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One of the biggest challenges your organization faces is in getting enough referrals to remain profitable. That is a simple truth. Many times, organizations think they can get enough business from just websites and word of mouth, and I will tell you, these are the agencies that typically don’t succeed.

If you look around at the top 5 agencies in your market, I guarantee you that they have a sales representative or a team of sales representatives.

If you ask them, “what is the biggest challenge that your sales representatives face today when out trying to gain new business?” the answer is usually the same.

Getting past the gatekeeper in the Hospital

 

Today I want to share with you a few tips so you can get past the gatekeeper and gain more private duty, home health, and hospice referrals. Let’s start by talking about getting into the hospitals in your service area.

Hospitals can be a real challenge to gain access to. In fact, we teach a whole class on how to access the hospitals in our High Performance Sales Academy and spend time role-playing out the situations every month on our group coaching calls and really take the sales reps through all the what-if scenarios.

You may also need to get a vendor clearance and your organization may also have to share in referral exchange EMRs. However, one way that almost always works and doesn’t require any special referral software is to have your sales representative go visit any of your active patients that get admitted to the hospital.

The sales representative can go visit the patient and after they see the patient, stop at the desk and ask them to page the discharge planner that has your patient’s room assigned to them.

When the Case Manager arrives, you now have a chance to do your qualifying sales call and find out if this hospital discharge planner has both the willingness and ability to refer to your organization.

You want to be prepared to ask several questions so you can then easily position your organization to obtain referrals.

Here are a few examples of what I would ask:

 

    • What is most important to you when selecting a hospice to care for your patients? This question typically gets an answer that is something like: We offer patient choice, or we provide the patient with a list.
    • Can you show me if my organization is on your list? If you’re not on the list, you can write a letter to the hospital corporate compliance officer to request to be on the list. If you are on the list, you can say something like “Great, I’m so glad that you offer freedom of choice.
    • Could you share with me how you help your patients receive guidance on how to use the list? How do they know what providers are great at wound care? Or How do they know what providers take their insurance? Or how do they know who can provide 24-hour care at home?
    • Can you share with me the last time that you had to give a referral to a different agency other than the hospital’s own?
    • What types of patients do you refer to hospice?
    • Do you have trouble getting services provided quickly in any of the counties?
    • Could you share with me 3 things that you love about referring to your preferred agency?
    • Could you share with me 3 challenges that you have experienced in working with your preferred provider?
    • Would you be willing to try my organization if I can solve any of your challenges?
    • Is there someone else that is going home today that is just like my current patient, Mrs. Jones that I could also provide care to?
    • Who else should I speak to regarding hospice referrals?

 

If they do refer, great job! If not, thank them for allowing you to collect the data. Tell them that you will be back next week around the same time so you can share some brochures and a price list, or an insurance list.

If they say a different date and time, document their request and let them know you will see them next week!

Important: Leave nothing behind but a business card.

Do not give them any brochures as this is a reason to see them for another sales call.

Document your answers to all the questions that you asked before you forget them. Remember to review what they shared with you and plan your next sales call content based on their answers.

Remember to be prepared on what you will say next week!

Besides visiting active patients that are hospitalized, you can also get past the gatekeeper by partnering with someone who has access. Look for another sales rep that you see that is getting in. Maybe they offer oxygen or DME or maybe they are a hospice vendor, and you are selling private duty services.

Ask the rep to help you gain access in exchange for introducing them to your favorite account(s).

A third way to get past the gatekeeper at the hospital is to go into the hospital with a physician that is willing to introduce you to the discharge planners. We just had great success with this strategy.

I walked into a hospital that was almost impossible to get past the front desk. They wouldn’t let in visitors unless you were family. You had to be an approved vendor to go in with another rep that had access.

I asked one of the physicians who makes rounds at the hospital if he would be willing to introduce me to the case managers. He said, he would be happy to introduce me to the head of case management. It worked!

Today we are getting overflow referrals from this hospital.

 

If you need help with strategies, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Cheryl@homecaresales.com or directly to our sales manager Mike@homecaresales.com.

We know patients need help at home and we are on a mission to get all of them the care that they deserve.

Have an amazing day!

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

Co-Owner of Home Care Sales

Sales representatives often ask questions about trying to attract patient types that they know their organization is great at treating.

