Improve home health outcomes for more referrals

If you’re a home health provider, you know high levels of positive outcomes are more important than ever. The CMS Quality of Patient Care star rating and Patient Experience of Care star rating are powerfully persuasive when it comes time for prospective patients to find in-home care.

Is your company doing everything you can to improve your Home Health Compare outcomes scores? If there’s still room for improvement — and there always is — here are some tips that can help.

  • Focus on staff training. If your staff receives proper, ongoing training on company procedures, best practices, and new ways to engage with patients, the investment can have a huge impact on your outcomes scores. Spell out everything they need to know, including agency policies and general care instructions, in a comprehensive professional caregiver handbook.
  • Emphasize patient education. The cooperation of your patients is among the biggest factors in whether the patient will experience a positive outcome. Create an easy-to-follow care plan that incorporates detailed patient education and involvement. Integrate a condition-specific patient education guide as part of your program. Not only will your patients benefit, but the educational piece can help persuade referral sources to send their patients your way for their best chance for a positive outcome.
  • Further help your patients understand their condition and communicate their daily progress with health log booklets. TAG Partners offers scorecard logs, health logs, blood pressure logs, glucose monitoring logs and pain and symptom logs.
  • One more group of tools you can place at your patients’ disposal is Zone Flyers designed for their specific conditions. These provide at-a-glance guidance about whether symptoms being experienced are normal, warrant a call to their home health nurse, or need emergency attention.

When all of your efforts lead to CMS outcomes scores that you’re ready to highlight, call attention to them in eye-catching brochures that easily convey to referral sources how patients benefit from their experience under your care and exactly how your relevant outcomes scores compare to state or national averages.

For more information or to get started on creating your own materials, contact TAG Partners at 866-232-6477 or visit www.partnerwithtag.com.

Home health agencies: Your CMS star rating is a great marketing tool

Competition is fierce in the home health care industry, and savvy consumers have more information than ever to help them decide which provider will be the best for their family. Are you doing all you can to help ensure patients and their physicians have easy access to your key outcomes scores to help nudge them along the way?

Conveying this information is easier than ever now that CMS has released two different star ratings to allow an at-a-glance look at what may some of the most credible data about your company.

Although the Quality of Patient Care Star Rating and the Home Health Patient Experience of Care Star Rating (HHCAHPS Survey star rating) are easily accessible on Medicare’s Home Health Compare webpage, patients and physicians often aren’t digging into the data to make their home health provider decisions.

Here are some ways you can call attention to your agency using your star ratings.

  • A good star rating is worth sharing. If you haven’t already released a press release to tout your 4-star or 5-star rating, get ready to brag a little about your recognition with the next release of scores. Send a press release out to your community’s media out lets and email an announcement to your community partners. Doing well is a big deal; make sure they know it.
  • Use your outcomes scores and star ratings to show referral sources just how much more effective you are than your competitors at caring for people living with certain conditions. TAG Partners has created a line of Outcomes Brochures for Physicians that list the services you offer for a specific condition and your patient outcome scores compared to state and/or national averages in graph form. TAG also has created logos for the CMS star ratings and can feature them prominently on the brochures.
  • Put your star rating on all your collateral materials and communications materials so the recipients know at a glance that you have been rated highly. The logos created by TAG Partners for the outcomes brochures listed above also can be applied to any of the other marketing and operations materials we provide.
  • Don’t forget your online presence. Include your star ratings on your website home page or about us page. Most consumers start their search for a home health agency online — give them as much easily digestible information as you can.
  • When your agency does earn excellent star ratings and positive outcomes scores, don’t forget to recognize the people who make it all possible: your staff. Send out a congratulatory email announcement thanking them for their hard work. If you can, schedule a small office party or feature the announcement prominently in your internal newsletter.