Serving the home health, home care and hospice industry since 1999.

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by Darcey Trescone, RN

Darcey Trescone

Like many agencies, you have developed a sales program and hired the marketers needed to grow census to stay ahead of the competition. The results you have achieved may be great, good or, at best, mediocre in relation to the goals for growth you have established. Now, how do you continue to achieve greatness, improve on good or mediocre results in your market while controlling the cost of sales?

Incorporate market data into sales strategy

Market data has come a long way over the years and is typically compiled from Medicare-claims data. Data points Medicare collects are comprehensive and reliable. The details of this data provide insight into a variety of different types of referral sources within a service area, including patient population serviced, demographics of those treated, number of referrals to home health and hospice, length of stay and much more.

Home health and hospice marketers in our industry may have sales experience and industry experience or they may not depending on hiring practices. Regardless, few marketers have the time or knowledge to be able to decipher market data to formulate sound strategies by account, leaving the potential within their market untapped.

There are questions every agency should be thinking about when working with their marketers:

  • What referral sources are in our service area? Are we missing potential market opportunities?
  • Are we visiting the referral sources with the highest potential to refer to us?
  • Could our established referral sources be referring more?
  • What other agencies are our referral sources referring to and we do not know?

Failing to target the right accounts with the right strategy increases the cost of sales and leaves business on the table for your competition. A simple strategy for evaluating market data and assisting your marketers to establish the best account list is as follows:

  1. Who sees a lot of patients?
    1. Insight: higher volume service providers have more potential
  2. Who refers to home health or hospice?
    1. Insight: service providers that already refer understand the value of our industry
  3. What diagnoses do they typically refer?
    1. Insight: service providers that treat many diagnoses but only refer one type of diagnosis may benefit from assistance in understanding the value our industry can provide to their other patients.
  4. When they refer, to whom are they actually referring?
    1. Insight: service providers may have a favorite agency or may share the wealth and refer to multiple agencies – rarely will they be open about how much they are referring to your agency verses your competition.

Based on the above information, what is your marketers' strategy to target the right accounts and, once they are face to face with those accounts, what is the conversation? Having this knowledge increases the effectiveness and efficiency of your marketers and how you coach these roles in growing your business.

It is a shame that, with advancement in technology, many agencies are just now beginning to understand the value of data and how best to use information for building sound sales strategies at the marketer level. The agencies that incorporate market data into their onboarding and sales training/oversight programs have the best advantage today.

Darcey Trescone is a Healthcare IS and Business Development Consultant in the Post-Acute Healthcare Market with a strong background working with both providers and vendors specific to Home Care and Hospice. She has worked as a home health nurse and held senior operational, product management and business development positions with various post-acute software firms, where her responsibilities included new and existing market penetration, customer retention and oversight of teams across the U.S., Canada and Australia. She can be reached at

©2018 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only.