Today, I got an email from a new salesperson who works for a large private duty organization. Johnny asked if I knew how he could capture more diabetic patients. He explained that the admission coordinator was a diabetic and that she really felt that she would be able to create a plan of care to support diabetic patients.

I suggested that he go to speak to the local Certified Diabetic Education Coordinators (CDE) that are having classes in his service area. Then I gave him a roleplay example to help him understand the very “words to say” to gain a diabetic referral.

Here is the role play that I provided Johnny to follow:

 

In this scenario, Mike is the Clinical Diabetic Educator (CDE), and I will play the role of the salesperson.

Cheryl has made an appt with the CDE to learn about his classes and how they support their students.

Cheryl: Hi, you must be Mike – good to see you – thank you for making time to meet with me.

Mike: Yes sure – how can I help?

Cheryl: As I shared on the phone I am interested in learning about your offerings – we have clients and a number of them have diabetes and I am interested in learning how I can better support them and how I can get them to you.

Mike: Ok yeah great – so I hold classes for folks with diabetes – and then one on ones with patients who are struggling to manage their diabetes. I hold them here at the office and the hospital. I would like to hold them in other places too, but it seems like there is never enough time.

Cheryl: Wow you really do a lot for the community – this is great. May I have a few brochures?

Mike: Absolutely, please let me give you at least 20.

Cheryl: I am curious – what do you see as some of the challenges that your patients face?

Mike: Oh, you know – they don’t eat well – they don’t check their blood sugar – they like to sit on the sofa and not move. Many of them are overweight and they don’t want to come to see me because they don’t want to get weighed. Folks report that they feel like they are going to “get in trouble”.

Cheryl: Wow – It sounds like they sure do need help at home. The good news is that my agency can help with all those issues. Our coordinator is a diabetic herself. She meets with each of the diabetic patients and builds a plan of care to support their diabetes, that’s why I wanted to meet with you. I know we are the company to service diabetic patients!

Mike: Yes, I know a little about home care services. However, most of my patients are on Medicare and you don’t take insurance

Cheryl: That’s true we do not take Medicare, but we still can help. We work with the patient and their families to build a plan of care to support them at home and that plan of care helps keep their diabetes in check. If folks don’t have the money to pay for a caregiver, we try to connect them with resources.

Mike: That’s nice. But I don’t know, I must think about how we might work together. I haven’t been referred to in-home care before. I just think about the cost for the patients. I am not comfortable talking about private pay expenses.

Cheryl: I can understand that and that’s exactly why I am here. To take that burden off your shoulders. How about if I come to one of your classes and as you go to break give me 5 minutes to share about my agency and what we do. Then we let the patients decide who would like to talk to me afterward.

Mike: Yeah, I like that better. Let’s look at a date – how about (insert date and times)

Cheryl: Perfect I will see you then. Before I go. One of the things that may not have thought about our patients that can’t get to your classes. Which patient has missed their appointments with you?

Mike: Oh I have a couple. We just keep calling them and rescheduling for another date.

Cheryl: How about if we offer a free in-home assessment to see if we can help get your patients here?

Mike: Oh – you would do that?

Cheryl: Yes, we would love to call them – ask if we could help and see where it takes us.

Mike: OK, I am open to that idea. I have one patient I would like you to connect. Let me get his info for you

Cheryl: Perfect – got it and I will let you know what they say – what’s your cell and I will text you

Mike: 333.333.3333

Cheryl: Great ok now you have mine too. Talk soon!

Now let’s review this roleplay.

First, I love to provide you with new referral sources (the CDE) to call on. I also love that this expands the CDE’s vision on how you can support private duty patients.

In the roleplay, Cheryl removes the stress of discussing costs, by offering to do the selling directly to the attendees.

In this example, the salesperson has access to direct consumer selling to the diabetic patient population.

I also love to show you how asking questions is more important than the rep telling the account about the agency.

Here in this example, the brochure vomiting is illuminated and replaced with specific information to differentiate the agency by just stating, “Our Coordinator is a diabetic herself”.

If you want to learn more about how you can sell by a diagnosis, we can help. We have a program called the Road Map To Referrals, 52 weeks of sales calls that expand the referral sources’ knowledge on whom to refer.

What to learn more? Simply email mike@homecaresales.com to set up a time to discuss or simply go here and chose a time that works for you: https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales

 

Have an amazing day!

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

Co-Owner of Home Care Sales

 

PS: Here is a link to a diagnosis-specific selling process video done by my business partner Melanie Stover. Be sure to click the Like and Subscribe button while you are there!

