To develop a growth strategy that sticks, know where you are and where you're going
As providers of home health and hospice, agencies truly believe in what they are doing, that challenges will eventually work themselves out, and that new opportunities will arise. But just because you have faith in your business doesn’t mean you can ignore the facts. It’s important that you know where you are, and where you are going, according to Melynda Lee, MBA, Director, Growth Solutions, Simione Healthcare Consultants. "It all boils down to meaningful use of the right data to develop a clear pathway to achieve growth," she says.
Data and expert analysis of the findings are essential to approach business goals with brutal honesty and confront the truth with a growth plan based on facts. If you look at your referrals, team and processes and start tracking progress regularly, you’ll naturally know more about where you are and start to enhance referrals, admissions and the processes that support thriving operations.
To do this, start by devoting some time and resources to answer two simple questions: Where is my agency now, and where do I want it to go?
1. TALLY THE SCORE IN YOUR OWN GAME
The landscape is ever changing in terms of business relationships and patient needs. Pandemic priorities around safety and staffing have rightly distracted many agencies from knowing the “competitive score” in their own market. What do your EMR, CRM and other data sources say about your market position and performance across your book of business? Don’t assume you know where you are and what you need to grow. Lee recommends a market assessment to examine existing relationships, including detailed analysis using the most current available Medicare claims data to evaluate your service area.
“The process is typically a major eye opener. We paint a data-driven picture of the competitive landscape, including hospital discharges with gap analysis, market share and lost referrals, to pinpoint the best opportunities for growth and help our clients develop a laser-focused strategy to reach their goals,” she says.
2. BE A SOLUTION PROVIDER
As a community-based provider, you already are a solution provider. But, let’s face it....it has been the worst of times to manage staffing and keep communication effective with limited access during the pandemic. Lee addresses options such as understanding the volumes and patterns of total shared patients with hospitals, physician practices and other referral sources to demonstrate the existence of current relationships and the potential to improve care collaboration.
Home health and hospice providers need to create reliable solutions – whether it be a weekly touch-base to assess volume, ways to accelerate intake, or a plan to organize resources to serve a specific patient population or diagnosis. “Find out specifically how needs have changed among your referring entities to see if there is a better way to approach collaboration and then be that solution,” Lee suggests.
“Are your outreach and response timely or are providers left waiting when they need you? Agencies who succeed find ways to add value in care management for hospital initiatives around quality, cost and readmission risk – which improve and enhance the overall customer experience for the referrer and the patient.”
3. BUILD AND EQUIP YOUR SALES TEAM
Whether you’re an owner/operator handling referral outreach or have one or several sales and marketing pros supporting your agency, the operation will not thrive without the right attention to processes, technology, and clarity on goals. Lee suggests this first pass on prioritizing your sales initiatives:
· Skill base of the team: Are roles clearly defined across sales, intake, and other functions? What are the training needs to advance performance?
· Pay for performance: Does your compensation and incentive plan ensure alignment with goals and behaviors that drive profitability?
· Benchmarks: What is expected of each role and how will you support productivity? Be sure to bridge team goals across referral, intake, and admissions process. Remember referral growth and referral to admission conversion rate, and associated metrics that unite your team.
· Do you have a CRM? Or will you add one to document progress and provide structure to sales operations? A CRM provides clear sales metrics against sales activities and helps guide a pathway for growth.
· Activate your data: How are you using business intelligence to inform your decisions and measure success? Join us for a webinar! Want to learn more? Join Melynda Lee and Christina Andrews, Senior Manager, Simione Healthcare Consultants, as they bring clear and telling data resources to home health and hospice providers to help assess market position, understand current and lost referrals, and identify opportunities to compete for new business. Join us for a look at processes, tools, and options for better understanding where you stack up against the competition, and how to develop an achievable, data-driven growth plan moving forward. "A Data-Driven Growth Plan: Dive in with Simione Healthcare Consultants" will be offered from 3-4 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, April 22. There is no charge to attend.
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Simione’s Growth Solutions team brings comprehensive sales, marketing and referral management experience and data tools to help assess and implement work initiatives that build home care and hospice businesses. Where is your agency aspiring to grow? Start the conversation so we can help you achieve more! 800.949.0388