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How To Prepare for the Rapid Expansion of Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS)

Published on June 13, 2023 by Sharon Morrisette

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Home- and community-based services (HCBS) generally fall into two categories: health services (including skilled nursing care, occupational therapy, and hospice care) and social services (including personal care, transportation, home modifications, and homemaker services). A combination of both types of long-term care services may also be offered, as appropriate to the developing needs of each client/patient.

HCBS are designed to support the people who receive them – including seniors and those with disabilities – so they can continue living with as much independence as possible either at home or in assisted living communities, and are a cost-effective alternative to full-time residential care.

Unfortunately, HCBS have been extremely underfunded for many years now and are still not accessible to everyone who would benefit from them.

However, there is hope on the horizon. 

President Biden’s administration recently announced a pledge of $150 billion to Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS). This funding likely comes as a response to the last several years and how we have changed the way we think about caring for our most vulnerable. Biden’s pledge reinforces the vital importance of home- and community-based care in our society and the need for an expansion in the services available. 

The 10-year fiscal plan – earmarked to meet the burgeoning needs of the aging population – will help to ensure more people can access the care they require in order to age safely in place. It also presents significant opportunities for senior living, CCRCs, and assisted living communities to expand their services for home and personal care.

Other highlights of the funding plans include: 

  • Making care more affordable for American families.
  • Boosting compensation.
  • Enhancing job quality for long-term care workers.
  • Supporting family caregivers.
  • Improving access to home-based care for veterans.
  • Engaging affected communities.

As a result, it looks highly likely that home- and community-based care services will see rapid expansion over the coming years – and providers need to be ready to seize the opportunities available. 

To maintain profitability and high-quality client care – while successfully growing your home care business – it’s essential to recognize any potential barriers you may face and start putting plans into place to overcome them. 

Below we look at some of the potential obstacles to the successful growth of your home care business and how you can easily surmount them.

Finding and retaining caregivers

Two major staffing issues across the home care sector continue to be staffing shortages and staff turnover. As your client base increases, so does the need for competent staff. Therefore, it’s advisable to tackle staffing shortages and retention head-on, strategizing on attracting, hiring, and retaining top caregiver talent.

After all, the quality of home care services you provide hinges on the skill and dedication of your caregiver team. Consequently, you must ensure you have enough staff (and keep hold of them) to meet growing demand.

Managing and coordinating caregivers

scheduler image at work

The inevitable need for an increase in staff members presents its own set of challenges, specifically concerning management and coordination. Efficiently scheduling and supervising a larger caregiver team can become a significant obstacle without the right processes in place.

Striking a balance is crucial to ensure caregivers aren’t overwhelmed with logistical concerns, but instead, can concentrate on their primary duty of providing exceptional client care. Larger teams often require advanced management systems to mitigate these problems.

Maintaining transparent channels of communication 

Clear, high-quality communication is the backbone of any scalable operation, especially concerning home care businesses. Unhindered dialogue must occur across the whole care triangle: caregivers, clients, and management, to keep everyone engaged, connected, and informed. Ensuring you have transparent channels of communication in place is crucial to avoid misunderstandings, ensure smooth operations, and maintain high client and caregiver satisfaction.

Sustaining client satisfaction and retention

Client satisfaction is immensely important within the home care industry, and many companies regularly conduct their own surveys. As your organization grows, it’s essential to keep abreast of customer relations. If you lack the tools or resources to keep up with the rapid expansion of your client base, your service standards and brand reputation may suffer. Maintaining and enhancing client and family engagement and satisfaction will be pivotal – not only to retain your existing customers but also to attract new ones.

Financial management

With growth comes more financial responsibility. This includes comprehensive planning, payroll management, billing processes, and regulatory compliance. You’ll need to contend with rising operational costs, timely and accurate invoicing, and securing sufficient funding for growth. A robust financial system will be instrumental in allowing you to navigate the complexities of a larger business.

Administrative load

officemates looking at a computer screen

As the volume of clients and caregivers under your purview grows, so does the administrative workload. This may require the addition of administrative personnel or the creation of innovative strategies to help you efficiently organize operations with your existing admin team.

Ultimately, it’s crucial to ensure all the moving parts in your organization, from scheduling and communication to billing and payroll, are scalable and will function smoothly as your company grows.

Data management and business decisions

With business expansion comes an exponential increase in data – from client details and staff records to care service provision and outcome metrics. Without effective tools in place, making data-driven business decisions can be a Herculean task. Therefore, providers must establish robust systems, not just to gather, but also to analyze and interpret these crucial data points. Effective use of this information can help identify trends, monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), and guide strategic decision-making.


Adherence to industry standards and regulations is a vital aspect of any home care business – regardless of the company’s size. However, as your organization expands, the management and compliance with these standards become increasingly complex.

