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Marketing dynamics __protect_your_medicare


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Marketing dynamics __protect_your_medicare

  1. 1. A Three-Step Marketing Plan toAddress the ACO, Medicare andRe-hospitalization Challenge Provided by Experts in LTC marketing and consulting since 1983. Providing marketing and consulting services to: Skilled Nursing Facilities I CCRCs I Assisted Living BuildingsIndependent Living Communities I Specialty Care Programs I Community-Based Programs toll-free: 877.725.6774 I I ©2012 Marketing Dynamics All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. A Three-Step Marketing Plan to Address the ACO, Medicare and Re-hospitalization Challenge Health care reform and the era of accountability: how SNFs can protect their Medicare revenues. Although much remains to be finalized, today’s health care reform legislation will result in the most significant changes in the way Medicare-funded services will be paid for and delivered since the introduction of PPS in the early 1980s. What can a SNF do to maintain – and increase – its Medicare referrals in this uncertain environment? 1 Accept the fact that reform will take place and that it will change referral relationships. There is no question: the need to lower costs and improve outcomes through better coordination of care will result in some form of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in your marketplace. What can SNF management do right now to get “invited” to join the ACO of your choice and maintain or improve its referral relationships? Start by answering these questions: • Are you perceived by referral sources as providing quality sub-acute and rehab care? • Does every referral source know about your clinical capabilities? • Do community physicians know how successful your rehab program is in returning short term patients to their homes after a hospital stay? If you’ve answered “no” or “don’t know” to any of the above questions, the very first thing you should do to prepare for accountable care and protect your flow of Medicare referrals is to re-look at the way you are projecting your image to referral sources and physicians. This evaluation should include both what you are saying, and how you are communicating it. For example: • Make sure your building’s name and brand reflect that you are an expert in short term rehab and ub-acute care. If it doesn’t, but instead sounds like that of a traditional nursing home, s consider changing the name or adding a tagline that highlights your rehabilitation capabilities. • How often do you communicate with referral sources? It is not enough to be relying entirely on your outreach people to personally inform discharge planners and physicians about your clinical capabilities and outcomes. Consider developing a set of communications pieces that provide powerful messages about who you are and what you can achieve clinically. Then consistently distribute those materials to every referral source at least once every month. • In addition, begin reporting directly to referral sources about their referrals’ progress via a simple “Patient Progress Report” to the discharge planner, case worker, surgeon, specialist or primary care physician. Note that keeping referral sources appraised of their patients’ progress will be required in the era of accountable care, so it is a good idea to implement this important process ahead of your competitors.toll-free: 877.725.6774 I I ©2012 Marketing Dynamics All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. A Three-Step Marketing Plan to Address the ACO, Medicare and Re-hospitalization Challenge 2 Recognize that you will need to reduce re-hospitalizations – especially for those Medicare Part A referrals that are within the “30 day window” – starting right now. Although many facilities have begun to focus on this area, simply reducing your rate of re-hospitalizations isn’t enough; you must also track that performance and communicate it to your referral sources. Begin protecting your Medicare revenues right now by asking yourself the following questions: • What is your re-hospitalization rate and how does it compare to published rates? • Do you have the in-house clinical services necessary to treat Medicare referrals in your building to avoid re-hospitalization? • Do you have a process and communications programs in place to educate and focus your staff on doing what’s necessary to achieve reduced re-hospitalizations? • Did you know that as many as 50% of re-hospitalizations are at the urging of family members? Do you have any educational materials to help reduce family members’ insistence on hospitalizing their loved ones? If you’ve answered “no” to any of these questions, you should immediately: • Begin tracking your re-hospitalization rate and then report those achievements to referral sources. • Assess your clinical capabilities to confirm that they are consistent with the needs of the referrals you want to attract. • Establish a process and communications program to educate and focus your staff to do what’s necessary to reduce re-hospitalizations. • Begin educating family members about your clinical capabilities and your ability to avoid the risks that are associated with transfers to hospitals by providing much of the care their loved one will need.toll-free: 877.725.6774 I I ©2012 Marketing Dynamics All Rights Reserved
  4. 4. A Three-Step Marketing Plan to Address the ACO, Medicare and Re-hospitalization Challenge 3 Not every SNF will be invited to participate in the ACO of their choice; some may be left out. What are your options if you find yourself “outside” your preferred system? Keep in mind that consumer choice will play an important role in the era of accountable care. This means that communicating with consumers now – to establish awareness of who you are and the quality care you provide – can be essential to protecting your Medicare revenues. Why? Because of two important reasons: First, consumers will have a choice of where they want to receive post-hospital care, so you want to make sure they can ask for you by name. Second, enhancing your image with consumers also helps to establish your image with referral sources. By starting your awareness campaign now, it not only helps to establish your image as a quality provider with consumers, but also with those health care decision-makers currently structuring the ACOs in your market. To help establish an image as an expert in senior care throughout your community, you may want to consider the following: • Implementing a senior health education initiative as a community service program • Enhancing communications with family members and providing support groups – both of which have been proven to increase satisfaction and to generate positive word-of-mouth • Frequently communicating with discharged short term patients so that they are encouraged to generate positive word-of-mouth Summary Although many details have yet to be finalized, there is no question that health care reform will be implemented and will directly impact Medicare referral relationships. At the heart of health care reform is the creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which will be designed to achieve improved integration and coordination of patient care to deliver both cost-savings and improved outcomes. To protect Medicare referrals, SNFs should start to implement communications and promotional programs that will enhance their image and help to ensure they are perceived by referral sources, physicians and consumers as a provider of superior short term rehabilitation and sub-acute care. (continued on next page)toll-free: 877.725.6774 I I ©2012 Marketing Dynamics All Rights Reserved
  5. 5. A Three-Step Marketing Plan to Address the ACO, Medicare and Re-hospitalization Challenge Communications will be more important than ever in attracting Medicare referrals. Whether to establish your clinical credentials, educate and re-focus staff on retention, or generate positive word-of-mouth, specialized communications and promotional programs should be implemented now – before final agreements are reached regarding the formation of ACOs in your market. Taking proactive steps is the best way to overcome the uncertainty of the future of health care reform and to protect your Medicare revenues. Not sure what to do next? here or call our Help Line at 877-725-6774 to schedule a free consultation Click for the answers to these crucial questions: • What can you do right now to help ensure that you are “invited” to join the ACO of your choice? • What is the single most important thing you must do immediately to protect your Medicare referrals and revenue stream? • How do you generate Medicare revenues if you are “left out” of the ACO of your choice?toll-free: 877.725.6774 I I ©2012 Marketing Dynamics All Rights Reserved