WHITE PAPER | PlayMaker CRM Educational Series

Why NOW is the Time for a Home Care-Specific CRM

Health care legislation—in particular tighter reimbursement rules and stricter compliance laws—is forcing home care agencies to increase referral volume and demand more efficiency from their sales teams while remaining within the guidelines of Stark II and its strict enforcement by OIG. And that’s just to maintain the status quo. Now throw in an increasingly competitive marketplace and toss in employee turnover and you have a recipe for market share loss and increased referral acquisition costs. To sustain market share, much less grow it, agencies must be positioned with the best tools. That’s where customer relationship management (CRM) comes into play.

Build better relationships

Imagine being able to log onto the Internet and within a few clicks being able to view all the up-to-date activities of your sales representatives, review account information, referral information, and sales call activity and even monitor OIG and Stark II compliance within your agency. A few clicks and you have total transparency. Proper information management is critical to building relationships with customers, and relationship building is critical to home care success. Home care executives today have at their disposal all the means necessary to manage information and strengthen relationships with customers thanks to innovative CRM tools. The newest CRM technologies are Internet based so the data is automatically upgraded, fully supported (no need for an IT person) and can be integrated with existing patient information management programs, McKesson, Cerner and Allscripts to name just a few.

Also, agencies must have a CRM in place if they are going to recruit and retain top sales talent. Sales representatives will demand it as this efficiency has become a standard in other health care sectors.

Give a high-touch experience

Advances in CRM solutions are revolutionizing the way home care agencies manage their sales processes. It may seem that there’s no place for high-tech in the high-touch world of home health care. Just the opposite is true. Agencies that take advantage of technology to track customer information create a more personal experience with those customers. Referral sources will intuitively know that the meaningful interactions an agency has with them will transfer to the patient.

Maximize market differentiation

No longer is simple contact management software enough. In this competitive marketplace knowing just the names of your referral sources places agencies in a precarious position. Automated reports are a necessity. Detailed personal and professional profiles combined with expense allocations and referral volume enable management to obtain precise ROIs for each referral source. In addition, a home care-specific CRM should offer target market data so that agencies can quickly identify and target top referring physicians and facilities in their service area.

Off-the-shelf CRM software works well for many traditional businesses looking to manage the sales process. The unique needs of home health and hospice require extensive customization and even with that the software still may fall short.

Eliminate brain drain

Agency owners invest an enormous amount of time and money to build their intellectual property. They train sales professionals to nurture contacts, input data, track information, and bring in referrals. All of that data can be lost through a computer crash. Employee turnover has major consequences as well. Having the right CRM in place mitigates most of those losses, enabling the agency to pick up where the sales representative left off. It also allows for an easy transition and offsets some of the consequences of staff turnover. With the help of this technology, the agency is able to maintain account relationships and get the new sales rep on solid footing quickly. After all, a new rep will immediately know all of the pertinent information related to the account, such as what the A, B, and C accounts are, who makes the referrals, what discharge planner to deal with, referral sources’ favorite foods, favorite sports teams, special interests, office hours, best time to call, if they were dissatisfied in the past and what made them dissatisfied.

Safeguard your agency

Recent health care legislation’s focus on compliance makes it all the more imperative that agencies automate their reporting. Home care agencies must be vigilant about tracking the monetary and non-monetary expenditures they allocate to referral sources and patients. An appropriate CRM solution guarantees that an agency has an accurate representation of all costs and revenue associated with each referral source and patient, allowing that agency to document proof of its commitment to compliance.

Boost sales efficiency

For the sales representative, effective territory management is crucial in maintaining a competitive edge in a highly saturated market. Reps must manage a large geographic territory with hundreds if not thousands of call points and decision-makers. A CRM makes it easier to manage data, focus on key accounts and the big decision-makers, and track historical information within these customers.

A home care-specific CRM

A home care-specific CRM appeals to the needs of marketers, managers, and clinicians. This personalization increases user adoption rates because the system understands how home care works and home care staff in turn are better able to understand the system. For the marketer, it’s a personal productivity instrument, providing all the tools necessary to efficiently track referral source data, automate tasks, manage accounts, and report expenses within OIG and Stark II parameters. Managers are able to view the activities of sales representatives in real time and easily conduct trend analysis and monthly, quarterly, and annual forecasting. Clinicians who may not have a strong technology background appreciate its ease-of-use and industry-specific terminology.

Analytics for optimum success

Great companies have great systems running their business and great people running their systems.

— Michael E. Gerber, author of The E-Myth

CRM refers to the processes and tools a company uses to manage customer relationships in an organized way. Most home care agencies have always had some sort of CRM in place, whether it be paper-based or software-based. The downside: Information eventually became outdated, lost, stolen, damaged, or deleted, leaving managers in a mess of paperwork and spreadsheets with virtually no way of tracking the history of an account. Staff turnover often meant the loss of valuable information associated with accounts. That’s quickly changing thanks to CRM applications that track, manage, and store data through a web portal. That data stays with the agency long after the sales representative has left, saving that agency time, money and accounts. With a CRM in place, sales reps have the structure and guidance they need to optimally perform their jobs, resulting in increased job satisfaction and reduced sales force turnover.

Real-time information

Would you drive a car without a dashboard? Of course not, but many owners operate their business without one. Without a dashboard, you may as well be operating your business blindly. A dashboard provides an at-a-glance view of an agency’s performance and enables management to quickly obtain vital information and make well-informed decisions. Users of a home care-specific CRM can view referral source history in one place, acquire a deep knowledge of accounts and contacts, link a contact with its parent organization, and build relationships through account tiers. In short, they have more tools to manage more accounts more effectively and efficiently.

Access anytime, anywhere

With a CRM that is web-based, users have secured, offsite access anywhere there is an Internet connection, including the office, car, home, and even on premises of the referral source. Sales reps can even access call notes on their phones so they can quickly refresh themselves on where they left the call at the last time they visited, which shows the referral source that what they say has value. This once again creates an interaction that is meaningful.

Home care executives are realizing that a CRM designed for their industry is the ticket to increased efficiencies, better time management, marketing compliance, and improved customer service to referral sources —ultimately leading to more referrals and profits!

To learn more about how PlayMaker CRM can help you grow your business, request a demo or contact us today!

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