Years ago, I was at a conference where I heard a phrase I’ll never forget: “Ignorance on fire, is better than knowledge on ice.” It was a phrase meant to spark action and get individuals to go out and grow their businesses. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, at least if you’re trying, things will happen as you’re on fire. Whereas if you are spending all your time perfecting yourself so you know everything, your business is suffering and you’re on ice. But what if we could be on fire, making things happen with the full knowledge of what we are doing? The results could be transformational.
Home Care Pulse puts together the best collection of information for growing your home care business, PERIOD. They tell you exactly where to go for business, so you can grow your organization as quickly as possible. However, many of the top 10 referral sources for home care business growth needs to be qualified. Here are four ways to make sure you know exactly where to go in your territory for maximum return on investment.
Strengthen your referral strategy with our Referral Source Options List
1. Assisted Living Facility(ALF), Independent Living Facility(ILF), and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)
These are great referral sources. They do the hard part of finding qualified private paying clients, so you know everyone who lives there can afford your services beforehand. But which ones should we target? The ones that are around 90 percent occupied! Why? By partnering with a private home care company, you slow down the number of residents that are asked to leave when they are “no longer assisted living appropriate,” meaning they need care beyond what’s offered in the community. This will allow them to bring in one to two new residents (or more) per month while keeping their residents safe and out of the hospital. They want to get to 100 percent occupancy, and you are the best way to help them do so. Leverage this!
2. Home Health and Hospice
I call these two referral source types “Power Partners” as they represent two legs of the 3-legged stool necessary to keep patients home safe. (We, as private providers, are the third). With so many out there, which ones should we target? The ones that maintain a census of around 100 clients. With patient turnover, due to either hospices reaching their goal or patients passing away, the home health or hospices that do so typically admit around 500 total patients per year. It’s very realistic with that volume of patients, that 5 percent can easily be identified as being able to both afford and benefit from having additional support in the home, resulting in around 25 new client admissions each year. One of each, and you have 50 new patients. This is over half a million dollars in private pay revenue, given the average financial lifetime value of a client.
3. Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and Long-Term Acute Care (LTAC)
These are my personal two favorite referral source types. They have patients with both great need and urgency to coordinate care, yet enough time so that you can properly staff the referral. The challenge? If you were to go on to www.skillednursingfacilities.org and look up all the SNFs in your area, I can assure you that you have at least 25 in your service area. However, they are all not created equal! The key is to find the ones that have Medicare discharges. Out of 25, you may find that only four or five have the volume of discharges necessary to refer you on a regular consistent basis. The sweet spot? 40 or more discharges a month. This will be close to 500 patients a year and result in 25 plus new clients per year. So qualify the SNFs in your area, and focus on the ones with the discharges. (Here’s another hint, the most difficult ones to get into are the ones that have the discharges.)
The Everest of referral sources. Everyone wants to be in a hospital, and with the sheer volume of patients, I can see why. However, here’s a very strong WARNING: Unless you’re able to staff same day discharges 2-3x a week, don’t even bother! 90 percent of home care agencies out there couldn’t handle it or would mess it up, and thus ruin the reputation for the entire industry. So if you’re brave enough to attempt getting into a hospital, make sure your operation is sound. If you’re ready for this, here’s what you need to do.
- Determine your company’s readmission rate. If you can do so by condition, that’s a huge plus.
- Go on to Medicare.gov and determine the readmission rates of the hospital you’re trying to get into (again by condition is even better).
- Create a specialty program around your best outcome (the condition that you provide care for with the lowest rate.)
- Do whatever you can to get a meeting with either a Medical Director, Physician who makes rounds at the hospital, an Executive, or Director of Case Management/Social Services. (There are hundreds of ways to do so, but that’s for another time.)
- Present data. Present National data, present hospital data compared to national findings (bring them to their pain point), and present your data (which should/must be significantly better). Finally, offer your specialty program as the solution working together as an “interdisciplinary” approach to improve outcomes.
- Get referrals.
- Convert referrals and deliver on your promises.
This will take you at least six months to accomplish, so be ready to do whatever it takes.
There you have it. Now you know where to go, and what must be done to get in. Take ACTION! You’ve got the knowledge, but without executing it, you’re sitting on Ice. Take it, devise a plan, and go set your territory on FIRE. I want to see transformational growth, and if you need help along the way, you know how to find me. Happy Hunting everyone.
Steve “The Hurricane” Weiss | President & CEO – Hurricane Marketing
Steve Weiss is the President and Founder of Hurricane Marketing Enterprises. Since 2012, he and his team have been taking the nation by storm, helping Home Care and Private Duty companies catapult their businesses to the next level and beyond. He is a Motivational Speaker, Business Seminar Leader, and Consultant/Coach to clients across the country. His programs and presentations have helped thousands of individuals land record-breaking results in acquiring referrals, new patient admissions, revenues and profits. Steve’s clients continue to “blow away the competition,” a marketing phrase he coined to accomplish just that.
Article originally published in the 2017 Home Care Benchmarking Study
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