... to this issue of Home Health Care Today, the leading electronic newsletter for home health care and hospice executives who want to grow their business and get ready for the future.For strategies and insights on growing your private pay, non-medical home care business, subscribe to our sister newsletter, Private Duty Today.
In this issue....
.Be Ready When Disaster Strikes
.Selling Home Health Care to Physicians Workshop
.The Advanced Academy
.How Profitable Is Your Private Pay Home Care Business?
.New Home Health Therapy Requirements Go Into Effect April 1, 2011!
.Printed Newsletters to Physicians Generate Home Health & Hospice Referrals
Be Ready When Disaster Strikes
Who do you know that lives in Japan? My guess is that you know someone, or know someone who knows someone, with family ties to this island nation.
The other morning when I woke to the news of the devastating earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, I immediately thought of our extended family there. Keiko Mitsuhashi is our "exchange sister", and she and her family live in Tokyo.
When my sister, Lisa, was a senior in high school our parents hosted a foreign exchange student. Lisa and Keiko have been "sisters" for more years than I'm allowed to tell you about. Keiko's daughter, Noyuri, went to college in Boston and spent time with Lisa and her family. Keiko and Noyuri came from Tokyo to Pittsburgh, PA for my nephew Dan's wedding. They are family.
The internet brought almost instant news that their home was rattled, and some dishes fell off the shelves and shattered, but there was no serious damage or injury to our family members. What about you? Do know someone who was affected by the disaster.
While it is a major catastrophe, the country of Japan seems well prepared to deal with it, and is getting much help from other countries around the world. Experts predict that the country will rebound quickly and recover from the devastation.
What would you do in such circumstances? How well is your home care agency prepared for such a major natural disaster?
In November 1, 2006 issue of Leading Home Care Report (now Home Health Care Today), we reported about how a major snow storm on October 14, 2005 struck Buffalo, NY and shut down the city and the home health care operations of Catholic Health System Home Care. At that time, CEO Mark Sullivan shared with us the events that took place and how his agency responded in a time of emergency. While that snow storm caused major disruption, it was no where near the scale of the Japan earthquake or Hurricane Katrina. Yet there were some major learning points from that experience that can help us all be better prepared when disaster strikes.
Here are the major learning points from the Catholic Health System Home Care experience that may help you and your agency be ready for a potential future disaster:
- Maintain a checklist of everything that you might need from your office in the event of a disaster which causes you to work from somewhere else. Make sure you have copies of this list, and all of the information you'll need in an off-site location.
- You need to be 100% automated, with schedules, patient lists, and staff information complete and up-to-date. You can't have people working from paper schedules on their desks until they have time to input the data into the computer system.
- Have your IT system in a secure data center that has backup power and internet connections so you can access the system from remote locations.
- Maintain an up-to-date roster of all employees with contact information.
- Have personal cell phone and home phone numbers for all staff.
- Use your telephone contacts and keep in touch with your staff and patients using your telephone tree. Limit use of radio and TV to contact your patients unless all other communication systems are not operable. This can lead to confusion, and given the power outage you can't always rely on media. The more "business as usual" for the patients, the better. It helps them remain calm.
- Have alternative locations for your emergency operations center identified and prepared in advance. If something happens to your office today, where will you establish your operations?
- Have a master map of every phone line, fax line, and internet connection into your building. Know who to call at the telephone company to re-route each phone line and internet connection.
- Have a plan to access a back-up electrical generator in the event power is out for an extended period. Since the home health agency is in a commercial office park and not near any healthcare facility, they were down the list of priorities to have power restored by the electric company.
- Have a disaster plan for your answering service, and review it with them regularly.
- Keep a list of schedules and patient lists printed out ahead of time. When you know a storm is coming, run the lists and get them off site.
- Have extra car chargers for laptops and cell phones.
- Have wireless internet cards for your laptops.
- Keep your senior leadership team visible at all times during the emergency. Your staff wants to see leadership in action.
