Consumers seeking a home care agency for a senior loved one can quickly become overwhelmed with the sheer number of options available – making it crucially important for your agency to focus on marketing home healthcare services in a way that speaks clearly to those in need of care.
There are a number of questions that have to be navigated by consumers in their home care search: whether home care is covered through Medicare or Medicaid, and if so, how much is covered; exactly what level of care is needed: skilled nursing assistance, companionship, or something in between; and so many others.
Joanne Cunningham, president and CEO of Home Care Association of New York State, and others like her are advocating to help consumers by making the system easier to navigate and more approachable. Cunningham has impacted a variety of areas in New York state to this end that can help pave the way for changes on a national level. For instance, eight years ago New York changed how home care services are delivered. Although the entry point into the home care system remains basically the same – through recommendations from primary care doctors or discharge planners – seniors who require long-term in-home care and who are eligible for Medicaid are now presented with several managed long-term care plans in which to enroll. Each plan includes its own listing of home care agencies, professionals and other providers, providing patients with the choice to determine the option that will best fit their needs.
Cunningham is also effecting change through an effort to update statutes that regulate commercial insurance coverage. In New York state, for instance, regulations written as long ago as the 1970s are still in place today. Coverage for home care needs to be broader, according to Cunningham, meeting the needs of today’s seniors. In the 1970s, patients often remained in the hospital for a longer period of time, and upon discharge required only minimal home care assistance. Today, of course, we know that hospital stays are shorter and patients who need home care often initially have a much higher need of care.
It’s important for all of us in the home care industry to think strategically about how to organize around the needs of the seniors we serve, and to make it easier for families to know their options and determine the best course of action for their particular situation.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is by understanding how to market home healthcare services through the provision of relevant educational resources that provide the information families need in their search for a senior care solution.
With the assistance of a professional aging care marketing team on your side through the MOST program, marketing home healthcare services effectively is easier than ever! Our extensive library of resources showcases your agency as home care experts, providing families with the information they need and keeping you top of mind when a care decision is made. Contact us online or call 800.370.6580, x3 any time to learn more!