Medicare’s proposed 1.5% cuts to home health reimbursement in 2014 are leaving many scrambling to come up with a plan to offset the losses if the changes go into effect.
The public has until Aug. 26 to comment on the proposed rule (which can be found at www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2013-15766_PI.pdf) before it is enacted, but you shouldn’t wait until it’s on the books to do something about the big cuts you could be facing next year.
When home care agencies face financial strain, they often look for areas to cut. Marketing should never be one of those areas. In fact, it’s one area where you should increase your investment. After all, you need more referrals in lean times, and today’s growing senior population makes this an ideal environment to increase your census. The only way to get these referrals is to step up your marketing.
By creating a comprehensive marketing plan and investing in areas proven to increase referrals, you stand to place yourself in the ideal position to weather the CMS reimbursement reduction storm.
Here are some ideas that can help.
- Transitional Care Management is the newest and one of the most effective tools you have to increase your referrals. It took effect in January 2013 and allows physicians to get paid to manage their patients’ care as they transition from hospital to home. Teach them how it works and make your agency their partner in TCM. Check out our powerful new TCM tools at www.tagwebstore.com/transitional-care-management.php.
- Care Plan Oversight is another way you can position yourself as a trusted partner for your physician referral sources. With CPO, physicians can get paid to manage the care of a patient that is using home health or hospice services. Find our CPO tools at www.tagwebstore.com/homehealthCPOkit.php.
- Community education and outreach is an incredible way to build agency recognition, reputation and preference among the senior community. One of the best ways to do this is by hosting free educational sessions at senior centers, assisted living facilities and church groups. Our Health Matters Education Series is a series of done-for-you presentations geared toward the senior population that focuses on health issues important to them. Learn more at www.tagwebstore.com/healthmatters-education-series.php.
- Professional brochures are vital in presenting a polished image to the community. Studies show that consumers choose many of their services – including home care – based on appearance and reputation. Get 50% off all brochures through July 31 when you use voucher code SUMMER at checkout. Find them at www.tagwebstore.com/brochures.php.
- For an intensive three-day course that will give you the education, tools and tips you need to take your agency’s marketing to the next level, check out PlayMaker CRM’s Home Care Sales Mastery University. You will learn strategies you can take home and implement immediately, as well as advice for long-range planning to set your company on course for success. Learn more at www.hcsmu.com.
- For a larger-scale experience devoted to boosting your business’ bottom line, check out PMX, PlayMaker CRM’s Expo and User Conference taking place in Nashville this September. Find more details at www.pmxusercon.com.