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.
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