Click HERE to see the video on YouTube.

Question:

Which referral sources do I focus on to get the most referrals?

 

This is a GREAT question. The way you are going to get more referrals is to focus on those who are WILLING and ABLE to refer to you! Are they WORTHLY of your time?

Read that again. Is THIS account WORTHY of your time?

 

Most representatives are often subservient to their referral sources. We challenge that paradigm at Home Care Sales.

The owners and representatives we coach and work with KNOW their VALUE! They have significant knowledge in the senior care space through experience and our programs. They ARE the post-acute care experts.

This means they are not “begging” for referrals. They are TRUE care partners with their referral sources and, therefore, MUST prioritize who they spend their time with so that they can make the MOST IMPACT in their communities! When you have the knowledge and the experience, YOU become a resource to your referral sources, helping them get care to the seniors who deserve it! Your care!

Back to the question – which referral sources do I focus on?

1. The highly qualified accounts first!

 

Remember Step 1 of the High-Performance Sales Process? (If not read up on it in our FREE E-book, click here OR discover the whole sales process here in our High-Performance Sales Academy)

These are “A” accounts – that are currently referring to you and have the potential to refer MORE!

These are the accounts that you HAVE to defend and protect!

 

2. Prospects who have qualified and refer between sometimes and your “A” accounts – We call them “B” accounts.

 

When I am coaching, I tell the reps that if they gave you “1,” they have two or more! They just don’t know how to use you. They don’t know the breadth and depth of what you can do for their patients or residents.

These are PERFECT accounts to use the RoadMap to Referrals system. (Do you have the FREE marketing planner yet? If not, get your copy here! It’sIt’s the EXACT calendar we use with our coaching clients) The Roadmap to Referrals ™ system foundation is the Diagnosis Based Selling ™ method.

This method expands the referral sources mindset into which diagnoses you could care for and how you would care for them. Most clinicians – myself included were not taught about home care, home health, or hospice in college, and if your mentor didn’t use these post-acute care services, then you didn’t learn about it in your clinical practice either! You know this to be true.

How often has a client or patient’s family said, “OMG, I WISH we would have known about you SOONER!” The power of selling by Diagnosis is that you reach into the current caseload of your referral sources and pluck out the EXACT high-value referral type that YOU want for your agency.

3. What about those “onesies,” twosies” referral sources? …Or Referral sources that you KNOW have patients or residents to refer but “Just don’t get it.”

 

In the past, we would have had to be ruthless with our time, and these folks just would have been at the bottom of our list, and we would not have been able to call on them much. But COVID taught us a VERY valuable lesson!

YOU CAN MARKET REMOTELY! Woo Hooo!

 

All those accounts you could not justify getting in your car and going across town – NOW you don’t have to! You can simply use remote marketing tactics – phone and digital have changed Home Care Marketing FOREVER!

During COVID, we honed our copyrighting and messaging skills so that the same weekly message we deliver in person in the roadmap to referrals, we have created email, voicemail, and pdfs of our unique selling point for that week!

We can reach so many more referral sources with our message!

This is the BEST time to market Home Health, Hospice, and In-Home Care!

 

We can change lives together!

Make a bigger impact and income by serving more seniors!

Here are three ways we can work together when you are ready:

1. Download our free app! HomeCareSales app

This app has free and paid courses in it – explore!

2. RoadMap to Referrals ™ – this is your map for the exact words to say and get those referrals!

Want to see it in action – click here to get on Mike’s calendar for a tour

3.Coaching for Owners/ Managers or Representatives!

With over 25 yrs out in the field, Melanie and Cheryl have the experience for executive coaching for you or your reps to take it to the next level!

Keep serving Seniors!

Together We Grow!
Melanie

This summer, we had our family vacation in Cabo San Lucas. The boys LOVED it!

Of course, what is there not to love about a family vacation?

However, when I asked them what their favorite part they both replied the beach! My boys love the beach and swimming, so it was not surprising they said that but what followed?

 

“Mom, I love how we can be on the beach, and all the people come, and we can buy stuff.”

 

The boys love to buy “things” on the beach from the vendors, henna tattoos, wooden carvings of turtles, sunglasses, t-shirts lots of wares for sale. And A LOT of the same thing. Which got me thinking about differentiation.

