5 Home Health Trends to Watch for in 2022

The home health industry is currently experiencing an unprecedented number of challenges and opportunities all at once, driven partly by the pandemic and partly by a combination of other forces, such as a shift away from volume-based reimbursement, higher acuity care moving to the home, and rising costs. In this article, we’ll dive into five of the trends we anticipate will be most important this year for home health, including strategies for succeeding in the midst of these changes.

Trend: Staffing Shortages

Many home health agencies are facing the long-term effects of the pandemic in the form of staffing shortages, which are largely resulting from a combination of staff burnout and more care shifting to the home. Currently, 59 percent of agencies say that the staffing crisis is still their biggest challenge, with employee turnover as high as 65.2 percent.1 Agencies are looking for ways to improve time to productivity, retain the staff they have, and leverage technology to do more with less.

Strategies for Success

Trend: Higher Acuity Care in the Home

As hospital leaders continue to adjust care delivery models to provide the right care at the right time across their patient population, many are looking toward the hospital-at-home model as a promising approach. By partnering with home health agencies, hospitals can share risk while improving patient satisfaction and reducing costs. Preparing to treat higher acuity patients can help your agency take advantage of this opportunity, reduce rehospitalizations, and improve the quality of care you provide.

Strategies for Success

Focus on upskilling staff. Nearly half of all home health patients have five or more chronic conditions. Ensure that your staff is thoroughly trained on chronic condition management and can help their patients learn how to better self-manage any chronic conditions. In addition, train your staff on providing higher acuity care so that they can treat patients who are experiencing an exacerbation of a chronic illness such as heart failure, COPD, or pneumonia, or who need higher acuity care for a condition such as sepsis or cellulitis that requires an IV to help stabilize.

Adopt technology that allows for patient monitoring as well as an interface between the patient’s home, the hospital record, the physician’s orders, and service providers who can quickly respond. This might include integrated data solutions, clinical-decision support tools, and patient monitoring devices.

Trend: Value-Based Purchasing

With the upcoming launch by CMS of the expanded Home Health Value-Based Care (HHVBC) Model on January 1, 2023, home health agencies are facing increased pressure to move toward value-based care.

A shift away from volume-based reimbursement, HHVBC provides financial incentives to home health agencies for improvements in quality of care to reward agencies with higher achieved or improved quality scores and reduce payments to agencies with lower performance scores.

Strategies for Success

Create a QAPI plan for your agency. Designing and following a good QAPI program allows agencies to improve quality and performance overall, and results in a wide range of benefits such as improved patient care and outcomes, enhanced quality and efficiency of care, better staff satisfaction, and reduced costs.

Boost OASIS accuracy. OASIS errors can inadvertently leave your agency without credit for having improved patient outcomes and without accurate benchmarks for measuring your organization’s quality. Improving OASIS accuracy can significantly impact your agency’s quality scores and reimbursement.

Focus on patient satisfaction. To measure patient satisfaction at a particular agency, payers look at results from the HHCAHPS survey, including NPS® scores. Improve metrics with tools to track satisfaction and remediate areas of low performance, train staff on person-centered care, and educate patients on how to better manage their own conditions.

Improve patient management to reduce readmissions. By providing low-cost touch points such as home exercise programs, patient education, and virtual visits, you can better engage your patients and improve their ability to manage their own conditions while reducing the need for in-person visits.

Trend: OASIS Changes

The OASIS assessment undergoes periodic revisions to reduce collection time and enhance validity—and a new revision is just around the corner, with OASIS-E set for January 1, 2023, in order to align with the start of the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Model.

With reimbursement and outcomes directly tied to the OASIS tool, it’s essential that your providers are up to date on the most current version of OASIS and are collecting data in a way that accurately reflects patient status and progress.

Strategies for Success

Keep staff up to date on OASIS-D. Ensure that your new hires have a strong foundation in accurate OASIS data collection, while regularly refreshing your staff’s knowledge with effective training and management tools.

Prepare and train your team for OASIS-E. This update is arguably one of the biggest industry changes in recent years, and will include a number of new items such as social determinants of health and increased behavioral assessments. With the deadline less than a year away, your agency should begin preparing now, if you haven’t already.

Trend: Rising Costs and the Need to Do More with Less

The cost of home health care increased in 2021 more than it did in any other long-term care setting, according to Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey.2 While demand is growing nationwide for home health care services, staffing shortages are resulting in higher wages and operating costs. For agencies, that means that it’s even more important to be able to do more with less.

Strategies for Success

Adopt digital technology that allows your agency to improve patient engagement, patient management, and quality of care while keeping costs down.

Standardize pathways of care with templated programs in key areas such as fall prevention, chronic conditions, and wound care.

Use patient education and virtual visits or telephone visits to progress programs and focus on education, while using in-person visits for hands-on treatment. This visit mix provides the right level of care for patients.


Large-scale changes across the home health industry mean that agencies must continue to stay agile and forward-thinking in order to adapt, succeed, and ultimately thrive. While accomplishing this is no small feat, there’s good news too. By applying a strategic combination of patient management, quality improvement, and staff retention tools, agencies have the opportunity to perform better than ever by improving quality of care while lowering costs and increasing revenue.

How MedBridge Helps

By combining provider and patient education on a comprehensive engagement platform, the MedBridge Home Health Care Solution helps agencies holistically solve their largest challenges, including staff retention and onboarding, quality improvement, and patient engagement.

Agencies using our solution have reduced time to productivity for new hires, boosted staff retention, enhanced OASIS accuracy, lowered readmissions, improved patient engagement and satisfaction, and much more.

1. Home Care Association of America, Caregiver Turnover Rate is 65.2% According to 2021 Home Care Benchmarking Study

2. Genworth Financial, 2021 Cost of Care Survey