Diversify Home Health, Home Care And Hospice Services To Secure Your Agency’s Financial Future

Have you ever heard the advice to not put all your eggs in one basket? Well the advice is good, especially if you are a Home Health, Home Care or Hospice agency. “Putting all your eggs in one basket” in the Home Health, Home Care or Hospice industry means having only one line of business. In today’s environment, one line of business is a dangerous path to walk. Already we have seen repeated cuts to the Home Health reimbursement formula, and Hospice is under scrutiny and will probably see some rather dramatic cuts in the future. Some Home Care (Private Pay) agencies are seeing a decline in both clients and hours, as well. Just as the chant “location, location, location” is cited for a business success, diversification is the same for agencies in the Home Health, Home Care and Hospice industry.

As a Home Health or Hospice agency, you may be asking how you can diversify. You already take private insurance, much of which doesn’t even cover your expenses. Where can you diversify?

Years ago, many Home Health agencies invested in private duty services. Unfortunately, many of them tried to run these agencies the same way they ran the Medicare-Certified agencies. This turned out to be a less than a financial success for them and, as a result, most of the agencies closed their Private Pay agencies or sold them. I was one of those administrators running both types of agencies. Fortunately, the corporation that owned the agency I managed understood the differences required to successfully operate these two very distinct businesses. As a result, the internal structures and systems for Private Pay were run with entirely different staff and procedures. Fortunately, the Private Pay agency was a financial success and a great partner for the Medicare business.

In today’s environment, it may be wise for Medicare agencies to look again at the Private Pay industry and invest in another line of business that will not be subject to the changes of CMS. This holds true for both Medicare Home Health and the Hospice agencies. The opportunities in a Private Pay agency are endless. The services offered are as open and vast as the community served will support. By using the lessons learned from the previous attempts to diversify into Private Pay, the new line of business makes the difference between surviving and thriving.

For Private Pay (Home Care) agencies, diversification is just as important. By having only one or two lines of business, you will very likely have some down times with loss of revenues. Diversification of services helps to diminish the effects of the decline on your personal care or live-in services. There are so many opportunities in the Private Pay arena, it really is a matter of finding out what your marketplace will support and then developing it in such a manner that your customers will see value and buy.

Over the years I have seen some very creative and innovative Private Pay agency owners create truly unique services that were well received by their communities. One agency had a very viable service line in cruise companions. They had a high end senior population that were used to cruises, but because of declines in health and abilities, many of the seniors could no longer travel. The agency developed a contract with a major cruise line where they provided the personal care workers or aides that accompanied the senior on the cruise. The client paid for all the related cruise expenses as well as the daily live-in rate for the aide. Reportedly a great time was had by all.

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Consider Vacationing On The Emerald Coast

If you have never heard of Destin, Florida, or Florida’s Emerald Coast, you might want to start researching. This beautiful location is a popular vacation destination for good reason. The blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico meet miles of white sandy beaches and fun for all ages abounds. Look for Destin, Florida, vacation rentals if you want to make your next vacation once worth remembering. Perfect for the outdoor sports lover and for the spa goer, the Emerald Coast will likely please everyone in your party, although you may have to work on fitting in all the activities you would like to do during your vacation time.

Play All Day

With so much to do in and around Destin, you can literally play all day. You could spend all day just on the beach outside your condo or hotel room. The kids will love building sandcastles, searching for seashells, and playing in the warm waters of the gulf. Make a lunch in your condo kitchen and bring it down for a picnic at the beach. Older children and adults might enjoy kayaking down the coast, paddle boarding, or boogie boarding in the waves. Throw on some snorkeling goggles and see what you can find just off your beach. If you really want to see some great underwater life, book a snorkeling tour that will take you further out to some of the reefs where you will find a greater variety of ocean life. Riding jet skis, sailing, or going deep sea fishing are other popular ocean activities. If you want to enjoy some activities on land, rent beach cruisers and explore the beach side towns and boardwalks. Break out your golf clubs and enjoy the beautiful views and expansive greens of some of the best golf courses in Florida.

Get Wild

Get out and view some of the coastal wildlife. See who you are sharing this beautiful area with and learn something along the way. The Emerald Coast is rich with diverse bird and marine life. In fact, this area is home to giant sea turtles–an endangered species that needs our continued efforts to survive. You may get a chance to see mother sea turtles nesting or baby sea turtles making their way back to the ocean from their sandy nests on shore. Do your part to be sure that nesting mothers can find a safe place and that the baby turtles can make it to the ocean. Artificial lighting from buildings and flashlights can disorient the turtles and make nesting difficult, so if you are there during nesting season, keep the lights low out on the beach. Also, be sure to fill in the holes and sand castles that the kids have made during the day when you leave the beach and take everything with you, including all your garbage and playthings. You may catch a glimpse of the turtles foraging off the coast during the day. You might also see dolphins playing.

