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Five Sales Exercises to help you improve your sales messages

One of the most frustrating things that I have seen repeatedly from Sales Representatives is that they continue to call on accounts that have never referred. According to Ziglar, that is the definition of insanity! 

Over the last 10 years, I will share with you that I have studied my fair share of data. Sales representatives are taking about 5-8 sales touches before they get their first referral. Today, I wanted to share with you an exercise that I learned to help sales representatives get in touch with their sales messages. 

When sales representatives understand how important the sales message is, they can use it effectively to finally bring in the referrals.

Here is the assignment that I give reps to improve their sales results. 

First: I ask them to list 5 reasons that describe why someone refers a patient to receive care. 

 

The way to do this is to look at the last 5 referrals and go ask the person who referred them for services:  Why did you refer this patient for services? 

Here are the types of comments that I receive back:

  • The patient had multiple hospitalizations
  • The patient had multiple falls
  • The patient has cognitive deficits
  • The Patient is non-compliant
  • The patient cannot get to the doctor’s office
  • The patient has a problem with blood sugar
  • The patient constantly is calling the MD with problems.

The next part of the assignment is to have them create “one marketing message” related to each reason why the patient was referred for their company’s services.

 

  • We can prevent multiple hospitalizations
  • We have a falls prevention program
  • We treat patients with cognitive deficit’s
  • We educate patients on disease management
  • We can help you by doing a telehealth visit search

(Note: Tie into Call-To-Action for your product/services)

Now I have them turn this into a trigger question and a “what is in it for me?” statement to bring in the referrals. 

Quick Example: “Which patient might end up in the hospital this week? I’d love to make sure you don’t have to worry about him or her this week.”

There are many variations of this, but over the years, we have unlocked several that almost always work.

The follow up to this is to build a year of weekly sales messages and provide handouts that support the questions. 

 

This part can be daunting, but you don’t need 52 DIFFERENT topics! You won’t simply talk about heart conditions once a year. You are more likely to talk about it once a quarter, but if you focus on your key diagnosis and reasons for referring, you can build out a strategic plan like the one we provide in the Roadmap of Referrals.

Once you’ve compiled that, We need to talk about gatekeepers (window witches, window wives, dragons at the gate, etc…)

 

You need to figure out how to get through the gatekeepers present at all your account types. We can’t spell out EVERY strategy here, but there is a good chance you can predict the kind of gatekeepers you will meet. Having an effective strategy past these people obstacles will put you on target to build the referring relationship you need. 

Finally, to truly knock it out of the park, you need to roleplay your sales messages.

 

This will let you figure out what you will say when you will meet objections like:

  • We don’t refer
  • You need to have a Lunch and Learn
  • The hospitals handle all our referrals
  • I have a provider that I use for my patients
  • My patients can’t afford your services
  • My patients don’t need your services

Once you have mastered all of this you are finally done.  You have completed your very own 52-week sales plan.

If this is too difficult for you, do not worry, we have done this for you. 

 

Our weekly sales messages can produce up to 5 times the number of referrals you are currently getting from an account. We also provide the handout (PDF) to email, and phone script to use to build the number of referrals you are getting from your current referring accounts.

The real secret sauce happens when once a month the agencies get to join Melanie and I in our virtual coaching room and hear us roleplay:

  • How to use the trigger questions,
  • How to deal with the most common objections that your sales representatives will face
  • How to use trigger questions when asking for specific patient types

Why this works so well is this…. Your sales representatives get to build up their confidence.  And folks, confidence sells.

Want to see what this looks like? 

Go to www.homecaresales.com to learn more or just email Mike@homecaresales.com and you can have your own private demo. This product can help you close the prospecting funnel. This is THE TOOL to stop no value sales calls. 

Don’t just let your sales team wander aimlessly without a Roadmap of Referrals. 

 

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

PS – You can also claim some of Mike’s time directly on his calendar here:

https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales

Medicare Update for 2021

Roleplaying with Sales Representatives when faced with the objection, “I have an agency I am referring to”

Today most of our agencies are battling against a great number of competitors!

I have worked with some amazing sales managers who do a great job on teaching and coaching sales associates on how to differentiate their organization from their competition.

Sales managers know how important it is for a sales representative to be able to clearly state why they should get the business and not one of their competitors.

However, there is still a problem that often gets missed. The sales representatives are able to confidently state why you should refer to them, and yet so many get stuck the second the account says to them:

“I have an agency that I give my referrals to”

 

Today, I wanted to gift you with a role-play session that you as a sales manager or owner can practice with your sales representatives when they face this common objection.    

Set the scene first:

This sales representative has been prospecting a large rehab hospital for about 3 weeks now and has not been able to get any referrals.  Sale call being done over the phone because of COVID-19. 


Sales Representative: Hi (Social Workers Name), how are you?

