Outreach and Marketing Strategies
During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Recommendations for Home and Community-Based Services Providers

It is understandable given that physician's offices have closed or reduced hours, elective surgeries are being postponed and SNF admissions are down, that referrals to home health and hospice agencies would be impacted during this pandemic. So what are some things we can do to build our volume during this critical time? Here are some recommendations from the Mission Growth team at Senior Options :

1.  Your accounts are challenged with COVID-19 related issues as well. How can you help? One thing you can do is find out how they wish to be reached--email, text or phone and what information do they need.  

2.     Be in touch with your referral sources regularly. It is important to remember to repeat your message weekly or bi-weekly. Even if they don't have patients, its critical to retain the relationship.
3.    Use social media. Post communications on your social media and send to your referral sources.

4.    Try to identify dedicated staff for any campus or facility based account. Campuses, assisted living and nursing homes are worried about people bringing the virus to their residents. And they are worried especially about home health and hospice providers that serve multiple accounts. If you can plan it so that a staff member doesn’t go to multiple facilities, the account will be more likely to call you. This goes for your own campus as well. 
5.   Communicate your plan. Let your accounts know your Agency has a comprehensive COVID-19 plan to keep patients and caregivers safe and healthy. Remind them of our rigorous practices in infection control, social distancing and employee symptom screening.

6.  Offer to do remote/video in services to your referral sources. For example, many non-clinical staff are not familiar with the proper way to wear a cloth mask. 

7.     Remind your referral sources that your team completes a phone screening with every patient before entering their home.

8.    For those of you with hospice, remember that palliative care and hospice can be effective in comforting a patient who is ill with COVID-19.
9.   Be creative with private duty services. Many seniors at home need help around the house as well as personal care. 

10.    Ask your accounts if they need any help locating masks, gloves, and other medical supplies. You may be able to put them in touch with a vendor who can help.

11.  Virtual Engagement. Offer the Birdsong Program to your accounts who want to enhance virtual activities for residents. It is free during the epidemic and it aids in resident enjoyment and socialization. Click on the logo below to access.
12.   Use televisits when possible and let your referral sources your agency will use video chats whenever possible and appropriate. Consult your administrator for how your agency  can use remote patient visits. 
Senior Options is a not-for-profit organization serving LeadingAge members, by providing home health, hospice and home care advisory services and operational support. With 15 partners in 7 states, our experienced team of healthcare experts and advisors will guide you every step of the way, from initial feasibility studies to full operational support.