While telehealth services were booming in the early days of the COVID pandemic, there are signs that interest in telemedicine may be waning. I believe that the cause is that the most vulnerable senior population does not have access to the technology to have a billable virtual visit. 

This opens a great new opportunity for providers to partner with physician offices to solve this problem.  Here is a look at recent coverage of telemedicine from Today’s Hospitalist Magazine.

Fewer patient visits to the Physician’s Office?

While many industry experts predicted that the embrace of telemedicine seen during the pandemic would continue once Corona Virus had subsided, there are signs that the use of telemedicine has already started to decline.

An article in STAT says that during the week of June 14, telemedicine was used for 8% of the number of visits that would have occurred before the pandemic. In April, the number was nearly 14%. The article says that the decline in telemedicine visits could be due to difficulties getting patients—particularly the elderly—to use technology and due to a lack of technical resources in smaller groups.

The report notes that groups with 100-plus providers shifted almost 16% of their pre-pandemic volumes to telemedicine, compared to 8% for groups with five or fewer clinicians. Telemedicine challenges provide the post-acute world providers with opportunities to help physician offices by offering to go to their elderly patients’ homes and contribute to providing the technology or the support to the seniors and allowing the seniors to get access to needed health care experts from the comfort of their homes.

Have you reached out to the doctor’s offices in your service area? 

Maybe this is a way to get introduced to new potential patients? Could the doctors’ offices become one of our clients?  Could they pay us to go into the patients’ homes and support the seniors with using these services? I will share with you several of our clients have been able to build their census by providing this service.

Insurance Companies are scaling back coverage for telehealth

report in Becker’s Hospital Review says that some payers are scaling back their telehealth coverage. The report notes that some Arizona insurers had begun to decrease telehealth coverage, but as hospital ICUs in the state have filled with COVID patients, they have restored telehealth coverage. 

You will need to make sure that you stay up to date with what is happening with each insurance company so you can support the physician’s offices appropriately.  See if you can find a list service that you can sign up for updates for the payers in your territory.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, for example, is scaling back its telehealth coverage at the end of August, and Aetna began charging patients co-pays and cost-sharing for telehealth visits in early June.

Reported Fraud in telehealth

Another report from Becker’s notes that Medicare administrator Seema Verma noted in an interview with Business Insider that the CMS is investigating fraudulent charges for telehealth services. She noted that some providers are billing for “more visits than are humanly possible in a day.”  All of this leads us to wonder what will happen next.  Keep your eyes and ears open!

Finally: Physician’s Resistance Is a Reality

Many doctor like the good old fashion in-person physical encounter. They like to do a complete physical assessment with their own eyes and ears. Many diseases can be diagnosed and treated by just asking questions and interviewing a patient can be immensely powerful. However, many mistakes can also happen without the hands-on assessment of a skillfully trained physician.

If we can find a way to bring both into a senior’s home, we will hit a home run. Many providers are using remote patient monitoring equipment to help the physician with vital signs and others are using a nurse to report assessment findings to support the physician.

What can you do to make Telemedicine a success? We would love for you to share success stories with us so we can share it with our loyal listeners. Email ideas to Success@homecaresales.com.


Thank you in advance for all that you do to change lives every day!


What is the difference between Achieve and Roadmap?

One of the smartest people I know asked me today what was the difference between Achieve and Roadmap to Referrals if they both had 52wks in them?

That is a GREAT question and its an excellent lesson in CLARITY!

How often have we described our services and a referral source doesn’t understand the difference between Home Health and In-Home Care?

Or the difference between OT and PT?

We think we do a great job of sharing, but when it is so close to us – and WE understand it – doesn’t mean that the audience we are speaking to understands it.

The intention of creating these two programs is that they can stand alone or combine them and get a whole new level of competency and proficiency! Mad skills that deliver results!


Achieve: Be a ninja-level Home Care Sales Marketer by sharpening your sales skills each week. Week over the week. Month over month. It is like having us at your sales meeting each week to kick off the week!