 

How the beach vendors differentiated themselves fell into three categories:

    • By Price
    • By “customer service.”
    • By relationship and humor

 

Price: The 1st one is obvious by price. We are all consumers, and we know how to ask for a price and compare and get the best price. On the surface, all the t-shirts look the same, so you may simply look for the best price.

 

 

Which happens a lot in private pay in-home care – potential clients “shop” on price because that is all they know how to do. As the in-home care provider, you must elevate the conversation and share with the caller the differences on “why you” (we have a great exercise on this in the High-Performance Sales Academy). Even t-shirts can be different. We have all purchased a $5 t-shirt from the beach, and one wash later, it fits a barbie doll.

 

Was it even worth $5? – most likely not! A higher quality t-shirt might have cost more, but we could use it more. Similarly to in-home care – not all home cares are created equal.

DON’T let it be just about price!

 

Customer Service: While the product was the “same,” the customer service was different per salesperson on the beach.

 

Example: A child’s toy – a top – it was wooden and simple, but the guy we ultimately bought the top from offered to “customize” it by writing the boy’s names with a wood burner and the date, so we will never forget where we got them from.

 

 

This was a great example of taking something that is a commodity and “upgrading” it with customer service!

 

Many referral sources see Home Health, Hospice, and In-Home Care as a “commodity” all the “same,” but often, you can upgrade your position by “out customer servicing” the competition.

We see this at the intake position, making it “easy” for the referral source to refer. Or at the rep position speaking with the family, welcoming them onto service, and sharing “what to expect” as they transition home. The rep can make the whole process smoother and a better experience for the referral source and the patient.

 

Relationship and humor: By the 5th day on the beach, we had pretty much seen all the wares, and the salespeople had come to recognize the boys. One of the funniest lines of the week was a salesman walking by with a case of bracelets who said to us, “Hi Ladies, you haven’t bought any of my stuff you don’t need yet. Almost free for you today!”

 

It made us laugh, and my friend Melissa called him back. He was different, used humor to make a connection, and it worked! She bought a bracelet!

This is also why we say in the RoadMap to Referrals program to incorporate some fun! Yes, you are a professional, and this is serious business. But we could all use a little fun, and it deepens your relationships with your referral sources!

There are always “lessons” around us every day!

 

Be a student! Home Care Sales and Marketing can be challenging! But it doesn’t have to be. We are here for you! We got your back!

If you are interested in discovering how to leave the overwhelm and uncertainty behind, email Mike@homecaresales.com and he can tour you around the programs that can help you grow!

Together we GROW!

Click here to book a free discovery call with Mike! 

Keep serving Seniors

Together We Grow!
Melanie

Recently an owner was considering us to onboard, coach, and manage his rep.

He told us:

“I am terrible at hiring and managing my marketer. I have had 3 and 1 turned out to be not making a sales call, just sitting home and collecting a check.

The other was double dipping, working with another agency, and getting two paychecks.

The last one drove his car to the hospital and then walked to the gym, where he worked out for 2 hrs every day. I learned about it because one of my nurses worked out at the same gym and asked why he got to work out on company time.

I am OVER marketers. I am done with them, but I know I need them to increase my census, so I am calling you! You do it! I am not willing to risk my money ANYMORE!”

Gladly!

↑ How we feel when someone asks if we want to coach and manage their reps. ↑

 

We will gladly help you orient and onboard your marketers.

In addition, we will coach and train them weekly and hold them accountable.
We will become part of your leadership team!

We hear this story over and over from owners. Their marketers have failed them. But it’s not their fault they need a framework to orient and onboard a marketer.

Most owners were not taught sales management in school or in their professional careers. Our sales coaching program’s structure sets expectations, so everyone is on the same page, compresses time, and gets the rep to production quicker.

Managing marketers is a little like herding cats. And we LOVE herding cats!

Marketers must be independent and a self starter but often lack structure, planning, and time management skills, so they focus on “activity,” not “productivity.”

The HCS coaching and management program gives them the framework to have confidence in the planning to infuse their personality into the relationship development process.

