The State of the Home Care Industry

In 2001, I joined the home care industry as a VP of Sales for a home healthcare agency. For the past 19 years I've seen the industry drastically change, yet in some ways remain the same. I get the benefit of talking to providers all around the country on a regular basis, and to hear their challenges and successes. From my vantage point, here's how the "Big 3" of private duty, home healthcare, and hospice look today. Just for fun, I'm going to give each one a Buy, Sell, Hold rating like Wall Street analysts do. Private Duty Non Medical Homecare - The private duty homecare industry has settled in after a decade of explosive growth in the number of providers. Anecdotally, I used to get at least

Physicians Fight For Freedom of Choice

Post-acute providers remain concerned about patients’ right to freedom of choice of providers. Anecdotes about heavy-handed treatment of patients and their families with regard to their right to choose continue to proliferate. Both post-acute providers, and patients and their families have very successfully raised issues with hospital administrations related to patients’ right to choose. These challenges have been based on applicable law and regulations, and patients’ experiences. Now post-acute providers, and patients and their families more frequently have an unexpected ally in physicians with regard to this issue. For example, Ayman Daouk, an orthopedic surgeon in Florida, recently fi

The "Nice" Trap

I spent the week in Dallas, TX last week....talking to existing and prospective clients about how to grow their home care, home health, and hospice businesses. There were some great interactions and I hope they walked away with some ideas of the things they should be doing every day to increase their referral and admissions. One thing I pointed out, and got confirmation of from every person that was struggling with sales: They were spending way too much time with people who were "nice". So much so that I wound up coining the phrase "Nice is a trap" because I wound up saying it all week. What does "Nice is a trap" mean? "Nice is a trap" It means, in a challenging selling environment such as w

Dallas Doc Duck Test

The Dallas News reported on April 1, 2019, about the testimony of Michael Rimiawi, DO, a defendant in an investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) into alleged bribes and kickbacks involving payments to Dr. Rimiawi by Forest Park Medical Center. Dr. Rimiawi was one of twenty-one defendants in a case pending since 2016. The DOJ alleged that the defendants received more than $40 million in kickbacks that resulted in more than $500 million in charges for which the Medical Center actually collected more than $200 million. The DOJ claimed that Dr. Rimiawi accepted $225,000 per month in kickbacks from the Medical Center in exchange for bringing his patients there. Yes, that’s right! $22

The Case For CRM

If you're late to the party, CRM is Customer Relationship Management. A tool to manage the sales relationships you have with your referral sources. So as not to stand on a soapbox, I'll keep this brief and to the point. You NEED CRM in your agency. Why? 1. It captures and stores information that is critical to your agency's success 2. It stores information that would otherwise be lost if kept in the mind of a sales rep that leaves your agency 3. It communicates (in some cases) with your scheduling and billing system to keep your sales team up to date on their referrals, admits, and patient status 4. It is backed up, so unlike a notebook full of business cards, it cannot be lost or left behin

RN Admits Taking Kickbacks

Anecdotally, for years the home care industry has been rife with rumors that discharge planners/case managers in hospitals and SNFs were accepting kickbacks in exchange for referrals. Fraud enforcers are now targeting discharge planners/case managers for enforcement action. Most recently, a Registered Nurse (RN) in California pled guilty to conspiring with owners of home health agencies to pay and receive illegal kickbacks in exchange for referrals of Medicare patients. The RN, who was a case manager at a nonprofit hospital, used his position as a discharge planner to steer Medicare patients to home health agencies who paid kickbacks to him. In a previous article, we discussed federal Crim

Trust Issues In Sales

For anyone who has spent at least a week in the sales and marketing function in the home care industry, you'll know that success is built upon the quality of your relationships. The better they are, the better your results are (provided, they are with the right referral sources that have the type of referrals you are seeking) Relationships are built upon 3 key components: 1. Like 2. Trust 3. Respect For the time being, let's throw respect out because it takes a long time to build, and is married not only to your reputation, but to your agency's. So, we're left with "Like" and "Trust". Liking someone is fine, but in no way guarantees that you will work with them. There are many people in your

Private Duty Held To Same Standards As Medicare Providers

There seems to be a myth among homecare companies that the federal anti-kickback statute applies to Medicare certified providers only. On the contrary, the anti-kickback statute applies to providers who receive funds from any state or federal healthcare program, including the Medicaid Program, VA, TRICARE, etc. Private duty providers: This means many of you! There is a federal law that prohibits illegal remuneration. This law is often called the anti-kickback statute. It generally says that anyone who either offers to give or actually gives anything to anyone in order to induce referrals has engaged in illegal conduct. A recent enforcement action reinforces this point. In this case a do

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