52 Wk. RoadMap of Referrals: DONE FOR YOU sales system that delivers high-value referrals by focusing on specific diagnoses and patient types. Giving you the words to say to “Trigger” a referral. Weekly sales messages are created for you with custom handouts for your agency.

Interaction with HCS:

Achieve: Private group where you can ask questions, get answers from other marketers and HCS staff along with support and community.

Roadmap of Referrals: Monthly live training via zoom to discuss the patient types for the month, hear live role play with Melanie and Cheryl, and have the opportunity to listen to and see your peers’ role-play a specific patient type in accounts.


Achieve: Weekly lessons are released into our Home Care Sales Pro – online learning system where you can watch them on demand and an exercise tool to customize it to your agency.

52 weeks – Roadmap of referrals: It offers you the opportunity to have a weekly sales message that is specific to targeting a “high value” patient or client.

Both programs have a place in your agency!

At two different price points, there is something for everyone!

Are you interested in hearing about the special bundle to make your agency “Pro” level?
Email Mike@HomeCareSales.com and tell him how many marketers you have, and he will put together a deal for you!

Time to UPGRADE!



P.S. Yes, I have been playing Roblox, Animal Crossing, and Minecraft with my seven-year-old twins – I think it’s rubbing off on me!

Just this past week I went out to breakfast at the Jersey Shore where outside dining is the only option. 

My family and I were seated next to 2 elderly women who were speaking quite loudly so that I (and really anyone within the dining area) could hear their conversation. I was not necessarily eavesdropping but I was fascinated and eventually joined in their conversation.

They shared that they were friends for several years. They had met each other at the local senior center.

They shared that they were both widows and had health issues that placed them in the extremely high-risk group for contacting Corona Virus and that today was their first time seeing each other for 4 months.

I asked them how the virus is impacting them and their friends.

This is what they shared with me:

  • Senior Centers Closed
  • Both live in ALF’s and no social gatherings including no group meals
  • All Groups and Volunteer opportunities canceled
  • Physicians do not want to see them because of the risk of exposure
  • No transportation from the ALF to shopping
  • No Family visiting because they are fearful to bring the virus to their loved ones

This is their new reality. I asked the ladies, what would they like to feel supported? They both said they would love for someone to help them with virtual health care. They do not have a computer or smartphone and that makes accessing health care a challenge.

They also would love to have at least more frequent telephone interactions with humans. They are lonely and feel depressed and have nothing to look forward to. They also said they would love to have an opportunity to do something to make a difference. They both volunteered about 20 hours a week before the pandemic and that gave them a sense of purpose.

I shared a cool resource I just came across called Telephone Topics. Telephone Topics is a call-in program featuring group discussions, lectures, meditation classes, and live performances — for seniors now confined at home and at risk of social isolation.

The entire encounter got me thinking, How many of our clients could really take a stance and do something for the good of their communities, and as a side effect, get some new clients?

Imagine if you had a Telephone Topics call for all your current or past patients? Set up a conference call line, grab some content, and invite your audience, and you will be bringing smiles to many seniors who are yearning for social connections. 

During your telephone topics, offer support to help with telemedicine visits, grocery ordering, or grocery shopping and delivery.

This is your time to shine.  To make a difference!  You can even find, someone like these two lovely ladies who are desperate for an opportunity to volunteer to help make the calls to invite attendees to your Telephone Topics calls!

Home Care Sales recently released a Telephone Topics program specific to our industry.  We provide the topics and the content, as well as an email script explaining the program and even slides to present. It’s called Community Calls.

Think of this product, as what you would present at a senior housing class or senior center health talk. We provide the topic and content, and of course, a call to action to get someone your services!

Watch the video below (be sure to turn the volume on) to see exactly what’s in the program and if you would like, reach out to mike@homecaresales.com to set up a quick demo.


As I look back on these past five months of COVID response and now to the future of our “new normal,” I am so grateful for our Mastermind group.