Our framework consists of:

 

  • Orientation to Home Health, Hospice, or In-home care
    • Payment systems
    • Target Accounts
    • Eligibility criteria

 

  • Onboarding – the first 90 days to launch a rep to success
    • Weekly training and knowledge activities
    • Top 10 reasons to choose you
    • CRM included – documentation of best practices – how to set it and automate your sales success
    • How to answer “What do you do?” in a way everyone can understand and know when to reach out to you with a referral

 

  • Training and coaching – weekly checkpoints for training and coaching help the rep break through barriers and keep on target.
    • 52 wks of sales messages that get you high-value referrals RoadMap to Referrals in cluded
    • Live one on one coaching with a veteran marketer and manager
    • Small groups of peer coaching and community – other marketers in different states sharing “what’s working now.”

How does your framework compare to ours?

 

If you are frustrated with managing your marketer – we are here for you.

We LOVE herding cats!

We speak cat because we are cats!

Click here to book a free discovery call with Mike! 

Keep serving Seniors

Together We Grow!
Melanie

Recently, I presented at the Home Health Administrators summit in Las Vegas. It was an extraordinary summit, and I am always grateful for the opportunity to be of service and share our experiences.

 

I heard a lot of statements like this: 

 

“We did ok through COVID, and now the COMPETITION is heating up!”

“The competitive marketers are coming out in DROVES.” 

“We enjoyed the relative ease of communication and relationship during COVID with our best referral sources, but NOW the other agencies marketers are back at our referrals sources and stealing market share.” 

 

I, too, have experienced this in one of our client’s agencies. The rep’s statement to me during the coaching call this week was

“The wolves are out, and they are following me.” 

 

WOW – a lot can change in just a few weeks as communities open up. As agencies hire staff, the marketing team is called on to increase the referrals and fill up the funnel!

This is where Home Care Sales shines. We know exactly what to do.

Below is a quick framework as you approach this quarter 2 (good thing you did your quarterly business review and know your plan for Q2 – if you didn’t, we have got you covered in our Sales Management and Coaching program – reach out to Mike@homecaresales.com to learn more.)

 

    • Review your data (Q1 YOY and over Q4)
    • Rank your referral sources
    • A great defense is a great offense – now is the time to go to your Top 25 referral sources and do your Improvement Process questions.
    • See any GAPs? List them and meet with your manager to see how we can bridge them.
    • Create a 3 step action plan for your Top 25 accounts

 

You can do this! Bulletproof your best accounts, and as my friend, Cheryl says, “lock them in a vault!”

If you are struggling – you don’t have to – we are here for you!

 

Need more ideas and tactics that work in the field?

 

Coaching could be precisely what you are looking for!

 

The best in the world –Patrick Mahomes– gets coaching every week to be at the top of his game. You can’t expect to show up on Sunday and play your best game if you are not practicing, studying, and scrimmaging. So you, too, have the opportunity to be at the top of your game!

 

Click here to book a free discovery call with Mike! 

 

Keep serving Seniors

Together We Grow!
Melanie

Does your marketing team know your data?

The other day I was working with a client, and I was surprised the reps didn’t know their outcome data.

Nor did they know the outcome scores of their three biggest competitors.

How can you best position yourself against your competitors if you don’t know how you stack up?

When you don’t know your data – you are back to the “old marketing” tactics – the ones we don’t love – trinkets, pens, donuts, lunches. Because here’s the deal – someone will always have “better” giveaways.

…But WHO wants a Case Manager to refer your loved one based on DONUTS????

 

Not me!

I want my Mom to be with an agency that has excellent outcomes!

The only way your referral sources are going to know is if you tell them!

That’s what’s so great about NOW! YOU STILL HAVE TIME! 2022 is a data collection year for Value-Based Purchasing – that means you have time to get out in front of this and share the narrative you want them to know!

YOU CONTROL THE NARRATIVE NOW!

 

But you will not get it next year.

NOW is the time!

We teach Value-Based Purchasing and how to position your agency to our Sales Management and Coaching clients.

If you are interested in learning more about that, book a call with Mike.

Here are some steps to get you started

    • Know your data
    • Know your competitor’s data
    • Compare and see where you shine and outperform
    • Create a handout on the differences
    • WIN the referrals!

You got this- you have more control than you think!

 

It’s all in the POSITIONING!

Keep serving Seniors

Together We Grow!
M

This week, I presented at the Home Health Administrators Summit for Decision Health in Las Vegas.

It was SO great to see old clients and friends. I have missed them! And I have missed being around SMART – PASSIONATE – home health owners and administrators looking to level up!

I LOVE being around innovative owners – Hospital at Home – Value-Based – Integrating MORE with In-Home Care so that they are reducing hospital readmissions by 30% on high-risk ACO patients. It’s exhilarating!