Social Worker:  Busy, we had at least 10 new patients come in this weekend from the hospital.

Sales Representative: Wow, that is quite a bit of admissions for one weekend.

Social Worker:  Yes

Sales Representative: I won’t take up your time. I wanted to share with you that according to an article I read by the US Pharmacist Organization, 25% of patients that get hospitalized are there because of medication misuse. What do you think about that?

Social Worker:  I believe it! I am sure that half the patients that go home from here make mistakes. Half of them are ordered over 15 medications and they have no clue why they are supposed to even take them.

Sales Representative: I agree with you! I also know that you want to keep those patients out of the hospital just as much as we do!

Social Worker:  Yes, I do!

Sales Representative:  Who is being discharged this week that you believe is a high risk to have a medication error at home?

Social Worker:  Oh, I have 3 that come to mind immediately. I have them on my desk right here.  Mr. A, B, and Mrs. C.  All of them have at least 10 medications to take when they get home, and all 3 of them are widows and live alone.

Sales Representative: Great, let me take them from you right now and set them all up for home health services for you.

Social Worker: I have an agency that I use that I am giving them too.   

 

This is where many sales representatives back down…

Don’t! Push right through!

 

Sales Representative: Well how can I become the agency that you refer to? I believe so deeply in my organization, we are nurse owned and operated, and we currently have a 5 star rating, and we are committed to making sure that no one who needs the care goes without it!

Social Worker:  That is great, but I refer to XYZ.

Get ready for it…

 

Sales Representative:  What will happen if you don’t refer to XYZ and you give me those referrals right now?

Social Worker:  Excellent question. You know what? I am going to try you right now! Here you go.

Sales Representative: Perfect!

Listen up sales managers! You need to have your sales representatives ask the hard questions! Have them give a soft push towards getting the referrals and not run away crying that every account already has an organization they refer to!

You have got to push for what you want without being rude or too pushy. But PUSH! You do this by asking the hard questions so you can get the answers you long for!

 

Need more tips like these? We got them! Go check out www.homecaresales.com and learn more or email Mike@homecaresales to see a demo.

You can also claim some of Mike’s time directly on his calendar here:

https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales

 

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

The Most Important Skill That Sales Representatives Must Possess

This morning I received a call from a client who was building his sales team from 3 reps to 6 reps.

He wanted to put his new reps through our Fast Track Orientation, High Performance Sales Academy, Masters in High Performance Selling, and Inside Sales Process as well as purchase the Community Calls program. 

He started to share with me about his success with his current sales reps using our products.

He then asked me:

“How do I know how to pick the next three sales representatives to join my team?”

 

I explained it all comes down to one core skill that the sales representative must possess. First, before I share that one core skill, there are certain personality traits that are found in phenomenally successful sales representatives. They usually have high energy. As a sales representative, you are going to use a lot of energy every day.

They usually are very personable and friendly. They can walk into a room and get any stranger into some type of conversation with them. They can usually handle topics like the weather or the big game from last week, or even the décor of the room they are standing in without breaking a sweat. They can easily engage others in a conversation.  They also usually have this big smile to go with their big friendly personality.

It is easy to test your potential hire to see if they have this trait.

I have my secretary take the applicants for a tour of my building and stop at each desk to introduce the potential new employee. I then call and speak to a few staff members and ask them. How was his/her interaction with you? If I hear things like, “they were nice” or they report things like, “the candidate saw my dog picture and immediately showed me a picture of their dog.”  Or maybe even something such as, “they saw I had a Penn State flag in my cubby and said they went to Penn State too!”

Other great questions I like that a candidate may ask is, “Why do you like working for the company”? or “How long have you been working here?”  Maybe they then follow up with, “You must love your job to have been here that long,” or,”You must know a lot of information about this industry, I will have to tap into that amazing knowledge.”

This quick tour really becomes as important as the actual interview. 

You want to see if they have the core skill that representatives need to be able to really land amazing accounts. You see, the best sales representatives have the ability to become acutely aware of what is important to the person they are talking to.

The best sales representatives (that I have been out in the field doing ride-alongs with), have the knowledge to stir the referral sources emotions and bring out the accounts frustrations. Superstars will quickly become competent to confront the stated problems in the future. They naturally tap into their core skill.  They can clearly articulate the exact way that they, and only they, can solve their problem and make the referring person look good while doing it.

That’s it!  It’s that simple!  Just uncover the problem, stir the emotions up by restating the problem, and bam, come in with how you are the solution to fix their problem. 

Trust me, this is how I got my nickname “The Solutionist”.  I have followed this fixer mindset long before Olivia Pope, ever took to the big screens in Hollywood for the TV show Scandal.

Let’s see it in action now! I am going to take you through a sales call to one of my favorite Cardiologist’s office who refers to all 3 of my service lines.  Let me set the stage.

