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New Rules For The New Private Duty Home Care Economy

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Pat Drea, a dear colleague and friend, who has agreed to share some of her great wisdom with all of us. Pat, Chief Operating Officer for Visiting Angels, a leading national private duty company with 430 offices, is a popular featured speaker at national and state private duty events.  Like all leaders in this industry, Pat has her finger in the wind and sees the changes coming and is sharing some of her tips for not only survival but for thriving and growing your home care business.  Enjoy!

It’s no secret that our economy has changed in crucial, fundamental ways that are redefining what it means to be successful in private duty home care. Competition has increased in some markets as people displaced from other industries see private duty home care as an attractive business opportunity. Consumers are less likely to purchase high-hour services, and nervously seek cheaper, untrained, unsupervised alternatives to what professional private duty home care companies provide. Marketing has emerged as a full time role for Private Duty home care companies that wish to become known as preferred providers with a recognizable brand. Overhead has increased in the form of regulation and oversight, increased expectations of consumer families, due diligence in hiring and orientation, and the requirements for maximum efficiency. Growing your Private Duty home care business, demands that you take several steps to adapt to the new tough economy.

New Rules for the New Economy

  1. Make “disciplined reinvention” your mantra. In this new world where consumers’ buying habits, expectations, access to information, needs and resources are changing, there is no substitute for an attitude that says, “What can I do better today than I did yesterday?” Keep your awareness on the opportunities and possibilities that lay in front of you – untapped private duty referral sources, adding growth services, satisfying prime referral sources so they send you more referrals. Celebrate and share your victories. Be determined to create a private duty home care business that will leave a lasting legacy.
  2. Become experts at lead conversion. Barbara Akst’s article last week, It Starts With Hello, provided the best practices to achieve a high lead conversion. We invest a great deal in time and money to create leads for the lead funnel. Now is the time to challenge your team to achieve higher conversion rates which translate into more care for those consumers who need your services. The decision about home care is a complex one for families and their loved ones. Let us also achieve a high level of proficiency at assisting our consumers to navigate through the decision making process making it easy for them to say “yes” to the private duty home care services that their loved one really needs.
  3. Establish marketing and networking as core functions of your office operations. Gone are the days when a home care agency could achieve dramatic growth by passing out brochures and placing newspaper ads. Internet media, competition, vanishing print media, and the wide variety of senior living and support options create an environment where we must deftly customize our messages to referral sources. The new marketing concept cultivates relationships which exchange high valued resources. We find out what problems they face and become part of the solution. We work to make their lives easier. The referral becomes secondary to a deep connection that has meaning and value to both parties. It’s about the relationship, smartie!
  4. Refine your private duty home care operations for maximum efficiency. We have achieved great efficiencies in our scheduling of caregivers with scheduling software and telephony. Technological advances have made our operations more efficient: enhanced communications through the use of smart phones, voice mail blasts, customer friendly bill-pay approaches, safety and security technology for the care recipient when they are alone. To enjoy some of the latest technological advances for older people view the Para Robotic Seal and listen to NPDA’s Consumers conference calls, “Ready Talk,” by going to the Consumer tab at the NPDA site: www.privatedutyhomecare.org. Use some of the sophisticated and affordable options to compare your dashboard results to national benchmarking private duty data and motivate your staff and your caregivers to be at the cutting edge of extraordinary performance measures. Consider comparing your results to those of the Home Care Pulse 2011 Survey or Stephen Tweed’s Benchmarking Study.

So what if it’s a new world. You wouldn’t be in the private duty home care business if you didn’t love a challenge.

Please attend Pat Drea’s presentation “New Rules for the New Economy” at the PDHCA conference at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, January 23 – 25, 2012. Website: www.nahc.org/meetings/PD/12/

Category: Finances, Legislation/Reform, Marketing

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