You’ll need to ensure all processes, procedures, and services remain within the parameters of applicable laws and industry regulations. Establishing a comprehensive compliance program can help navigate this maze, preventing potential violations that could lead to penalties or damage your company’s reputation.

Harnessing technology solutions for seamless expansion

There’s no doubt technology will play a pivotal role in supporting the successful expansion of home- and community-based services. With the right tools and technologies at your disposal, your home care business can create a solid foundation for scaling operations as and when needed. 

Smartcare Software is the industry’s answer for streamlining operations, supporting scalability, and helping maintain high client and caregiver satisfaction. With Smartcare, you can expect:

Recruitment and hiring tools

Young man looking at a computer (1)

Addressing staffing shortages requires efficient recruitment and hiring processes – and Smartcare’s ENGAGE Hiring Hub provides the solution. The integrated Applicant Tracking System (ATS) allows you to streamline your hiring process, efficiently manage applicants, and improve your hiring decisions.

Using this sophisticated platform, you’re better able to attract quality talent, keep them engaged throughout each step, track their journey, and simplify the onboarding process. As an all-in-one solution, Smartcare’s Recruitment and Hiring Tools can dramatically increase your staffing efficiency.

Caregiver management tools

Effective caregiver management is crucial to meet the growing demand for senior care services. Smartcare provides comprehensive scheduling tools, enabling you to efficiently assign caregivers based on clients’ specific needs and caregiver skills. You can also manage last-minute changes, reducing disruptions to your services and maintaining consistency in client care. Your caregivers will also thank you for the consistent scheduling tools, leading to higher retention rates.

Retention tools

Caregiver retention continues to be one of the primary challenges facing home care organizations. By utilizing its suite of retention tools, Smartcare will help you keep the talent you worked so hard to attractproviding a positive experience for caregivers by offering enhanced client-caregiver matching, transparent communication, flexible scheduling, and superior performance tracking.

In addition, Smartcare’s Caregiver Rewards system leverages gamification principles that make it easy to keep your growing team of caregivers connected, engaged and motivated – ultimately improving retention rates. 

Advanced communication tools

close up photo of a female hand using a mobile phone

Effective communication between your agency, caregivers, clients, and their families is essential for successful home care delivery and outcomes. Smartcare provides a mobile app, including a client and family portal, that enables real-time, secure, and HIPAA-compliant communication between all parties. This seamless communication system enhances engagement and ensures everyone is kept fully informed and up-to-date – vastly improving the caregiver experience, care-team coordination, and your client and family satisfaction.

Automation technology

In an ever-evolving home care landscape, automation is becoming essential for providers. It not only streamlines many operations but also improves efficiency and accuracy. What’s more, automation can be especially useful for navigating the complexities of growth and expansion. Among other applications, Smartcare’s cutting-edge automation tools cover processes like billing and payroll, expediting financial management while reducing errors and administrative workload.

Business intelligence tools

Keeping track of everything as your home care business grows can be challenging – not so with Smartcare. Its robust business intelligence tools grant a bird’s eye view of your entire operation. The KPI dashboard provides real-time data, enabling you to make informed, data-driven decisions that align with your business goals. Using these tools, you can plan your strategy, improve operations through key analytics, manage finances, and stay on top of your business.

Point-of-care mobile app

Happy caregivers from Smartcare's Caregiver Rewards

Designed with intuitive functionality, Smartcare’s mobile app is ideal for your entire team, giving them access to the software via an easy-to-use interface – anytime, anywhere. For example, caregivers can view all the details they need to deliver care efficiently and effectively, including access to schedules and care plans. They can also log services at the point of care, reducing administrative burdens by 64% and mitigating the errors associated with manual data entry. 

It also provides real-time updates, facilitating efficient scheduling and improved coordination among a growing team of caregivers and expanding client base. For the business end, the app aids in monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), which can inform strategic decision-making and ensure regulatory compliance. 

Smartcare: laying the foundation for successful growth 

The expansion of HCBS services under Biden’s administration promises enormous opportunities for home care providers. However, rather than simply coasting through the growth, you have the chance to leverage the expansion to its full potential. Technology like Smartcare Software can help you seize the moment, laying a solid foundation from which you can scale easily and effectively. 

While certain systems can address some aspects of expansion, few are as comprehensive and sustainable as Smartcare. By integrating recruitment, caregiver management, communication, admin, and business intelligence tools into a single platform, Smartcare greatly simplifies home- and community-based services. 

Ultimately, this sophisticated software not only aids in dealing with growth, but also helps you stay ahead in a highly competitive market. Whether it’s reducing administrative burdens, streamlining operations, increasing retention, or improving care quality, Smartcare enables you to focus on what’s most important – delivering exceptional care to your clients.

If you’d like to see how easy it is to use our software tools to streamline operations and start growing your business successfully, please call our experienced team today or request a free demo.