I am going into a large physician’s office and I have gotten about 8 referrals over the last 2 months. I have built this relationship from the front desk, the “window witch” all the way to the 3 cardiologists at the practice.  I have learned that once a month the 3 cardiologists meet for a team meeting and I got invited to sit down with them today over lunch.

Start with small talk, about family and fun fall activities going on in the communities. Next, I took control of the meeting flow by just claiming it. I said, “Ok Gentlemen, this is how I would like to spend the next few minutes with you all before I let you go about your incredibly busy day. I have a few questions to ask so I can learn more about your practice and any challenges you may be facing.”

I have their commitment and then I ask these questions:

  • Share with me what issues are top of mind right now with your practice. 
  • Probe deeper, “Tell me more about wanting to increase legitimate ways to bill for more at each MD visit”.
  • Restate what you believe is their problem and stir the emotions.  “I believe from our conversation today, that you are all expressing concerns about adding on additional billing codes because you don’t want to take any risk for billing more by adding additional billing codes to the claim unless you all feel good about providing the additional billing service.  In addition, you want to make sure you can easily pass a billing audit about the additional billing codes added to the claim”.  Did I get that correct?
  • Come in with your solution.  I have heard similar requests from other physician offices, and I have one quick solution that I can provide you with today. You can bill for advance care planning easily and I have books of the necessary resources that you can place in your exam rooms and I can show you how easy it is to add this resource book with just a few questions from you when you enter the exam room about the information in the advance care planning resource book, and you can comfortable add this billing code to every patient visit.  Let me show you the resource book, I have one in my car. In just 5 mins I can show you how to have this done today!

Now, I was prepared. I after all am the co-creator of the Masters in High-Performance Selling System. In our master’s program, we teach reps sales strategy sales calls to help improve Mips scores for physicians as well as teach them how to support the physician to learn new billing strategies such as Advance Care Planning billing.

Because I was prepared, I made sure I used my core skill of uncovering their pain and offering a solution to their problems, I was able to take today’s problem and solve it.

The result? I just put this account in a vault. 

I have made sure that every referral, from all three of these physicians, will be sent to my agency.

You see folks, we don’t just work on creating products that help you get more patients to serve. We share with you, exactly how we are winning referrals!

Home Care Sales was created to serve more people. To make sure that everyone that needs help at home gets the services. When we create products, it is because we use those exact products to serve more patients. That’s why our past clients come back over and over again and purchase our products for every sales rep they ever hire. 

Want to check out our master’s program?  Reach out to Mike@homecaresales.com and arrange a demo!  You too can have an amazing team of “Solutionist” like me!

You can also claim some of Mike’s time directly on his calendar here:

https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales

 

Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”

Doctors speak out about why they hate sales representatives

I have spent the last 30 plus years working closely with physicians. 

I will never forget my first real job because I started it on my 16th birthday.

I was hired as the weekend EKG technician at Northeastern Hospital. I had 5 different cardiologists as my bosses.

I learned at a young age what each one expected of me. Because I made sure I got to know them, I was able to not only do my job well, I was able to provide them each with a personalized experience.

I knew what physician wanted Tea when he was reading EKG’s and who wanted coffee. I knew which physicians ate peanut butter crackers, and who preferred danish. I also knew what they wanted for lunch and kept the mini refrigerator in the office filled with vitamin water, seltzer, and diet coke so I didn’t have to run out and get something. I didn’t want to waste precious time away from doing EKG’s or typing up the reports.

Because the doctors all liked my work, I was promoted to weekend supervisor at the age of 17, even though the other EKG technicians had many more years of experience and they had 20 plus years of life experience as well.

None of my co-workers seemed to care that I got the promotion before them. They all said that I had outworked them and that I had earned the right to the job. The doctors all felt that they were the happiest when working the weekends because they loved the way I ran the department. 

In fact, on all the days that I was off from high school, they had me come to work during the weekdays too.

Now, that was 35 years ago. I have made many physician friends over those years and when it came time for me to reach out and ask them why they hate sales representatives they were incredibly open to sharing with me their insights.

One common statement was repeated to me over and over again:  

“I hate sales reps that waste my time”  

 

I dug deeper and I asked them to explain to me what exactly was the sales rep doing or saying that made the physicians feel like it was a waste of their time. 

These are the statements that I heard:

  • Reps that just say I stopped by to say hi and talk about the game
  • Reps that just ask the doctor do you have any referrals for me
  • Reps that do not speak to me at all and just flirt with my staff to try to win referrals
  • Reps that just leave a business card or flyer

My next question was:

What does your favorite sales representative do that you like?

Here is what they said over and over again.

