Growing your home care agency starts with developing your I.N. (Influencer's Network) Group. This group will eventually develop into the accounts and referral partnerships that will lead to new clients and, ultimately, lead to the increase of billable hours and revenue you need to grow and expand your agency.
A great referral partner for home care agencies are hospice companies. The 2 agencies have services that compliment each other and, if you are a private pay home care provider, rely on different payer sources so there is no risk on either part. So, how does a home care agency work with hospice? We spoke to John Freitag from All American Hospice and he shared some great insight into the working with Hospice.
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice Care is generally provided for those with a terminal diagnosis or those with a disease that is not going to allow them to get better. These people are actively declining and need support. According to Wikipedia, Hospice care is a type of health care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient's pain and symptoms and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs at the end of life. Hospice care prioritizes comfort and quality of life by reducing pain and suffering.
Many Hospice Care providers, like All American Hospice, will go to their clients in their homes or in a facility setting. They will typically provide a nurse, cna, social worker, spiritual support.
Who pays for Hospice Care and how many hours are typically provided?
Hospice is paid for by Medicare. The number of hours will vary greatly from Hospice Provider to Hospice Provider, this is because there is an overall payment that will be allotted to the Provider from Medicare and it will be allocated according to the client's needs. Even the best providers are limited by the number of resources available and this can leave a void or gap in services.
Best way to approach a Hospice Care Provider for Referrals?
Get to know the Provider. Every Hospice has their own specialization and, as a result, will have different needs when it comes to their clients. As a home care agency, it will be up to you to find out what they do, what are the issues they face and how to best provide the solution for them.
Have a special pricing or create an exclusive offer
Creating a custom solution for your referral partner and their clients could give you an edge, even if you are a brand new agency. This will show your willingness to provide a value to their client base as well as demonstrate your understanding of their client's needs.
Be Transparent with your process
Knowing your client's journey and being able to verbalize it effectively is a good way to build trust. You don't need to explain every last detail, but if your I.N. Group partner understands the basics of what your client will experience, it will not only make them more comfortable, but it will also allow them to do part of the selling for you before you even have a chance to meet them. This transparency will lead to better, and more quality referrals in the long run.
Understand the risk
Understand that whenever any referral partner is working with a new agency there is a risk. You will be at risk of exposure to a negative experience, as will they. This is true for any business relationship that rely on referrals. It takes time and sometimes there may be a lengthy vetting process or you will be given some way to prove your reliability and trustworthiness.
Be Clear about service and hour requirements
If you want referrals, be smart and avoid wasting people's time. Let the referral source know about your price and if you have minimum hours. This will make it easier for them to refer the right kind of client to you.
Don't be salesy and generic
Especially when doing internet outreach, don't blend in. People can tell when you are being genuine or when you are just trying to get an empty lead. If you are using a platform like LinkedIn, avoid templates as much as possible. A genuine and custom message will get you a lot further. We discuss this in our Business Development 101 Course, it is about the quality of your outreach, not the quantity. Your time is better spent with a sincere approach than a "shotgun".