As the eye of the storm, COVID hit all of us. They were generous with their support of each other.

We shared communications with staff, so other owners and executives didn’t have to “reinvent the wheel.” When one member “got something that worked,” they immediately shared it.

When one Mastermind member struggled to gain PPE – another shared all the resources and ways they were able to obtain free PPE in their area – Great news!  The member who struggled to find PPE was able to use the other owner’s support to get free PPE for his agency.

When like-minded abundant owners and executives come together, magic happens!

The marketing teams were “Locked” out very quickly. We knew we had to create a new sales process FAST.  Inside Sales Remote Marketing took shape, and we launched it to our mastermind group. As mastermind members, the owners and executives have access to our sales training programs for all their team members. Inside Sales – Remote marketing was crucial to the success of the agencies. The mastermind members reported a dip in admissions and hours in the early days of COVID. Today I am proud to tell you all of the mastermind members are above pre-COVID referrals.

This team of dedicated owners and executives showed up for each other and themselves.


As an owner of an agency, it can be lonely. You wish there was someone who could understand your frustration. There is a place where we all speak the same language – The Mastermind.

You are not alone.

We’ve got your back.


Many of you have been in business for several years and have “been there done that.”

You know many of the mistakes “not to make” because you “made them.” Imagine sharing that wisdom with another owner or executive who could benefit from your hard-earned lessons. The contribution is what gives this group the depth of knowledge and understanding.


Together with all the AWESOME knowledge in the group, you can compress time. Which means you can accomplish in one year – what would have taken you 3-5 years on your own through trial and error.


Freedom to have the agency of your dreams


More Seniors

Your Lifestyle

Your Income

We can do this together.

Cheryl and I invite you during this time of “social distancing” to join us.

Virtual Mastermind

This program is by application only.

Please click here to see if you are the right fit.

Here’s to your Freedom!

Melanie & Cheryl


Many owners of organizations will reach out to me and ask the exact question. They all want to know how long it takes to get that first referral in the door. So instead of just making up a number or taking that number from someone else’s article, I decided to study the data from sales representatives that I had managed over the years.

Many of the sales representatives have used a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and because of a great working relationship with Playmaker Health, I was able to work with many of their clients. 

This gave me access to over 100 sales representative’s data, which included their calendars and completed sales calls to each account. I was able to study the data and by sorting the account types into the following segments, could get some unbelievably valuable information from the data. 

Keep in mind, this was data from brand new accounts that had never referred to the agency that I was tracking. The segmented account types were the following:

  • Hospital Systems
  • SNF/Rehab Centers
  • Physician Offices

When I looked at the data to see how long it took to get the first referral I was surprised. 

Hospitals took the longest to give their first referral, the average was one year and 50 sales contacts to build that relationship. 

SNF/Rehab Centers took 26 sales calls on average and 6 months of time to finally get that first referral. 

Physician offices/Clinics had the shortest close rate. 

The average was 6.5 weeks and between 5 and 8 sales calls.

At the end of one year of working these accounts the average number of referrals by the account types:

  • Hospital System:  0 (ZERO)
  • SNF/Rehab Centers:  27
  • Physician Offices:  9

By the end of year two of working the same account types

  • Hospital System:  86
  • SNF/Rehab Centers:  43
  • Physician Offices:  13.5

During the first year, your rehab facilities will probably be your A accounts. But by the second year, your Rehab Center accounts are bumped down because the hospital account finally starts referring. I have seen this happen repeatedly and like I said earlier, data does not lie. Invest the time to see the hospital accounts.

Many sales reps will tell their owners it is not worth visiting a hospital system because they have their own home health and private duty providers. However, if you look at market share data, you will find that the hospitals typically only serve about 50% of the patients that are discharged with their own service lines. That leaves the other 50% to go to the providers that have put in the time.

Last week I told you I would give you an account list. You can download it here

Now, tomorrow, our Mastermind Members are having a special presentation “The Secret Confessions of a Hospital Executive – How to fast track yourself in the hospital!”  We are bringing them an expert that has over 43 years’ experience and she managed Home Care/Hospice division of the 2nd largest hospital company in the country for 6 years.

