Posts

Are you still winning referrals, or have you drifted off the road to success?

2020 has been a whirlwind of a year!

We have worked with many agencies owners who have followed our inside sales process and they have continued to not only succeed in hitting admission goals but exceed them by hitting the highest record of referrals ever.

Just the other day, Mike from our sales department ask me to jump on a call with one of our customers to see if I could help her with making a selection on which product we offer would make the biggest impact on her organization. I gladly got on a call with her.

I spoke with the owner, I will call her Mary. Mary shared with me that her patients billing hours are down. Mary reported that at the beginning of Covid Mary’s Home Care was able to hit their new patients serviced monthly goals, but they failed to reach their total hours serviced each month. She shared that it was related to several things but the top 2 reasons I want to share with you here.

One: Mary reported that even though more and more people where being referred for services that there was a challenge with recruitment and retention of skilled workers.

…there was a challenge with recruitment and retention of skilled workers.

Two: Mary shared that many seniors who were immunocompromised slashed their hours of care. Those patients still wanted to have aide services for food shopping and pharmacy runs but they were afraid to let the caregivers in the house.

I was able to quickly help Mary with the second objection she faced by offering tips to help get caregivers in the patient’s doors. I shared with Mary soon Home Care Sales would also be able to help with the number one problem reported to Melanie and myself when we recently conducted marker research calls with our clients. That number one problem is Recruiting and retention.

Melanie and I are currently studying industry experts and working with mentors to provide our members with an incredible program to help with recruiting and retention. We are building a network of experts to support you on this journey and can not wait to release our new program.

Our Millionaire Mastermind members will get access before we release this program to the community. Home Care Sales has spent hours over the course of the last few weeks conducting market research calls with past clients. You may have been one of the owners that we spoke with and let me say thank you right now to you for all that you have done to help with bringing the programs that you want and need into existence.

Remember, if you are an agency owner or executive, and you would like to mastermind with other agency owners you can click on this link, Mastermind Application, and Melanie and I will invite you to a call with us to see if you are a good fit. We are currently recruiting for a new group of owners. We are only accepting 20 members at this time. We are sorry if you submit too late and we have to turn you down.

Our past members have experienced incredible results. Several have opened new business lines, expanded territories, and exceeded revenue goals. See what current members have said about being in our Millionaire Mastermind Group!

 

Cheryl


Remember:

Friends, 2021 is less than 4 months away.  You have a chance now to increase your revenue to offset 2021 revenue reductions.  Go check out how www.homecaresales.com can help you!

Want to make it quick and easy to learn more? Reach out to Mike at Mike@homecaresales.com to set up a demo (or go here: https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales and secure a time to talk to him)

Competing For Facility Referrals

FACT:

One of the hardest things to do is to get referrals from hospitals and short-term rehabilitation centers.

So many things can impact the ability for us to break into facilities. We can get our sales representatives to build relationships but so many other factors contribute to why they would be willing to refer to us.

Today, I asked one of my friends, Dr. Larry Spector, what he thought was important to a facility to gain referrals.

Dr. Spector is the leader of one of the largest and most successful post-acute care collaboratives I have been blessed to work within the country. He is also a medical director for several skilled nursing facilities and short-term rehab organizations.

I’d like to share a little bit of our recent conversation:

“Hi Cheryl, thank you for the introduction.

There are several important factors that lead to more referrals to a Home health company from a Skilled Nursing facility.
The first is the ease of the process. What I mean is, how easy and convenient is the process of the referral to the Home Health company from our case manager to the representative of the HH.

If the Home Health continues to decline patients due to insurance issues, geographic issues, or any other issues then the CM will move on to another partner. To be part of our collaborative we expect every company to care for our patients with minimal questions asked.

Second is the overall performance of the Home Health company. Our collaborative reviews the readmission rates and other metrics including length of stay and time to start of care.

“We feel metrics are the only way to compare all of our collaborative partners.”

 

The last factor is the communication between Home Heath and our hospital system. We expect our collaborative members to communicate via email or phone messages any updates about the care of our patients. We expect a timely informative email if the patient is going back to the hospital. We also need communication if the patient is refusing care or if there are issues with medicines or equipment.

The reason our collaborative is successful and large is because of the teamwork between our hospital system and partners that provide care for our patients in the community.”

Dr. Spector has worked with one of our Mastermind members recently. I wanted to share with you how he has helped them to improve patient care and work more closely with Kaiser HealthCare Systems.

I asked Dr Spector, “please share with me how have you helped the Mastermind Client that I referred to you?”