When you get like-minded abundant administrators together sharing ideas and solutions on how they approached COVID – STAFFING – NOW THEY GOT STAFF NOW THEY NEED ADMISSIONS! The BALANCING Act!

Challenges were asked, and solutions were shared in real-time:

 

What about a therapy contract group who will not “do what you ask” – they want to still be on paper – not turn in their notes on time – but you NEED them.

What about an Admission nurse vs. every RN making their own admissions based on the territory? Does one produce better OASIS consistency?

Another person asked – How do we get all the people involved in a patient’s care to communicate and know what’s going on with that patient in real-time?

All of these questions –

All of these administrators are looking for answers.

 

Maybe you can relate.

I can so relate. When presented with a challenge at one of our clients, the first thing I do is to reach out to Cheryl, and together we brainstorm on who might be able to help solve the challenge – often, its another one of our clients who is has done something similar or using the same EMR that can give insight on how they use it.

The brilliant thing about having us on your team is that we get to see the inside of many agencies over the years and connect with the owners to share thoughts and solutions. We have been doing this for over 20 years.

During the past week or so, you have read emails from us inviting you to our new Home Health Inner Circle. This is a curated group of home health owners, administrators, and executives who all come to the table for connection, collaboration, and impact.

A group of colleagues.

A group of extraordinary owners and executives who are up to BIG things in the world of home health that you could learn from, and in other areas, they can learn from you!

Colleagues – friends who help each other get to the next level.

 

In the next 12 months, home health will go through another radical transformation with payment changes and OASIS E.

 

We are building a group to navigate the changes with ease.

Go from overwhelmed to a clear path, confident in the next steps to maximize your position.

You are invited!

Click here to answer a few questions to see if the inner circle is the right fit for you!

Together we GROW!

Melanie

Over the past few months, I have written several blogs describing my journey to provide care for my mother and her recent medical issues. Fast forward to today: Mom was in the hospital and couldn’t find an SNF with rehab that had a bed open…

I called her nurse every night and asked, “Should we should take her home?”

I felt like we could rehab her at home with home health. However, her nurse was a little apprehensive.

She was concerned that she would NOT get the rehab she needed. I reassured her with Home Health, PT, and OT that we could create a home exercise plan (HEP) that would ve “comparable” to an SNF rehab plan with less exposure to COVID since Mom is immune-compromised.

After “team” the next day, her Nurse Practitioner called me and said, “Can you support your Mom at home if we D/C her directly home?”

Of course, I said yes with my friends from Interim Home Health!

Yes, I can fly home and help, but here’s the catch you: want to D/C her on Monday, and I get out of COVID isolation on Tuesday. That way I can fly home on Wednesday.

I called my Mom to confirm this is what she wanted to do and was comfortable “going home” she said, “YES, I want to go home!”

 

So I called my brother who lives on the other side of Ohio and said, “Ryan could you get Mom and take her home on Monday? Set her up. I will organize home health and hire an in-home caregiver through the private duty side of Interim until I can get there on Wednesday.” He said yes!

Ryan has a HUGE truck. I had this vision of him “throwing” Mom up into the cab. Luckily for me, Mom already thought of that and told him to go to her house and get her car to bring her home – good idea!

 

By the time I called Interim later that day, they already had the order for Home Health, and I was fielding calls from the DME company to deliver equipment.

Mom made it home safe and sound on Monday – YEA! She had a friend stay with her Monday and Tuesday night until I could get there on Wednesday.

Interim professionals were doing the SOC on Tuesday. She is receiving Nursing OT and PT.

A private duty aide came on Wed afternoon to help her get settled. On Wednesday, I was out of isolation and flew home to 12 inches of SNOW! What a welcome! But, just like the mailman, the Home Health Clinicians came to see my Mom that week. I am happy to report Mom has graduated from her walker! She is still a little unsteady, but her OT and PT are working on that!

I am grateful that she was able to go home.

Moreover, she is THRILLED to be at home!

 

She said to me last night, “Mel, I think I just do better at home. Look at me; I am walking. I am climbing steps to the landing. I don’t think I would have done this well at skilled nursing with rehab.”

I believe her. In her own environment, which she loves, she is HIGHLY motivated to do her HEP and functional activities (last night, we made bread and the night before cookies to take to the kids).

Big shout out to Interim of Meadville, PA – Their customer service is off the charts, and their clinicians are super skilled!

