Home health agency marketing will play an important role in helping agency owners to increase their visibility and market share as the COVID pandemic depresses interest in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Doctors, hospital managers and the families of elderly patients have successfully demonstrated that some older patients with significant care needs can be candidates for care in the home, according to a Dec. 21, 2020 Wall Street Journal article titled, “COVID Spurs Families to Shun Nursing Homes, a Shift That Appears Long Lasting.”
The acceptance and growth in telemedicine is a major factor enabling growth in-home care over the longer term. Early in the COVID crisis, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded access to Medicare telehealth services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility.
Medical “E-Visits” are now allowed in all types of locations including the patient’s home. Healthcare “Virtual Check-Ins” are also permissible for in-home care under Medicare. Patients can stay in their home for the electronic check-in using their telephone, smart phone, or a video device.
As elderly baby boomers avoid perceived COVID risks in doctor’s offices and care facilities, the trend toward in-home care will continue to grow.
Home Health Agency Marketing Checklist
Marketing for home health care will be an essential element for new agencies as well as established providers of in-home care.
Here are five simple ways to get more business for your home health care services:
- Social Media Marketing. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram allow you to get your brand in front of people quickly, easily, and affordably. You will generate more Inbound Traffic to your website, improve your search engine ranking, get higher conversion rates, and enhance client satisfaction.
- Online Advertising. Pay-per-click ads on Google, Microsoft Bing, Facebook, and other sites are very cost effective. Traditional media such as newspaper advertising, flyers, TV, and billboards can be expensive. Online campaigns make it easy to measure response rates and generate leads.
- Online Maps and Industry Directories. Your agency can be visible when consumers are searching for your services when you maintain a presence on leading map services and directories. The right placements can bring new prospects to your agency by phone, email, or website visits on a daily basis.
- Marketing Communications. Staying in touch with current and past clients may be your most valuable marketing tool. Many home health agencies serve generations of family members over time. A monthly e-newsletter is an easy way to stay top-of-mind with clients. Features like “refer a friend” and informative fact sheets can help to reinforce your reputation as an in-home care expert.
- Marketing Management. Marketing on a “hit or miss” basis is not a strategy for success. Put someone in charge of your marketing program and start with a detailed marketing plan. Frequency and consistency will make your marketing efforts more productive.
Sixty Five Plus Marketing, Inc. is ready to launch your home health care marketing campaign in as little as 1 to 2 weeks. Contact president Margaret Grisdela by phone at 561-330-7280 or via email for a free marketing consultation to get started.
Home Health Services to Feature in a Marketing Campaign
Home health aides and home nursing aides perform the types of services listed below. When marketing a home health agency, these are the types of home care assistance to emphasize.
- Attend to personal care needs like dressing and bathing.
- Perform light housekeeping, like cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, and washing clothes.
- Organize a client’s schedule and plan appointments.
- Coordinate travel to a doctor’s office or pharmacy for medical needs.
- Prepare meals and shop for groceries.
- Entertain their older clients with conversation, games, and reading.
- Help aging baby boomers stay in touch with family members, friends, and support groups.
Home health aides who have special training may also be able to help with medical equipment, like ventilators. They might also be able to monitor a patient’s vital signs, like blood pressure, temperature, and respiration rate.
Home Health Marketing for Staffing Needs
The number of jobs for home health care aides will grow from 3.4 million in 2019 to 4.6 million in 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This translates into a growth rate of 34 percent and 1.6 million new openings.
Growth in the home healthcare industry is favorable to a home health agency owner ready to meet the demand for home nursing care services. Marketing your home health agency to prospective employees is essential for business development. However, there are also considerable challenges to maintaining a full staff roster of home health aides, as outlined below.
- High turnover. Annual staff turnover in the home health care market hit a high of 82 percent in 2018, according to the Home Care Benchmarking Study conducted annually by Home Care Pulse.
- Low wages. The average pay in 2019 was $12.50 per hour, or $25,280 per year. This is far below the popular $15.00 per hour “living wage.” Low wages create competition with retailers like Target, which set its 2020 goal of a $15 starting wage in September 2017. Amazon and Burger King can be other better-paying alternatives.
- Part-time and unpredictable hours. Some home health jobs involve working with one elderly client every day, often over a long-term basis. Other jobs may have more sporadic or unpredictable staffing needs. A daily rotation schedule of visiting several clients at home is also possible. To the extent that working hours and income are unstable, it can be difficult to retain skilled workers.
- Lack of benefits. Home care workers are often classified as independent contractors rather than full-time employees. This results in a lack of health insurance benefits and fewer employment protections against harassment and discrimination. The Brookings Institute reports that 17 percent (or 1 out of 6) of in-home care workers lack health insurance.
- Emotional demands on caregivers. Elderly clients suffering from Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia, diabetes, and obesity can place both physical and emotional strains on even experienced caregivers.
As the baby-boomer generation ages and the number of elderly Americans continues to grow, the demand for home care assistance will continue to increase.
COVID Nursing Homes Deaths Accelerate Trend to Home Nursing
A study of long-term care facilities conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that more than 100,000 residents and staff died from COVID-19 as of November 24, 2020. This count is based on reporting from 49 states and is considered by KFF to be an undercount.
The number of COVID deaths in nursing homes and other senior living facilities has certainly grown with the subsequent 2020 holiday seasonal travel and family gatherings. Indeed, AARP reports that 12,454 nursing home residents died in the 21 days from Nov. 16 to Dec. 6. The national death rate in nursing homes is 1.53 deaths per 100 residents as of the AARP report.
For readers who are interested, click on the link to access the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) up-to-date website with COVID-19 Nursing Home Data.
Start Your Home Care Agency Marketing Campaign Today
Sixty Five Plus Marketing, Inc. is ready to launch your home care agency marketing campaign targeting baby boomers in as little as 1 to 2 weeks. Contact president Margaret Grisdela by phone at 888-985-1215 or via email for a free marketing consultation to get started.
Three Reasons to Hire Sixty Five Plus Marketing, Inc.
- Get More Clients. Drive more business to your website and intake lines when you accelerate your visibility through newsletters and other marketing communications.
- Increase Revenue. Get more business from your current clients, more word-of-mouth referrals, and more industry referrals with targeted marketing campaigns.
- Save Money. No need to hire your own in-house marketing team when we create and implement structured marketing programs to grow your business.
You will save time and money because Sixty Five Plus Marketing, Inc. gives you immediate access to experienced marketing professionals who get right to work as your outsourced marketing department.
Imagine what you can do with more time and money to focus on your day-to-day business operations and long-term growth strategy! Contact Margaret Grisdela via email or at 888-985-1215 for more information.