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How To Relax On Your Vacation

If you are looking for a place to visit that is relaxing, fun, and beautiful, Destin beach rentals may be something you look into for a relaxing getaway by yourself. You can find the perfect rental that fits your budget and your tastes any time of year.

Rest and Relax
Relaxing on a vacation by yourself may be something new to you and something you need some help with. If you work long hours and are used to getting up at the crack of dawn, even on the weekend, it’s time to unwind and set yourself up for some peaceful hours ahead. First, choose a relaxing way to get to your destination. If you hate flying and it stresses you out, you may want to take a train or rent a car with a driver, if your destination isn’t very far. If you must fly, there are ways to settle down before your plane safely lands on the ground. While you are traveling, take items along that will help set the mood for relaxation. Some soft music will help you to rest and to loosen some of your tension. It may even help you to nap or doze off while you are traveling. Magazines or a good book can also get you in the mood. Make sure you aren’t reading anything that is suspenseful or dramatic. You don’t want to think about a killer or who’s next on a hit man’s list. Writing in a journal can also be a great way to eject some of your tensions on paper. You could also take a long a computer to watch a movie that will help you to feel calm and to unwind. Choose a vacation rental that suits your needs. Traveling alone can mean that you don’t want to hear loud noises or sleep in a room next to a crying baby. Some rentals have requirements for their guests, and this will ensure that you rent a place that is perfect for your needs.

Have Some Fun
Now that you have arrived, you can decide exactly what you want to do and when. If this means sleeping in until the afternoon, by all means do it. It may take some getting used to, especially if you wake up at a scheduled time most days. Staying up later at night will help you sleep in longer. If you want to do absolutely nothing during the day, you can spend your time lounging around a pool or a beach. Watching the sights from a lounge chair is not only breathtaking, but soothing and comforting. If you are due for some spa services, pamper yourself with a massage or facial. Most spa treatments will help you to unwind and will relieve much stress in your body and your mind. Dine in or out, depending on your mood and your tastes. This is your trip and you can eat whatever you desire. If you are at a destination that has some history or background to it, try doing a little exploring and visiting some of the sights that are recommended by the locals. Sightseeing can be tranquil and fun if you do it yourself and not in a large crowded group. Take advantage of everything in sight since this is your trip of a lifetime.

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Questions To Ask When Looking For An Apartment

Finding a truly great apartment is no easy task. This is especially true now that there are more renters than ever and the market is flooded with applications. That is why it is important to snatch up a great apartment when you see one. But how will you know you are getting both a great value and a great apartment? The following article may be able to help you out, as it outlines a few questions to ask when you are looking at apartments in Destin, FL.

Questions to Ask when Looking for an Apartment

There are many things to consider when you are looking for potential apartments, and besides your own personal preferences, you need to make sure that you are signing a lease on an apartment that is reasonably priced for the neighborhood and that the place has all the amenities that you need. Here are a few questions you should ask when you are looking for prospective apartments:

• Can you afford the security deposit, and what will the deposit be used for? Nearly all landlords ask for a security deposit. This is to protect that landlord in the event that a tenant cannot pay rent or causes damage to the property. Typically you can expect to pay at least 1 month’s rent for your security deposit, but you will definitely want to nail down this amount before you consider signing a lease. In addition, what will the landlord use the deposit for? It is okay to ask this question, and the landlord should have a ready answer.

• Does the landlord allow pets? Some areas and properties are more accepting of pets than others, but you definitely want to find out this policy ahead of time. Generally, it is a bad idea to own a pet when renting, as the landlord will probably ask for a double deposit, and you can expect to lose much of this deposit when you move out due to extra cleaning costs.

• Is parking available? Parking can become a major issue when renting, especially in a metropolitan area. Ask the landlord how available parking is, and if you get your own assigned stall. Oftentimes, you will have to pay extra for this luxury.

• What security features are in place? Security and safety is always an issue, and this is especially true for renters. Ask the landlord what security features are in place to keep residents safe. Check that the parking lot and walkways are well lit. You also want to make sure there are no places where intruders could easily hide around the building.

• How often can you expect rent rates to change? Most landlords revisit rent rates every 1-2 years. While a landlord does not have to inform you of a change in lease price until a few months before your lease is up, many landlords are willing to discuss this ahead of time.

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