How to Increase Your Home Health Census with Better Data

In the next few decades, the number of Americans aged 65+ will almost double, comprising nearly a fourth of the U.S. population. In the more immediate future, COVID-19 has caused more people to choose to age at home. Together, these conditions indicate a crucial ongoing need for home health care.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for home health and personal care aides is expected to grow by 34% through 2026. The growth in the industry will provide new opportunities and new challenges for home health agencies.

What you don’t know can hurt you

Consider these statistics about the power of data tracking for home health agencies from the 2020 Home Care Benchmarking Study:

  • On average, one-third of home care inquiries turn into a new client.
  • If 37% of an agency’s inquiries convert, that puts them in the 75th percentile among home care providers in terms of inquiry-to-admission rate. 
  • If an agency converts at 40%, that puts them in the 95th percentile.

According to Erik Madsen, CEO of Home Care Pulse, one of the key things that separates the successful agencies from the ones that go out of business is a system for tracking key metrics. “Rarely do you see a company go out of business because of external competition,” he said. “It just doesn’t happen. There’s such a demand and a need, which is phenomenal. What does happen is that they go out of business because they lack the right internal processes.”

Here are three of the most important data points to track to help you increase your census.

Inquiry-to-admission rate (aka sales-to-close ratio)

The statistics above show the large difference an increase of just a few percentage points in your inquiry-to-admission rate can make. This translates into dollars and cents — the 2020 Home Care Benchmarking Study found that agencies that track every inquiry earn an average of $470,000 more per year than agencies that don’t track every inquiry.

Tracking your inquiry-to-admission rate allows you to better target your sales and marketing efforts toward the clients most likely to convert. And yet, not all agencies do it. “Here’s the key,” Madsen said. “I was shocked to see what percentage of agencies are not tracking every single one of their new inquiries.” That leaves plenty of opportunity for agencies that do track this data to gain an advantage over the competition.

Conversion rates and client acquisition cost by referral source

Do you get most of your referrals from past or current clients, doctors, hospitals, or somewhere else? Which of those referrals are most likely to convert to new clients?

Just like your inquiry-to-admission rate, your referral conversion rates will help you align your sales outreach efforts with the most profitable channels. For example, if you get a lot of referrals from a particular healthcare provider, but those referrals rarely convert, then your sales team may be doing a lot of work for not much in the way of results, causing your client acquisition cost to go up. On the other hand, if referrals from a particular healthcare provider tend to convert more often, then you should prioritize that partner, which will decrease your client acquisition cost.

The professional referral process is another area where data can come in handy. PointClickCare’s Saige Carpenter notes that healthcare professionals often make their referral decisions based on specific data points, including readmission rates, percentage of services delivered as ordered, star rating, and number of doctor visits. Having this information at the ready will help you form and strengthen partnerships with these key partners.

Client satisfaction ratings

Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and other client satisfaction rating systems tell you what your past and current clients, and their families, think of you. And what they think of you is important: referrals from these sources have a 10.5% higher inquiry-to-admission ratio than referrals from other sources.

Currently, client satisfaction ratings for the home health industry is quite low. The NPS score is 6.5, which puts home health agencies just barely above internet providers, who have an average NPS of 0. The good news is that agencies that track this data and work to improve their standing will position themselves well to earn those highly coveted, and highly profitable, referrals.

These aren’t all of the metrics that will help you increase your census, but they’re a great place to start. A fully interoperable CRM makes it easy to manage all of your business interactions and track your key metrics all in one place, allowing you to:

  • Access real-time analytics on referrals, denials, admissions, and source profitability
  • Aggregate referrals from all sources into one system
  • Implement systematic follow-up after each discharge to reduce the risk of readmission
  • And more

Would you like to learn more about how Enquire CRM can help you track metrics and improve your census? Schedule your demo today.

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