2015 saw many hospice organizations experience stagnant, organic growth with ever-increasing competition and CMS regulatory pressures being sighted as the two external contributing factors. But for many organizations the lack of growth performance comes from internal controllable factors. So in order to not repeat the sins of 2015 in 2016, it is time to “look in the mirror” as you lead your organization into the New Year. Following are 3 key growth success factors and metrics that need to be assessed and corrective action taken if needed.
As some of you may know, I do a great deal of work with not only businesses but also with families and individuals as they mature through life. I strive to help people better understand and address their own “Aging Manifesto,” on how to enjoy the process of advancing through the different stages of life, and dealing with both the pleasure and pain of life experiences related to aging. I see a strong parallel between businesses and personal maturation.
Consolidation in the Post-Acute Care market place has been occurring for years now. Health Systems have struggled to find the best strategy and approach to create a post-acute care continuum. So let’s be honest, is it working for you? Most health systems have tried to assemble the talent required to be successful with mixed results. Most systems are strong with home care leadership but lack in other areas such as hospice. Understanding the market is also a key factor that can make or break a strategy.
Hospitals and Health Systems still don’t get hospice! I am working with several hospices that are trying to forge deeper working relationships with their local hospitals. Hospice can be such an important tool in:
- Decreasing their Mortality Stats (the actual number and related Length-of-Stay)
- Maximizing their DRG payments
- Reducing inappropriate hospitalizations
- Creating a new stream of revenue
I am a having a bad month!! I wrote in a post a few weeks ago about how difficult it was to get one of my Homewatch CareGivers clients hospice care. Well it happened again – This time with another hospice in my community, one I respected very much and for whom I once worked. Here is what happened and some lessons learned for all of us.
The first 24-hours when a patient and family start hospice service is key to the patient experience and also related to the rate of revocations. The best way to grow your census is not to lose any business you already have. Providing the most outstanding service and care within the first 24-hours is a key strategy for growth.
Whenever an organization hits the wall in terms of growth, or worse yet, growth starts to decline, everyone is quick to point to the external environment. Completion has increased, the regulatory environment has shifted, our customer base is fickle, etc. While some of these may be true, I submit to you that it is more of the internal environment that causes an organization to stop growing. Those “invisible velvet gloves”, broken processes, lack of people’s sense of urgency, no team work, etc. are more in control of your “the spigot of growth” than you can imagine. This largely has to do with two important factors. The first, there most likely is not a strong positive culture of growth in the organization. And, second, there most likely isn’t a well-developed and articulated growth/referral development plan to follow.
As some of you may know, I am part owner of a Home Health Care company is Moscow Russia called First Home Care, I also do some consulting work in Eastern Europe in all areas of hospice and palliative care. My company in Moscow works closely with several hospices because in Moscow, hospices typically only care for cancer patients. So for patients with end of life care needs, with cardiac disease and other illnesses that we can care for we try to assist.
I’m embarrassed to even share this story with you, but as a strong hospice advocate and professional for over 17 years, I feel that it is my duty to inform. This story is about a specific hospice that not only makes it difficult for people to obtain care, it is also a glaring example of an unhealthy corporate culture that is unsuitable for for growth.