STEP 2: Get Pitch Perfect
Once you’ve worked your way through the front office and earned your first 5 minutes with the doctor, it’s time to make an impact. With increasing competition in the home health care market, and ever-increasing pressure on a physician’s time and resources, getting just 5 minutes with a physician can be challenging enough. And when all you’ve got is 5 minutes, it’s imperative that your agency’s bid for referrals is pitch-perfect. Here’s how your pitch can help your agency rise above the competition and gain a bid for physician referrals. Below are some steps to success for your agency:
Do your research
While you do your homework on the practice, learn as much as you can about the doctor. Is there a website or LinkedIn profile that can give you more information about the doctor and his concerns. Identify any contacts you may have in common and see if you can request them to put in a good word.
Practice an elevator pitch
Before you meet the doctor, prepare a physician appropriate pitch for your home health agency. In no more than a minute, point out your agency’s specialization and key differentiators. Identify how your agency’s strengths can meet the physician’s goals of improving patient care, profitability, and efficiency.Back your introduction with a 5-minute presentation that presents compelling data to strengthen your case. It should include:
Data that demonstrates results
Provide tangible benefits your agency can offer. Be sure to use data to demonstrate your unique strengths in meeting physicians and patients needs. Does your home health agency’s data reflect proficiency with certain patient types or treatments? Does data reveal measurable health status improvements? Has your agency managed to significantly reduce hospital readmission rates? Snapshots of persuasive data and case studies help validate your agency’s strengths.
The promise of a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship
When you meet physicians, let them know wish to build a relationship, and look for ways in which you can make it mutually beneficial. Are there any aspects of home health criteria that you can explain to them? Do you have an online referral form? Are you reachable anytime, even on weekends? Can you give the physician access to patient files and progress? Can you refer patients back to them?
Identify untapped revenue sources
Any ideas that will help the physician and his staff improve efficiency and profitability will be valued. Learning more about the physician’s COP billing and how his insurance works can give you profitable insights to power your partnership. Ask the office manager or billing department if the doctor is currently billing for Care Plan Oversight. If not, appraise the doctor of this untapped source of revenue by helping simplify the CPO billing process with a tool that helps the doctor and his staff track billable CPO activities. Give them an estimate of how much additional revenue they could make from CPO by tracking numbers in the region. Understanding how the doctor’s insurance provider pays is a great way to drive value. Some insurances pay the doctor a monthly fee, regardless of whether the patient visited the doctor or not. If the practice’s main income comes from this type of billing, let the doctor know how your home health agency can help prevent unnecessary visits to the doctor’s office. For doctors who work with insurances that pay per visit and procedure, add value by working out a plan to schedule a monthly doctor’s check-up for those patients. If you find you don’t have a contract with the insurance provider doctor prefers, initiate one before you meet the doctor.
With the right data and homework, your pitch could open new avenues that help a physician make his practice more efficient, and profitable. However, the success of any marketing partnership is proven only when both parties can grow together.
In the third part of this series, we’ll take a deeper look at how home health agencies can build stronger relationships with a referring physician and his team.