- Remain calm and understand the importance of "emotional intelligence". Keep your leadership team focused on taking action that serves the patients and the staff.
- Supply food. There's something about having food available that creates a special bond between members of a team working through an emergency situation.
- Remember, home care staff need transportation. With payroll down, mileage checks were delayed, so CHS provided gas cards to staff in need.
We appreciate Mark Sullivan and his team taking time to share with us their experience, and their learning points from this Disaster Plan deployment.
What have been your experiences in implementing your agency's disaster plan? What points would you add to our list?
Hit reply and email us your comments.
We just completed our first Selling Home Health Care to Physicians workshop in Tampa, FL on February 25th and the attendee's rated the value of this workshop a 9.5 out of 10 and here are some of the top take-away's from those who joined us in Tampa:
1. Knowing how your physician referral sources think
2. How to articulate an example that is applicable to physician
3. Learning the "rapport system"
4. Learning the Physician's "values"
5. Creating an "Elevator Conversation"
6. How to close a physician during a presentation
7. How to leverage the gatekeeper
When you need to know how to get past the gatekeeper and have a meaningful conversation with the doctor? How to capture the doctor's attention long enough to make your case? And, what kind of presentation will be most effective in persuading the doctor to refer to your agency? Then Selling Home Health Care to Physicians is a MUST ATTEND workshop.
These are just a few the questions addressed by Doctor M. Tray Dunaway, MD, FACS, CSP in Selling Home Health to Physicians. Based on their research in the industry and their work with hundreds of home health sales representatives from dozens of agencies, Dr. Dunaway and Stephen Tweed will help your home health sales reps develop the knowledge, skills, and motivation to generate more referrals from physicians.
AND, they'll help you get those referrals without buying lunches.
This is the first and only program of its kind in the home health industry where your sales representative will have the opportunity to sit side-by-side with a seasoned physician who makes referrals to home health and practice presentations that work. Each person who attends this powerful, interactive workshop will have the opportunity to prepare and practice a real live persuasive presentation with the doctor.
If you want to have your home health sales professionals receive proven training that is sure to pay for itself in just months, you'll want to send each of them to Pasadena, CA on June 16, 2011 for this powerful workshop, Selling Home Health to Physicians.
The Advanced Academy
We have also learned that the participants in our past Academies are really looking forward to our Advanced Academy, which will kick on on April 6 & 7, 2011 in Orlando, FL (co-hosted by the Home Care Association of Florida). There is also an Advanced Academy being held on June 20 & 21 in Anaheim, CA. This one and 1/2 day interactive program is designed for previous graduates of the Academy and for the more experienced owners of larger private pay businesses. The group will be limited to 30 participants and registrations are coming in fast.
If you would like to really go deep into the best practices to grow your business, then you'll want to be in Orlando, FL or Anaheim, CA for The Advanced Academy.
The Leading Home Care Network group on Linkedin is growing...there are now over 625 members. The members of this group represent some of the most recognizable companies in our industry and by joining and participating you will be connected with the most poweful and influential experts in the Home Health Care community. Remember this group is for insiders only; we don't allow vendors. Join today and see what they are talking about.
Some of the most recent discussion topics include:
2010 Business Growth...did you grow and how much?
What is a fair standard for the number of referrals a sales person should generate?
Tips to keeping your aging loved one's brain fit.
Home Health is a vital part of the continnum of care.
Long Term Care Insurance is not just for nursing homes
Thoughts on th new Face-to-Face requirements
If you are a home health care sales or marketing professional, and would like to be part of this discussion group, log on to Linkedin and search for the group Leading Home Care Network
We look forward to having you join the Leading Home Care Network group on Linkedin.
How Profitable Is Your Private Pay Home Care Business?
Did you know...
the average private pay home care business that is affiliated with a Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) is larger, growing faster, and is less profitable than either a franchise or independent private duty company?
45% of private pay businesses in home health lost money in 2009?
the average private pay business in home health earned a combination of overhead allocation to corporate and net profit of 8.11% of revenue?
the average salary of a private pay director working for a home health agency was $73,245 in 2009?