If you would like to learn more about how to join our Mastermind Group, go to www.homecaresales.com/mastermind.  We would love to see if you would be a good fit. Have a great day!


This Virus is ANNOYING, and BORING said my oldest of my 7-year-old twins (by 12 minutes) Donnie. Mom, I am TIRED of hearing you talk about Home Health EVERY day, and it is boring!


You spend too much time outside my home office listening to me coach (his bedroom is next to my “home office) HOME HEALTH NOT BORING!

Ok – Yes – The virus IS ANNOYING, and it is BORING staying home for 4 months when you are 7 years old.

…BUT I would say it gives us a chance to spend more time together and SLOW down.

It has given our reps a chance to SLOW down all the “activity” and make sure their efforts result in “productivity.”

And look for new “opportunities.”

Explore areas that we never had the time for in the past when we were going out in the field, making 50 in-person calls a week!


We use an acronym when we coach G.R.O.W.- the R stands for reflection.

Reflection on the accounts:

  • What do the hospitals need right now?
  • Hospital to Home?
  • Skilled nursing diversions?
  • What do your Assisted Livings need right now?
  • Cognitive Therapy?
  • Identification of Resident decline?
  • What do your Skilled Nursing Facilities with Rehab need right now? Productivity?
    Perhaps you can discuss per diem work in collaboration with their therapy staff.
  • Joint Venturing is very “Hot” right now!


This is your time to shine!


Ask the right open questions to discover how you can serve more deeply!


How are you uniquely qualified to solve that problem?


There is always an answer – even if on the surface, it doesn’t look like there is one that involves home care, home health, or hospice.


This is the type of question we solve at our weekly sales meeting with our mentoring clients.


Sales Meeting:

I have a simple rule –

I will never bring a team together without at least 1 piece of marketing training.

That means there will never be a meeting that was a “waste of time” because you will gain a new skill or put back into practice a tactic that perhaps you forgot about.

The truth is – it’s “ANNOYING” as Donnie say (read “tough”) each week to come up with skill development exercises and tips. Most agencies don’t have the manpower or time to give their marketer’s skill development each week.

That is why we developed the Achieve program. It’s your weekly skill development and tips that propel sales reps to become the best in the industry.

It’s like having home health, hospice, or home care sales trainer on your team each week pop into your sales meeting for 15 mins and rock it out. Looking to upgrade your teams’ skills, so they are razor-sharp?

Join Achieve today for just $47



P.s.  Need the remote marketing formula? Check it out here.

P.s.s.  Need weekly inspiration and ideas? The Achieve Program will do just that. Check it out here.

P.s.s.s.  Don’t know exactly what you need? Email mike@homecaresales.com for a 15 min demo of the different programs


Last week I wrote about how opening your own company is hard work. You get through setting up the organization and now you have all the pieces in place but one.

Where are the clients?

Where are the referrals? 

Last week I shared the first two steps to success that I wrote about in my first book called The Five Steps to Sales Success. We covered Step 1- Study your data and Step 2 – Accounts, you can find the blog post HERE.

Today, I am going to cover the next 2 steps…

Step 3: Lead

What is leadership? More importantly, what leadership means to me. I wanted to be a leader who could remove all emotions from managing employees and yet be quite close with my staff. Books that I read said this is not possible. Do not be friends with your staff because it is too hard to discipline them if they are not doing their job.

No matter what the experts out there had to say, however, I could not change from being Cheryl. So, I had to find a way to be their friend, boss, leader, teacher, and disciplinarian Cheryl style. I have had to fire a couple of people over my twenty years in management, and it is never fun, but I have found a way to make it tolerable for me and my leaders. 

If you have clearly defined your expectations, give them the knowledge and tools to meet those expectations, and then measure and share their results with them, it is much easier.  When I meet with a sales representative or any employee to review their performance at work, I would pull their expectation document or job description and review the results. 

