Hey folks! Steve “The Hurricane” here and for today’s episode of “A Drink With The Hurricane”, we are going to be talking about the most overlooked and equally important referral source of them all and that is your Skilled Nursing Facilities. So, raise your glass and let’s toast to your success. Cheers! 

This is “A Drink With The Hurricane”, the talk show discussing all things growing your home care business. This video is sponsored by Home Care Evolution where we help home care agencies adapt to changing circumstances, transform their business so that they can thrive for years to come. 

So, Skilled Nursing Facilities are the most near and dear to me of all referral sources. The reason why is because when I owned my agency back from 2005 through 2012, more revenue came to my company through the patients that I serviced that came out of Skilled Nursing Facilities. 

Basically saying here, folks, I had a ton of referrals come from Skilled Nursing Facilities and the reason why I say it’s the most overlooked referral source is because since the pandemic, people stopped going to Skilled Nursing Facilities to get referrals. And I understand why. It’s very difficult to get into Skilled Nursing Facilities because of all the COVID restrictions you couldn’t go into these accounts. Many Skilled Nursing Facilities limited the number of patients that they were taking and so, as a result, we took our foot off the gas marketing to these accounts. 

But now that the pandemic, for the most part, is in the rearview mirror, things are returning back to normal which means patients are going from the hospital to the rehab center, Skilled Nursing Facilities, and then returning back home. 

Now, why are Skilled Nursing Facilities so important in getting patients? It’s real simple. The type of patients that go to a rehab center after a hospitalization are your sickest of sick, weakest of weak. This means that when they get discharged from the hospital, they’re too weak to return home without some additional therapy. So, as a result, they go to a Skilled Nursing Facility for additional rehab anywhere from two to four weeks. Then they come home when they’re a little bit stronger. 

So, because they’re dealing with a sicker patient, somebody who’s more medically complicated than somebody coming straight home from the hospital, this is an ideal customer for Private Duty home care. They’re going to need help beyond what the Medicare benefit is so that they can remain home. This is why I love Skilled Nursing Facilities!

Now, here are some tips on how to get into Skilled Nursing Facilities. The first tip and the most important one of them all is having a good offense. What do I mean by that? It’s all about your company and your agency’s outcomes. Are you tracking your readmission rates? Are you tracking the outcomes of the patients that you’re taking care of? Are people meeting their goal? What do I mean by meeting their goal? People sign up with you for services for a purpose. The purpose is sometimes to stay home for the remainder of this person’s life. And if a person passes away in the comfort of their home, that, believe it or not, is a successful positive outcome because you allowed this person to stay in the comfort of their home for the rest of their life without having to go back to the hospital. 

Are you tracking those types of data points? If you are, then you should know that you have positive outcomes for your clients. Testimonies, people to write recommendations for your company. Are you tracking that? Do you have a 95%+ satisfaction ratio? Those are your statistics. 

By keeping accurate stats and then using that to have a conversation with administrators, directors of nursing, social workers and therapists within these Skilled Nursing Facilities, that’s going to allow you to put your best foot forward and that will help you to get the referrals that you’re after. It is far more than being a good agency and having the best caregivers. In this case here, the proof of your operation will help you grow your reputation. 

The second thing you could do is you could sponsor activities at your Skilled Nursing Facility. Every single one of these communities and facilities has an activities department. It is the responsibility of this activities department to fill 30, 31 days full of activities every single month. 

By you coming in and sponsoring an activity once a month, that’s one less thing that this Activities Director has to do. This gives you an opportunity to help your referral source out because one less thing that they have to come up with and an opportunity for you to interact with the residents and the patients who are getting therapy. This way, when a social worker makes a recommendation for somebody who can help them go home and your company’s name comes up, that patient will be like, “Oh, I already know Barbara! Barbara comes here all the time. I saw her twice in the last two months. Yes, I’m gonna call her first.” That’s a great way to both help your referral source out and have interactions with potential clients before they even sign up. So, it’s a great way to get into a Skilled Nursing Facility. 

The third and final one is collaborations. You know what I love about collaborations? I call them power partnering or “Power Partners”. This is when your Skilled Nursing Facility, they’re trying to get more patients from hospitals and rehab. By collaborating with them, they can host an event, you can promote it, both of you can invite all of the hospital, discharge planners, social workers, clinical directors, unit managers, executives and so on, to come to this Skilled Nursing Facility for a CEU event, for an after hours event, for some kind of recognition or whatever the purpose is. 

Two companies will always have a better outcome than one company doing it by themselves. You work with the referral source. They like you, they partner up with you. They’re gonna help you to get more of their patients because you have a working, trusting relationship and that’s how you get your foot in the door in these accounts. 

Now, one word of caution I’m gonna give you in closing here, and it’s something that I actually talk about in our free magazine, Home Care Evolution Quarterly. So, if you haven’t subscribed to it yet, you could actually go to my website right now, homecareevolution.com/magazine, and you can sign up and you can get direct access to the Home Care Evolution Quarterly magazine. But in the fourth quarter issue of 2022, I actually talk about referral sources: Skilled Nursing Facilities specifically. 

One of the cautions is you may have 50 or 100 of these in your territory. You have to make sure that you qualify them and you wanna spend most of your time in the ones that discharge 50 or more patients every single month. So, out of that 25, 50, 100 Skilled Nursing Facilities, there may only be four, six, maybe 10 that have the discharge volume that you’re looking for. So, make sure you qualify before you spend a lot of time trying to get into an account that may or may not have the referrals for you. 

There you have it, folks! There is the tip of the week. If you need any help getting into these accounts, go to homecareevolution.com and you know we’re gonna give you everything you need to “Blow Away The Competition!”.