#5: 49% of agencies plan to continue nontraditional visit formats after COVID-19 is over.
While it’s easy to overlook if you saw it in context of the entire Impact Report, this might be the most important number to come out of the report.
Nearly half of agencies we surveyed are interested in continuing visit formats and services they began to explore during COVID, which might include things like virtual visits, grocery drop-off only visits, and doorstep visits.
Before we get too excited, some of this might reflect cases in which agency owners plan to continue nontraditional visits in the event that COVID-19 is never fully eradicated as a threat, or at least remains a danger to seniors for a long time after it stops affecting most of society on a day-to-day basis.
However, we’ve talked to enough agency owners who plan to keep sweeping changes introduced during COVID to know that some of these responses are agency owners embracing new angles to their business model rather than simply continuing precautions for the foreseeable future.
Any changes to an established model take time and experimentation to get right, of course. But in an industry that has struggled with many of the same problems for years—low margins being a root cause of many of them—new visit formats and innovative approaches to services could be a game-changer.
It’s also possible that COVID-19 has changed public preferences and consumer habits in ways that turn previously unprofitable ideas into viable concepts.
We’ll continue to update you on this trend as it unfolds, but we’re hopeful that home care is turning a corner—not just on COVID-19, but in ways that will continue and accelerate its integration with the entire care continuum.