 

What can we learn from this experience?

    1. Hospitals automatically think “SNF with rehab” if they qualify- but it doesn’t have to be that way. In some cases, it shouldn’t be that way.
    2. Your clinicians, if the patient is medically stable and has a caregiver if they are not able to self-care, CAN receive Home Health.
    3. Home Health was the RIGHT answer for my Mom; I just needed to think about how to cover the 1st two days of her discharge since I couldn’t be there.

Tell the story of my Mom to your hospital D/C planners. Let them “visualize” how Home Health can be the answer – especially now that COIVD has so many of them without “beds.” We call these patient vignettes. This is how we get referral sources to connect the dots from a patient to a referral to you.

Need more patient vignettes to help them connect the dots to you? We got you covered!

 

The RoadMap to Referrals is FULL of patient vignettes you can use out in the field to get more referrals NOW.

Gaining referrals does not have to be complicated. Will you let us help you?

Pick a time convenient for you to have Mike show you the system!

Together we GROW!

Melanie

For those of you who have been “following” Mom’s journey. She hit a speed bump a couple of weeks ago.

She had a bone biopsy, and there was some internal bleeding after the procedure; by the time she got home, she was in extreme pain and unable to walk.

She called the ambulance and was transported back to Cleveland Clinic. Mom spent 14 days as an inpatient while they tried to get her pain under control and start to resolve the hematoma that was on her “hip .”

As luck would have it, I was unable to be at the bedside as my son tested positive for COVID, and I was on a ten-day isolation protocol. So my care coordination was via phone and facetime.

Since my Mom lives alone, they thought it best to transition to an SNF with Rehab. I could hardly disagree as I couldn’t fly home to be with her.

The Case Manager (CM) gave her the “list.”

You know the one where they type in your home zip code and print out the list of providers closest to you and tell her to pick one.

Not knowing what to do, my Mom looked at the list and chose the one nearest to her home highlighted by the CM. The CM called them, but they didn’t have any beds open due to COVID staffing shortages.

So, my Mom proceeded to pick five more based on distance from her home. All had the same answer – no beds due to staffing shortages. I didn’t know that any of this was going on, but when I called later that day, she shared that she couldn’t find a rehab for her. I asked her to take a pic and send it to me (see photo).

This is the lesson for us as post-acute care providers.

 

The list – oh, that damn list! I want to cry every time I hear a Case Manager say I give out a list. While, in this case, it was an SNF list – it could have easily been a Home Health, Hospice, or In-Home Care list.

Look at that list. Yes, they will say to you – “well, we give them the star ratings to review.” But really…is that the best way?

Look how she highlighted the list – it was based on distance, so my Mom chose based on distance. This is to say; patients look to their Case Manager to help them navigate through all the choices – even when it is not a great criterion like distance.

Once I understood what was happening and that discharge was “now,” I got on the phone with some of the nurses, and while they would never come right out and say this one is good, or this one is bad, or I would rank the rehabs 1, 2, 3 – One of them said the exact words I used to say to my patients when I was an OT in the field:

“If It were MY MOTHER, I would try: Abc SNF or XYZ SNF or 123 SNF”

 

Again we are humans; they are humans; when asked, they will tell the patient their opinion, but you have to ask, and my Mom didn’t know to ask. So she simply followed the highlighted path.

It’s the hospital policy to offer a list and patient choice. The CM did that.

She also provided “outcome” measures on that list to meet the facility’s policy of “informed choice.”

I will submit it to you it’s not enough.

 

That is where you come in – you differentiate your agency beyond your star rating. How do you educate the Case Managers so that when a patient or daughter like me asks, “who would you send your mom to…” they would respond with Your agency’s name?

It’s up to you to position yourself as the expert in transitioning a patient to their home or a highlighting specific disease.

REMEMBER: It is not their job to remember you – it is YOUR job to make yourself someone they can not forget!

 

Are you struggling to differentiate yourself? Then, Roadmap to Referrals does it for you! Imagine having a new topic each week to elevate your conversations and position you as the expert in CHF, COPD, Parkinson’s, and many more!

Patients and clients deserve your care! It’s your job to engage your referral sources, so they see you as a trusted partner, and it is logical to refer to you when you are the expert!

Wondering how to do that?

We can help:

Choose a date and time for a quick consult with Mike to show you the system!

Together we GROW!

Melanie