They either met my expectations, or they did not. It is not about liking them or not! There is no partiality because it is about numbers and hitting expectations for how many sales calls were completed. How many new accounts did they qualify each week? Data removes emotions, and at least every three months the manager needs to meet with each sales representative to evaluate the numbers.    

We would update our admission goal every month at the quarterly business review. We also worked to keep each employee at the organization aware of census and goals for census.  biweekly, we would publish a newsletter that went out to every employee and subcontractor that worked with our organization.

That newsletter would include all our sales stats for everyone to see. Tracking admissions sent a message to try to get every qualified patient admitted. It let everyone that worked at my agency that all non-admits were being tracked.  You can see more about lead in the full book version.

Step 4 – Expectations and Excellence

How did we set expectations is a question I get asked almost every time I am speaking on a stage?

I shared with you under “Step 3 Lead” how I used expectation documents to make management easier. Now I want to share with you how to get employee buy-in and utilization of sales process and CRM.

One of the failures of leaders when delegating responsibilities is not making the desired outcomes explicit. You need to bring your team together and devise expectations, goals, and rewards. 

If they help create it, they want it to succeed! 

A quote attributed to Michelangelo says, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim so high that we miss it, but in setting our aim so low that we reach it.” So, I brought the team together and asked them to help create expectations, goals, and rewards.

How many face–to-face visits a week can your sales team do? Ask them! 

How many accounts do they want to manage?

How many you want them to manage? 

They may say they can handle a hundred accounts without any problems, but then you bring them back your way by saying, “You know what . . . studies show that building a relationship and getting an account to like, know, and trust you is how you get referrals.” 

Studies say you need to see accounts each week to build a relationship. Have them fill out their daily call schedule to see just how many accounts they must see each week. Once you have all their currently referring accounts scheduled, you can see how many prospects can be added to fill up their schedule.  

Now they can do their schedules because we only want a rep to handle up to forty accounts, which means they should only have thirty because you need to have room for them to qualify and prospect. Knowing this information is how you can determine how many representatives your company truly needs. 

I caution you to also know your staffing levels in territories before you go and get a sales rep to go out selling your care. Nothing is worse for a sales rep to get a new account to refer for the first time and you have to tell them you can’t take the referral because you only have one nurse that does that area and she is on vacation.

Next, we discuss what types of accounts I wanted them to pursue. *Remember that if you just send them to rehab centers and hospitals you may not get a referral for six months. 

Again you can find more information about this in my book available at: https://www.amazon.com/Steps-SALES-Success-Hospice-Organization-ebook/dp/B07KGK9GCY

Next week I will share with you a list of account types and how long it typically takes for each account type to refer their first patient.  If you would like to learn the High Performance Sales Process, or check out of 52 Week Road Map To Referrals, go to www.HomeCareSales.com or email Mike@homecaresales.com and he can set up a time to review all of our business development products to get referrals pouring in the door. 

I recently got a call from an agency owner – Kelly. She called because one of her marketers didn’t make the transition during COVID-19.

She totally shut down, and her results showed.

This marketer went from delivering 40 Medicare referrals a month to 6. And she asked me…

“Should I even try to replace her? Is outside “Marketing” obsolete?”


Because this marketer “couldn’t get in” she didn’t know how to pivot and find new footing to continue developing relationships remotely and prospect for new accounts during the time of COVID – is outside marketing “dead”?

My answer – It’s NOT DEAD – but it has RADICALLY CHANGED!

For the last 20+ years of my time in sales, Marketers have thrived on in-person relationships. Get in the car and go meet your referral sources. Thousands of agencies have grown on this model.

With the COVID numbers fluctuating daily, the “way it has always been done” is not how it’s going to be!

To get results in this time as a Home Health Marketer, Home Care Sales, or Hospice Liaison – you need to do 3 things.


