Barbara Muntz, RN, BSN, Senior Vice President of Accreditation at Community Healthcare Accreditation Program, just gave a wonderful overview of accreditation for home care agencies providing at home senior and disability care to those who pay a fee. She presented on corecubed’s monthly educational webinar on marketing home health care.
Essentially, there are no standards across the United States that guarantee a level of service quality be delivered by private duty/private pay agencies. Most franchises have standards. The independently owned agency has to create their own, unless there is some sort of licensure in the state.
Quality is the number one focus for the agencies of the future. In such a non-regulated industry as private pay home care, having a standard that governs agency operations and procedures allows
1) a standard against which to measure
2) marketing opportunities that differentiate the agency on quality
3) better chance of entry into the integrated healthcare delivery system (as in-home care is brought in to the mix of providers tasked with caring for an aging population, Accountable Care Organizations, Medical Homes, hospitals and certified home health agencies all will soon find they need the special results gained by utilizing non-regulated in-home care combined with some form of telehealth”.
Check out the series of using vendors, operational excellence and quality to differentiate in the marketplace. Thinking strategically about marketing your home care agency and taking actions to enhance the delivery of a quality service experience will pay off, as your agency will likely be around for the future.
Visit us at corecubed to find out how we can help you better market your home care agency.
The bulge in the population of boomers and the aging of America is no surprise. Demographers have predicted it for decades. The imbalance in the ratio of young to old has also been predicted. So, when 4 experts get together to predict the future of aging in America*, what is new to report? What is new, is that technology combined with creativity and a global perspective is looking to solve the problems with the assets we have that are growing as we age as a society. And, what are those assets, you might ask? Those assets are us. So, are you ready to age with a purpose to give back to your community? Are you ready to age and think about your health now, so you will not be a statistic in the future? Are you ready to embrace technology so that your ability to age in place will be increased?
Joe Coughlin, Director of MIT’s AgeLab says that yesterday’s problems were solved with yesterday’s solutions. We have just begun to realize the possibilities for solutions to tomorrow’s problems. Ken Dychtwald is clear about what he thinks is going to happen in the future, and feels that we are building a purpose for maturity; that we are creating a vision of an America that is aging. And, he says steering the ship towards that vision? Most of the steering is really course correction, and that is what we are doing now, and will continue to do.
“How do we match healthspan with lifespan?” he asks. Afterall, when you are old, does age really matter if you are healthy, enjoying life, have a purpose, and are loved?
The inventions that are currently being realized allow cars that drive themselves, robots that not only can do simple tasks, but that can offer peace and calm to an Alzheimer’s patient, monitoring that connects the patient in the home to a doctor or a support team in a hospital, and online communities for all kinds of extended relations, regardless of geography. This entire session on the future of Aging in America will be available soon, and, when it is, everyone needs to take the time to watch it. For now, I will link you to last year’s retirement talk at ASA, in case you want an appetizer.
What an honor for me to present at this conference with the likes of my esteemed colleagues. If you are not aware of the programs that these institutions and businesses serve up for the future, take the time to find out more.
The American Society on Aging turns 60 this year. Celebrating that milestone, and continuing the education and policy making that has been so important for those 6 decades, the American Society on Aging is having its annual conference in San Diego this week. There is no other organization or conference that takes the long range, high level view that ASA does. Here, one can find research, advocates, policy makers, philanthropists, educators, students, and those of age who want to be a viable part of how society solves its problems.
Much more than just home care, the ASA conference spans all kinds of possibilities for aging: in place, in any place, with anyone, in any way. The issues, you see, of a society, remain as that society ages, but we assume that there will need to be different and better solutions as things change.
So what is going to change? A reverence and respect for elders, is a main theme here. Our society needs to find a way to make the older population a viable part of the fabric of society, and not just a retired, and wasted group. The needs of communities, non-profits, programs….all need assistance implementing and sustaining programs. What better source for talent, wisdom, and energy than the recently retired workforce, with lots to offer and no place to go.
Another theme here is that the boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are not accepting retirement and rules that others have not questioned. This cohort of folks were brought up in a time where authority was questioned, where the norm changed, where nothing traditional was respected for its tradition. That force, en mass, is one with which the nation has to deal, and the ASA is looking for ways to take the number and make them relevant.
How exciting to be among a mixed group of interested, educated, driven professionals who are looking for a better way to engage our citizens as we move into this Age Wave.
Keep posted for ways that I see we can translate what I am learning into a communicated and orchestrated path that I will suggest for my clients. This is the perfect way to mix marketing and trend setting. Fasten your seat belts!
A ”Tedism” is widely known to those who know Ted Abernathy. I am fortunate to sit on the South Arts Board with a number of very interesting and accomplished folks, and Ted has been working with us on strategic planning, and occasionally does and says brilliant things. ”Strategy means making choices,” he said at our last board meeting. “If you are not making choices, then you are not implementing strategy.”
Many talk of strategy, but few understand it, or understand how to implement it. Let’s talk home care strategy. The agency has choices about what service to provide. The agency has choices about what clients to serve. The agency has choices about how to best communicate with its targets. The agency has choices about how to allocate revenue dollars into operations, marketing, and stakeholder distribution.
When marketing home care, there should be a distinct strategy based on desired outcomes. Does the agency want to create longer service hours (thus more profit)? Does the agency want to extend service provision boundaries (thus more potential customers)? Does the agency want to find, hire and retain better caregivers (thus have a better ‘product’ to sell on the market)? Does the agency want to specialize and service a particular segment (perhaps diabetes, dementia, or depression)?
Simply wanting to grow the business is not enough. Strategic choices need to be made in order to grow wisely.
Answer these questions:
Is the agency software working?
Are there issues with paychecks and client invoices?
Are there missed opportunities when scheduling?
Is the communication to and from the caregivers streamlined and efficient?
Are inquiries turning into sales?
Do you track who is doing the best in client acquisition?
Do you faithfully record the inquiry details into a system, and then follow up?
Are the follow-up communication pieces personalized and professional?
Are your special and differentiating qualities and services communicated appropriately?
Are you clear about your agency’s differentiation in the marketplace?
How are you communicating?
Are you measuring for results?
Setting strategy, creating strategy in the first place, is based on data collection, analysis, and personal strengths and weaknesses of the office and the agency itself. Implementing that strategy is best reserved for a marketing partner who specializes. Then, the agency can focus on growing the business, and the marketing partner can specialize on communicating for more growth, and more profitability.
And, perhaps, with success you too can post a new Facebook photo of a vacation on the water, like our brilliant Ted Abernathy has recently done. Kudos to Ted! And, thanks for not getting mad at our taking the liberty of posting your relaxing photo.