10 days from now, the new CMS COPs will go into effect that will affect hospital discharge planning, and the requirement to introduce quality measures when offering home healthcare services to patients. If you haven't seen these changes check out this blog post.
While some people have looked at this as a minor blip on their sales radar, it actually is akin to an earthquake striking the industry's foundation. Read the word "requirement" and realize that letting patients know about the quality of the various providers available to them is now mandatory. Imagine how differently patients and families will now make their choice of home healthcare providers? Imagine how referral sources will have to think twice before recommending a provider that doesn't have high quality measures?
Now, you might think "I'm hospice" or "I'm private duty" so these don't really help or hurt me. Not so fast....
What I've seen over the past 18 years in the industry is this.....if someone is required to follow a protocol or rule for one type of referral, they frequently follow it for all referrals. Have you ever had a social worker tell you "We're not allowed to recommend an agency, we offer the patient freedom of choice".....and you're talking about private pay home care? Well of course, anyone is allowed to make a recommendation, and there is no specific freedom of choice requirement for private pay care (although in EVERY case, regardless of care type, a patient's freedom of choice MUST be honored). When that hospital social worker leaves the hospital and heads to a SNF or rehab...guess what they take with them? That's right, that brand new referral protocol...because they assume it must be used everywhere. That's the way these things transform an industry.
If you are private duty and not developing your own quality measures and scores, you are getting left behind.
So that leaves us here....10 days from the beginning of a new era in referral process in the entire home care industry. Are you ready? Have you been out talking to your referral sources about how they'll meet this new mandate? You have the chance to shape the conversation and understanding of how to use these measures, but time is short.
To be clear....here is how the change rolled out...
What was important for getting referrals in 2003
Home Health - Donuts
Hospice - Cookies
Private Duty - Coffee
What is important for getting referrals in 2019
Home Health - Quality
Hospice - Quality
Private Duty - Quality
How To Impact Referral Patterns in 2019
Home Health - Professional Salespeople
Hospice - Professional Salespeople
Private Duty - Professional Salespeople
It's not 2003 (or even 2018) anymore folks. Change is on your doorstep and you MUST adapt to survive. Your sales force is the best weapon to deploy in order to change referral patterns and grow y