“The first discussion we had was how to develop and improve the relationship with a very large hospital system like Kaiser. I educated the client on what the hospital system is looking for in their partnership and how they can improve their referrals from Kaiser. There are certain metrics and information that the hospital system is looking for from their partners and we developed strategies on communication and how to provide the information the hospital system is requesting.

“I have been working with this client for 4 months and we have decreased the readmission rate of the patients significantly.

 

I meet weekly with the Home health leadership and we review the readmission cases on a real-time basis and review some of the opportunities that can prevent further readmissions. We develop strategies to help the clinicians succeed in some of the more difficult cases,

In some of the more difficult cases, I have spoken with the clinician on the case and we have developed strategies to educate the patients on their conditions and develop treatment plans. The feedback from the nurses has been very positive.

I have also developed protocols for CHF, COPD, wounds, and other infections to help the home health team develop schedules and medication education to provide their patients. Specifically, I have discussed COVID 19 strategies to help the clinicians care for the patients that are either discharged from the hospital ED or after a short stay from the hospital. I have also eased the concerns of the clinicians with PPE education and education about the virus.

I am also providing education sessions for home health on certain disease processes to help the nurses understand the medications and pathophysiology of the diseases they more commonly treat in the community.

I have enjoyed working with this client and I am impressed with how they have improved their metrics so quickly. Their team has worked very hard and Kaiser has been very pleased with their care of their patients.”

I additionally asked one more question I want to share with you:

“Dr. Spector please share with me how you can help other home health agencies around the country to improve patient care and decrease rehospitalizations?”

“One of my main passions in medicine is to educate those around me to help care for their patients.”

 

“I am on my medical school admission committee and I also teach first- and second-year medical students at my medical school. I enjoy working with those that provide care at any level. I currently believe medicine is at a crossroads and that sometimes we are so busy that we deliver our care as completing a task rather than taking the time to review the whole case.

In my experience, when care is task-oriented many things get missed which is directly related to higher readmissions. The ability to review cases with a physician and develop strategies has been proven to reduce readmissions and deliver better care for our patients.”

Finally, if any of you would be interested in having Dr. Spector review patient readmissions, and help you see where you may have done something different to improve your patient’s outcomes, you can reach out to Dr. Spector by sending him an email to LWSWGS@aol.com.

Thank you, Dr. Spector, for providing us this time to interview you and share your expertise with our loyal subscribers. Remember to check out information to join our mastermind group at www.homecaresales.com/mastermind.

Cheryl

 


Remember:

Friends, 2021 is less than 4 months away.  You have a chance now to increase your revenue to offset 2021 revenue reductions.  Go check out how www.homecaresales.com can help you!

Want to make it quick and easy to learn more? Reach out to Mike at Mike@homecaresales.com to set up a demo (or go here: https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales and secure a time to talk to him)

3 mistakes that Home Care, Home Health, and Hospice Executives make that impact performance

Many owners like me work so hard to open, grow, and succeed in their organizations. The problem with most of the owners is not really a problem but just a small commonality that many of us have. We care so much about the service, that we forget to care about where the next referral is coming from.

Believe me when I say that I too started this way in 1995.

The first mistake that I see over and over again today (in 2020) is THIS SAME BELIEF.

#1 Customer Service will grow your agency.

Yes, I too believed that if my patients received great customer service that I would be able to grow my agency. I believed that word of mouth would be all that I needed. And folks…word of mouth referrals will grow your agency. But it is not enough you need to do more.

You may have a patient that loves you end up in the hospital, where a competitor of yours has a relationship with that discharge planner. The discharge planner then tells the patient “you need to use our agency because we can communicate with them and make sure you are doing everything correctly.”

Next thing you know…you know you lost the referral.

#2 Not Setting or Tracking Goals

Once you begin setting weekly and monthly goals you will soon realize it is not an easy thing to keep track of every week and every month. The tracking that is required is fraught with obstacles and distractions.

Laziness, ego, weakness, and immediate gratification will all try to pull you away from tracking your accomplishments every day. You MUST fight them! You will even have to fight people who do not want you to track goals. But you can fight and you can win. Set goals and share them with everyone at your organization and do not stop!

#3 Daily Discipline to Stay at Peak Performance

As Owners, we probably worked 50 and 60-hour work weeks the first several years in our businesses to make it successful.  Failure wasn’t an option. (and of course, it still isn’t) Eventually, we get to a place where we must fight to keep up that level of passion. Eventually, that will lead us to start to tell ourselves: I deserve a break. I want to take a long trip (pre-COVID) or I just want to not work for the next month. We may decide we deserve a break from working out, or we earned that extra hour of sleep or one more glass of wine.