  • I love a sales representative that makes my job easier
  • I like salespeople that educate me on how they can help specific patient types
  • I enjoy working with sales representatives that bring me information that I can share with my patients (These reps help my practice look good).
  • I like sales associates that provide me with feedback about patients that I have referred
  • I like salespeople who ask me questions about my patients

The next thing I did was pull out a month’s worth of sales calls following our 52-week sales plan – The Roadmap of Referrals. I showed the physicians what I was providing to the sales representatives and asked them for feedback. 

Here is what the physicians had to say:

  • I had no clue that you could help patients with setting up and using their new glucometer (this was on the flyer for the week we cover diabetes care)
  • I would love to have educational information in my exam rooms for patients to read while they are waiting for me to see them.  (I showed him the Lung Cancer monthly observance form)
  • The trigger questions really help me identify patients that I just saw that day and at the time of the visit I was so busy thinking about what test a patient needed or what lab work I needed to order, that I sometimes forget that I could also include an introduction for private duty services.
  • I love that my entire staff would be brought a small treat and me an update about the patients I referred (fun week activity)

I was so proud of this product. The physicians felt that they didn’t really know what home health, hospice, or private-duty does to help patients.

The doctors felt that they would be able to refer more patients if they could learn more about what a patient experiences at home and the benefits the patient would receive that they would have many more patients to refer.

I know that it works because I used this product to save my agency!

I know that sales representatives want to be liked, and the way to win over the physicians is to bring them value. 

 

Get them talking about what is happening in their practice, and you will be the sales representative to win their referrals. If you need help, do not worry. We have done the work for you and have gotten our product physician-approved.

The 52-Week Road Map to Referrals includes group role play so you know exactly what to say to make high-value sales calls! 

Evolve into the sales representative that the doctors what to see!  To learn more you can click here:  

https://homecaresales.com/52-week-roadmap-to-referrals/#home-health-home-care or watch this video:

 

Would you like to see this in a demo? Reach out to mike@homecaresales.com or set up a time directly on his calendar here:

https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales

Organizations without Sales Teams are at GREAT Risk of losing Market Share

I can still remember…

…back in 2009 when my organization had suffered 3 consecutive years of financial losses due to my competition winning referrals by building relationships with my referral sources. 

Many agencies today believe that they do not need to have a person who acts as a community liaison, salesperson, or account executive and my job is to make you see why you absolutely need to have a salesperson. 

I know right now you have so many things to worry about: 

  • Recruiting
  • Retention
  • Access to accounts
  • (and to top the list) Covid19 issues continue to impact all of us

That is why I am bringing this to your attention. I don’t want you to be so consumed with the daily frustrations of running your business that you add losing market share to the top of your list.

First, let us look at the number one reason that someone uses an agency today.

Many of our clients use an agency because they were highly recommended by someone. Who do you think are making these provider recommendations?

Sure, many of these recommendations come from a family member or friend but most often these recommendations are coming from a hospital discharge planner, physician, or a social worker at a rehab center. 

When the referral comes from the hospital discharge planner, physician, or social worker they are giving the referrals to organizations that they have a working relationship. These relationships typically get built from the agency’s sales executive.

Now, I know that some of you are as smug as I was, and you are saying to yourselves right now that won’t happen to me. My agency is the best. I am sure your organization does provide great services, but folks it happens to great agencies. You see, I had relationships with many wonderful physicians because I was a nurse working at the hospital before I started my agencies.  Those physicians drove referrals into the doors at my agency for a long time.

Until, one day, this sales associate from a competitive agency went to the doctor’s office and got a relationship with the referral girl at the doctor’s office. Bye-bye went my referrals. Same thing with the social worker at the buildings and the discharge planners at the hospitals.

In addition, patients choose certain providers because of involvement in the community or they get referred by their senior center staff (pre-COVID), dialysis centers, or an elder attorney.

  • How did these great referral sources decide to recommend their agency of choice?
  • Was it their star rating? 
  • Was it how long the company was is business? 

Probably not.

It was most likely related to a relationship that was developed by the agency’s sales associate.

 

You must nurture your relationships to keep them. If you are not working on maintaining these relationships weekly, someone else will be.

Now, I know many of you have no time to provide a new sales associate with a proper orientation, sales training, and continuously motivate and monitor their results. No worries!

Home Care Sales can help.

I wish that I had a company like Home Care Sales when I was in trouble back in 2009. In fact, the pain of almost losing my business is exactly why we bring you the products to make sure that you can grow your organization. We are on a mission to make sure that everyone who needs help at home gets referred for services. That is why we make the products, keep the cost down, and ensure that they are delivering results for our clients.

Please, if you need help growing, go email Mike@Homecaresales.com right now. He will help you select the exact product that you need to achieve growth and prevent account leakage.

To set up a demo go here: https://calendly.com/mike-home-care-sales and secure a time to talk to him.

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)