Imagine how much more effective you could be in making decisions about your private pay business if you had access to the latest industry benchmark data.
Now you can have it! The 2010 Private Pay in Home Health Care Benchmarking and State of the Industry Report was just released by Leading Home Care. This industry study, conducted in corporation with the Visiting Nurse Associations of America and the Accreditation Commission for Health Care provides the latest statistical data from the readers of Home Health Care Today.
New Home Health Therapy Requirements go into effect April 1, 2011
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released this week a fact sheet on the therapy reassessment requirements that are scheduled to go into effect on April 1, 2011. These requirements were mandated in the Calendar Year 2011 Final Home Health Rule released by CMS.
CMS Administrator, Dr. Donald Berwick, announced last week that the new rules on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) will be coming out "very soon". The rules were originally scheduled to be released on March 1, 2011. The proposed rules have been sent to the Office of Management and Budget.
ACOs were authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and are scheduled to go into effect on January 2, 2012. Click here for ACO FAQs by Kaiser Health News.
Printed Newsletters to Physicians Generate Home Health & Hospice Referrals!
Shortly after I formed my first speaking and consulting business over 25 years ago, I learned about using printed newsletters mailed to clients and prospects as a high powered marketing tool. For many years, before the advent of email and web marketing, we used paper newsletters as our primary marketing vehicles.
Research we have conducted at Leading Home Care shows that paper newsletters mailed to referral sources and patients are still a very valuable marketing tool. This has become more true as opening rates for electronic newsletters had declined. When we started publishing Stephen Tweed's Leading Home Care Report, now called Home Health Care today, in 2003, we had an opening rate of 49%. For every 100 subscribers, 49 would open and read the newsletter every two weeks.
Over the past seven years, that opening rate has fallen to 20 percent. While our opening rate has fallen steadily, the total number of subscribers has grown faster. However, we have learned that supplementing our e-newsletter with direct mail has worked very well for us.
Several years ago, we met the wonderful folks at Quality of Life Publishing in Naples, Florida. Quality of Life publishes branded newsletters for home health agencies and hospices to mail and hand deliver to physicians.
Quality of Life does the research, writes the articles based on studies found in top medical journals, and ships the newsletters to your agency to mail or hand deliver. Quality of Life can also provide you with an electronic PDF of your branded newsletter, too. The articles are well written, and the newsletters are attractively designed and printed
In our experience, the use of a consistently produced high-quality paper newsletter can be an excellent supplement to your community networking and direct sales efforts. We recommend publishing the newsletter quarterly, and mailing as many copies as you can find names for in your database.
The one mistake I see users of Quality of Life making is not mailing enough newsletters. To save a little money, they only mail several hundred copies. If you are going to use this technique, make a commitment to do it well, and mail them to all of the physicians, nurses, discharge planners, and other referral sources you can find.
Our experience is that paper newsletters are a terrific way to keep your agency's name in front of people who already know you and others with whom you would like to build a strong working relationship. For over 20 years, paper newsletters served as our most effective marketing technique.
To get some sample issues of newsletters for home health or hospice, call Gretchen Landolt at Quality of Life Publishing, at 1-877-513-0099.
Stephen Tweed, CSP, is Chairman and CEO of Leading Home Care ... a Tweed Jeffries company. For over 25 years he has been a recognized leader in strategy and leadership development for home health care & hospice companies and associations. He is the author or co-author of seven books, five of which were written specifically for the home care industry. He has served on the boards of directors of three not-for-profit home care agencies, and has served as interim President & CEO of a $25 million home care company.
Meet the entire Leading Home Care Team
Permission to Reproduce ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Permission is granted to healthcare publications, associations and companies to reproduce this article in your publication, or to distribute copies to your leaders, on the condition that you reproduce the credits and contact information as follows: "Reprinted with permission from Home Health Care Today. Copyright 2010 Stephen C. Tweed. To receive a FREE subscription to this newsletter, log on to www.leadinghomecare.com."
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