1. Get your house in order.


This IS the new normal. You can NOT WAIT THIS OUT! You may NEVER get back into see some of your referral sources again – LET THAT SINK IN A MINUTE! If you thought oh, this is going to go back to “normal” that ship has sailed. The faster you accept this TRUTH, the quicker you can get back to PRODUCING REFERRALS! That starts with getting your house in order

Create a spreadsheet by Month for the past year – or whatever time period you have access to for your:

  • Accounts
  • Referrals
  • Admissions

Go back year over year so you can see the impact at specific accounts during COVID.

2.  Acceptance.


Get acceptance as fast as you can. We, as leaders, must help our team. This IS the new normal, and you MUST figure out how to produce even when you “can’t get in.”


3.  Leverage Technology.


Those marketers who have made the PIVOT and are producing at a high level are embracing tech and the good old fashion phone. Marketers needed to skill up – almost overnight with new rules and new processes. Because you can’t just dial and “ask for a referral” and magically get one. There is a formula to follow.


We stepped into the gap early with a training program called “Inside Sales – Remote marketing,” It was a huge success! If you haven’t worked the plan yet – there is still plenty of time!


Here is what I know to be true!


Marketing is NOT dead!


We have thousands of reps that we have trained over the past 3 months with results to prove it!


Remote marketing (and parking lot marketing) WORKS!


It is just different!


And as you know, DIFFERENT IS GOOD!


You can and must rise above the noise.


Giving you the FREEDOM TO GROW!


Here’s to you serving more seniors!
– Melanie


P.s.  Need the remote marketing formula? Check it out here.

P.s.s.  Need weekly inspiration and ideas? The Achieve Program will do just that. Check it out here.

P.s.s.s.  Don’t know exactly what you need? Email mike@homecaresales.com for a 15 min demo of the different programs


Opening your own company is hard work. You get through setting up the organization and now you have all the pieces in place but one. 

Where are the clients? 

Where are the referrals?

Many owners think the hard work is in getting the organization set up but then find that they build the company to serve people and they cannot find people to serve. I am going to give you the 5 quick steps that I wrote about in my first book called The Five Steps to Sales Success. 

Step one:  Study your data! 

I am sure you must have at least a few patients. The first place to start to grow your business is with those patients. Dive into each patient and find the following information:

  1. Primary Care Physician
  2. Senior Center
  3. Specialist Physicians
  4. Pharmacy
  5. Where did you get that referral from?

Once you have this list of information you are ready to use the patient’s name as leverage to build relationships that can lead to more referrals. 

If you got the referral from a Facebook ad, now you can reach out to the patient, obtain who their primary care physician is, and go make a visit to that doctor’s office to give them an update on how the patient is doing while receiving your services. It is a change for you to conduct your qualifying sales call, and you can easily bypass the gatekeeper because you have a patient’s name that you are there to talk to them about!

Step 2:  Accounts

Every brick and mortar building that refers to your company is an Account. You want to keep track of all the referrals each month from each account. You now have an opportunity to grow the number of referrals that you get from your accounts. 

When I first started out, I listed out all the accounts and the accounts with the highest number of referrals because my A accounts, and the accounts that I thought could become top accounts based on patient volume would get a B rating. I then made sure that every account with an A or B rating would have a valuable sales call each week to teach the accounts about the benefits they and their patients would receive when they referred patients to my organization. 

I follow the Home Care Sales 52-week road map of referrals. It is so easy to just grab my customized flyer, listen to the role play from the coaching call, and go teach all the account types that I can. I love having one solid message for the week that peaks my confidence in the field doing sales calls.

Next week I will show you the next 3 steps in my blog post. If you would like to purchase the book on amazon you can find it here:  https://www.amazon.com/Steps-SALES-Success-Hospice-Organization-ebook/dp/B07KGK9GCY.

If you would like to learn the High-Performance Sales Process, or check out of 52 Week Road Map of Referrals, go to www.HomeCareSales.com or email Mike@homecaresales.com and he can set up a time to review all of our business development products to get referrals pouring in the door.