

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Tennessee has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use Sandata, Healthstar, and Time4Care to collect EVV required data.

South Dakota

Supported: CONTACT US

South Dakota has chosen an open model with Therap serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Therap for South Dakota yet, but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

South Carolina

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

South Carolina has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use AuthentiCare to collect EVV required data.

Pennsylvania

Supported: YES

Pennsylvania has implemented an open model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also integrated with Sandata and HHAeXchange, Pennsylvania’s two EVV aggregators, which allows agencies to easily send required visit information.

Nebraska

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Tellus, Nebraska’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to send required visit information.

Oregon

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an export with eXPRS, Oregon’s aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information. 

Oklahoma

Supported: CONTACT US

Oklahoma has chosen an open model with AuthentiCare serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with AuthentiCare for Oklahoma yet (AxisCare supports AuthentiCare integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Ohio

Supported: YES

Ohio has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Ohio’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

North Dakota

Supported: CONTACT US

North Dakota has chosen an open model with Sandata serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Sandata for North Dakota yet (AxisCare supports Sandata integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

North Carolina

Supported: YES

North Carolina has implemented an open model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers and MCOs may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also integrated with Sandata, HHAeXchange, and CareBridge, North Carolina’s EVV aggregators, which allows agencies to easily send required visit information.

New York

Supported: YES

New York has implemented an open vendor model in which the state selects a single vendor while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

New York has chosen to work with three EVV aggregators: eMedNY, HHAeXchange and CareBridge.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have developed integrations eMedNY, HHAeXchange, and CareBridge which allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

New Mexico

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

New Mexico has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use AuthentiCare to collect EVV required data.

New Jersey

Supported: YES

New Jersey has implemented an open model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also integrated with HHAeXchange and CareBridge, New Jersey’s two EVV aggregators, which will allow agencies to send required visit information.

New Hampshire

Supported: YES

New Hampshire has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Nevada

Supported: CONTACT US

Nevada has chosen an open model with AuthentiCare serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with AuthentiCare for Nevada yet (AxisCare supports AuthentiCare integration in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Alabama

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with HHAeXchange, Alabama’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to HHAeXchange.