Effective Ideas for Home Care Agencies to Secure Referrals from Hospital Systems

Home Care Office Staff Hiring Tips

Closed hospital systems are one of the best referral sources but also some of the most difficult ones to get into. Here are some effective home health marketing ideas to ensure that your home care agency secures referrals from hospital systems.

Closed hospital systems are one of the best referral sources but also some of the most difficult ones to get into. Due to the high volume of patients in hospitals, everyone including home care agencies, assisted living, medical device sales, hospice care companies, and skilled nursing facilities are trying to get in and access this vast resource of referrals.

Described here are some effective home health marketing ideas to ensure that your home care agency secures referrals from hospital systems. Let’s take a look:

#1: Address individual physicians.

The referral process for home-care has turned more complex because of the changing role of physicians. Hence, the focus of your home health marketing sales needs to change. The primary care physicians of your target market still hold importance for community-based referrals and in some cases may even influence facility-based referrals. As a result, the home care agencies need to re-assess their offerings in order to capture more office-based referrals. The ability of these agencies to generate physician referrals also varies significantly with each market. Hence, it would be wise to observe your local target markets closely and then develop a strategy for building the physician referrals.

#2: Approach medical specialists.

These are another group of physicians you might want to consider for getting referrals. They play a lead role in patient care in order to monitor their patients’ chronic conditions. They may be invested in the choice of home care agency or hospice care when your agency has specific programs or pathways for diagnoses.

#3: Make the most of existing contacts.

Having contacts with even one or two social workers, case managers or discharge planners within a hospital can help you get referrals. So leverage such existing contacts. If they trust and love your agency they are more likely to refer you. You can ask them “Who would they suggest you also contact in the hospital” or ask for a referral to a colleague or another department/ floor.

#4: Create a unique value proposition.

Having contacts with even one or two social workers, case managers or discharge planners within a hospital can help you get referrals. So leverage such existing contacts. If they trust and love your agency they are more likely to refer you. You can ask them “Who would they suggest you also contact in the hospital” or ask for a referral to a colleague or another department/ floor.

#5: Look beyond obvious areas.

Look beyond discharge planners. They aren’t the end-all, be-all to gaining hospital referrals. Explore other areas of opportunity in the hospital. This is good time and territory management from a sales perspective. You can receive a lot more referrals from sources other than those found in the obvious areas such as discharge planning. This is because a hospital is similar to a self-contained community which means the staff eats and socializes together. Some of the other zones to tap into other than the obvious areas are Emergency and Short Stay Unit, Patient Services / Nursing Administration, Cancer Care Centers, Orthopedic Units etc.

#6: Don’t give up.

Showing your presence and ‘just stopping in’ without giving up has its own set of benefits.  Follow the process. Depending on the nature of services you are representing and the level of individual who has the authority to refer even a targeted ‘dropping in’ can help you get a referral. For instance, if you are charged with increasing referrals, sometimes your weekly target’s unique selling point visit may convert into a referral. Or, if you are in the early phase of gathering information – Step 1 Qualifying, ‘stopping in’ can help you gain the information needed to move the relationship forward. So, it’s important that you don’t give up. Persistency pays!

Staying focused and dedicated can help you up your game of securing referrals even from the closed hospital systems with the most stringent regulations. Make sure you build a network with the right people and don’t give up, no matter the time and efforts it requires.

Join more than 20,000 home care professionals on our mailing list.

Get the latest updates from the blog and free resources to help you grow your home care business. 

About the Author:

Melanie is a growth expert who coaches home care and hospice organizations throughout the country to help with their sales and marketing with her partner at Home Care Sales. She has authored several articles and manuals and regularly publishes content. When she’s not busy speaking at national events, you can find her playing with her 5-year-old twin boys while spending time at the beach on the gulf with her family and reading.

Leave A Comment