Marketing your home health or hospice agency today is becoming much more complicated. Independent agencies see merging of entities into big corporations and it leads smaller agencies frustrated to get market share. Add the fact that we no longer have access to discharge planners and administrators the same way we did 20 years ago, it can leave you scratching your head as to how to effectively market to hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, doctor’s offices, and other traditional referral sources. So, let’s look at some non-traditional marketing venues that can lead to consistent referrals to your agencies.
4 Non-Traditional Referral Sources To Consider:
Between Covid and changes to hospital regulations, marketing staff can no longer walk into hospitals and sit down with discharge planners. How many of you can recall times you brought lunch into a physician’s office only to have the staff come in and grab food without ever having sitting down to let you talk about how you can benefit the patients? The answer is probably yes. Better yet, did you get any time with the doc when you went? The answer is probably no. Now, we realize this is not the case in all marketing venues, but the fact is that it happens a lot. Small agencies can’t afford the marketing time or dollars to be wasted. Here are 4 non-traditional marketing venues to consider:
- Fire Stations/EMTs: This is especially effective in smaller towns and municipalities. This is a group that has not been effectively educated regarding the services of home health. They are the ones dispatched when 911 is called and often pick the same people up off the floors after a fall time and time again. Talk about rehab services in the home and give examples. Talk about medication management and the things that can be done by home health effectively monitoring the patient for med errors leading to accidents/injury in the home. Consider and communicate what being a provider of ERS (if you provide this service) can do to minimize the number of calls to emergent services.
- Local Police Departments: The same rationale as above exists here. Often times law enforcement is dispatched to the same sight as the ambulance when 911 is called. So, when they understand the referral process and that we can evaluate the patient upon a referral and contact the physician from there, it can make a big difference.
- Senior Centers/Senior Housing: Now, you may think of this as traditional, but it really depends upon how you approach it. We’re not talking about you providing an educational session at these venues. What we really want to focus on are things you can do to promote your business here. For example, toenail clinics are still a huge draw for seniors. Many agencies have scheduled time at senior centers or senior housing doing toenails on a donation basis. This is something that can be staffed by a nurse or an aide. For diabetic clients, the home health aide can file toenails and still have that be within scope of practice. These types of services build relationships and establish rapport. Then, you are the one they want when in-home care is needed.
- Emergency Rooms: This is still a largely untapped resource for home health referral. These clinicians also see the frequent fliers. They normally have physicians on rotation throughout multiple different hospitals that may not even know the agencies in the area. Typically, most ER nurses and doctors have not referred to home health. These guys need to know what you can do if they just call and refer. Let them know you will follow up with the primary care doc for orders. Many observation stays for these patients could be avoided with the referral to us.
Need Help Developing A Marketing Plan:
At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can develop a marketing strategy that includes a comprehensive demographic and competitive strategy. We can look at program options and development in your area and help developing new marketing channels. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation with a senior consultant.