The problem with this self-sabotage is that it throws us off our path of peak performance. We must nurture our bodies in order to nurture our minds. Since our physical bodies are the support mechanism for our brains, physical fitness and health are critical in our daily success.

Right now, you have the opportunity to make a change in your daily life and lead your organizations by setting an example.

Keep yourself at peak performance! If you are already doing the right things for yourself like meditation, learning new things, and daily exercise: KEEP IT UP! You are on the path to continued peak performance. You are seeing the results of your hard work and your efforts are paying off. Now go lead others and help them along the way. I am taking this advice right now!  I am going back to my peak performance state!

Remember to thank those that help you achieve peak performance. For me, I want to thank my sister Denise for pushing me.  Owners if you need support, and you want to connect with other wonderful owners who help you become the best version of yourself I would highly recommend that you check out our mastermind group!  www.homecaresales.com/mastermind.

May you continue to advance and reach your peak performance,

– Cheryl

 

Friends, 2021 is less than 4 months away.  You have a chance now to increase your revenue to offset 2021 revenue reductions.  Go check out how www.homecaresales.com can help you!

Want to make it quick and easy to learn more? Reach out to Mike at Mike@homecaresales.com to set up a demo (or go here: https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales and secure a time to talk to him)

Why PDGM Didn’t Impact Most Home Health Agencies

Like many agency owners I was not looking forward to learning a new payment system. When CMS finalized a new case-mix classification model, the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), effective beginning January 1, 2020, I was less than enthusiastic.

The PDGM relies more heavily on clinical characteristics and other patient information to place home health periods of care into meaningful payment categories. One case-mix variable is the assignment of the principal diagnosis to one of 12 clinical groups to explain the primary reason for home health services.

In addition, we had the stress of learning what would be a LUPA and how do we keep good outcome scores. Little did we know that 2020 would be a year unlike any other faced by the home health, home care, and hospice industries.

Many have been writing that PDGM has not taken the toll that many expected. I decided to go right to an expert that works with agencies around the country. I interviewed Jim Plonsey, of Medicare Training and Consulting, https://medicareconsulting.net/.

Jim Plonsey

Medicare Training & Consulting, Inc., located just outside Chicago, Illinois, has been providing health care consulting for nearly 30 years. Founded by James Plonsey, MTC provides individual as well as group training to home health agencies, hospices, federally qualified health clinics, and hospitals.

 

Jim is the owner and a dear friend of mine.

I asked Jim,

“Why do You think PDGM hasn’t impacted the home health industry as anticipated?”

Jim responded, “The main reason Home Health Agencies have not felt a great financial impact as anticipated falls into the following 4 categories.”

1.   PPP Loans – The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

2.   EIDL Loans – In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners and non-profit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). EIDL is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments.

3.   CARES Act Stimulus Funds – HHS is distributing $50 billion to providers who bill Medicare fee-for-service in order to provide financial relief during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These funds are allocated proportional to providers’ share of 2018 patient revenue. On April 10, 2020, HHS immediately distributed $30 billion to eligible providers throughout the American healthcare system.

4.   Accelerated Payments – The Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) Programs are typically used to give providers emergency funding and address cash flow issues for providers and suppliers when there is disruption in claims submission or claims processing, including during a public health emergency or Presidentially-declared disaster.

Since expanding the AAP programs on March 28, 2020, CMS approved over 21,000 applications totaling $59.6 billion in payments to Part A providers, which includes hospitals.

For Part B suppliers, including doctors, non-physician practitioners, and durable medical equipment suppliers, CMS approved almost 24,000 applications advancing $40.4 billion in payments.

The AAP programs are not a grant, and providers and suppliers are typically required to pay back the funding within one year, or less, depending on provider or supplier type.

Jim also shared with me that he felt that many HHAs were suffering a severe cash crunch in March 2020 when the payment started coming in under the new PDGM payment system. The CARES Act funds were issued in April 2020 which provided a lifeline to keep agencies in business. In the same month, HHA obtained accelerated payments from Medicare equal to 3 months of payments.

Jim further comments that he feels that many have delayed the pain.

“Most HHA just delayed the pain until January 2021, when the RAP payments will be reduced from 20% to 0%.  Agencies will have to come up with an additional 30 days of cash and potentially pay back any unused CARES ACT funds.”

 

Friends, 2021 is less than 4 months away.  You have a chance now to increase your revenue to offset 2021 revenue reductions.  Go check out how www.homecaresales.com can help you!

Want to make it quick and easy to learn more? Reach out to Mike at Mike@homecaresales.com to set up a demo (or go here: https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales and secure a time to talk to him)