Home Healthcare

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Home Healthcare Digital Advertising

Many aspects of digital advertising must be considered to effectively market a home healthcare company. The most important digital advertising component and best practice appears to be an investment in search engine optimization (SEO), so that potential customers can easily find the company amongst the many competitors in the industry. Content marketing is another best practice, due to the fact that content creation drives traffic to the company website, and builds credibility and trust in the company, leading to new customers. Finally, utilizing existing internet lead sites, specifically related to home healthcare, is a best practice for obtaining valuable referrals from partners in the industry.

Search Engine Optimization

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) is necessary as a best practice for digital advertising so that potential customers can find the company; using relevant keywords is needed for the company to show up in searches above the competition.
  • The company website should be optimized with keywords so that potential customers are directed to the website; the website should function optimally to give users a great experience and provide a high quality impression of the company.
  • Investing in Google AdWords can benefit and increase SEO for the company and "ensure that your agency is being seen by potential clients."
  • SEO should also highlight what makes the company unique, such as offering specific services to a niche market such as post-surgery rehab.
  • Listing the company on any free local listing sites and forums further increase the company's SEO ranking. These sites should include: Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, Apple Maps, and Facebook.
  • Family members seeking home healthcare "use the Internet as their primary source of research and information when seeking to validate home health service organizations;" therefore SEO should be optimized for potential customers to find the company.
  • Investing time in SEO is a best practice, since potential customers generally search online first for a home healthcare provider; online searches for "home care agency" has increased 12% in the past year, and increased 58% compared to five years ago.
  • Online searches for "caregiver" have increased 8% in the last year, and 62% in the last five years, further indicating the importance of using this and related keywords in the website to optimize search results for the company.
  • SEO should be incorporated so the company shows up at the top of the first page of search results, especially for local searches.
  • SEO is a valuable best practice due to the fact that it generates revenue for the company; in 2015 16.8% of revenue for home health care companies came from SEO, and 15.1% of companies cite SEO as their top revenue source.

Content Marketing

  • Content marketing is a best practice for digital advertising in that it drives traffic to the company website.
  • Content, such as blogs, should include relevant keywords to optimize SEO and drive searches to the company.
  • Blogging can generate attention for the company and its services. 94% of internet users share articles that they feel will be helpful to others. This should be kept in mind when writing home healthcare related blogs to increase outreach and engagement with current and potential customers.
  • Putting priority on blogging efforts for marketing can yield 13% greater likelihood of a positive ROI.
  • Posting valuable blog content is a best practice, because it can position the company as a leader in the home healthcare industry, setting the company apart from the competition.
  • Trust for the company can be built by regularly posting blog articles citing reputable sources of information, which is an additional reason why content marketing is a best practice.
  • Video content, including anything from experts discussing home healthcare topics to family testimonials and referrals, are powerful and popular new ways to engage with potential customers and build brand credibility.
  • Content should be reposted or shared on other healthcare websites, as well as the company's social media platforms; the company's contact information should always be clearly present for potential customers to get in touch with the company.
  • As a best practice, companies should seek to post content that is difficult to find elsewhere, and which makes the company stand out as unique from the competition.
  • Content creation, whether through written, video, or photo blogs, should aim to "educate people about the issues and developments in your industry, and also highlight the work that your business is doing."

Company Listings on Lead Sites

  • Listing the company on internet lead sites is a best practice in that it generates valuable referrals and leads for potential customers; internet lead sites were "some of the top consumer marketing sources of 2017."
  • Lead sites for home healthcare include: Caring.come, BestofHomeCare.com, SeniorAdvisor.com, and CareinHomes.com. The lead site Caring.com generated 11.5% revenue for home healthcare companies in 2015, with 4.1% claiming this as their top revenue source. CareInHomes.com generated 21.3% of company revenue in 2015, with 3.2% of companies claiming it as the top revenue source.
  • If the company is part of a larger franchise, the company information should be kept up-to-date on the franchise database, in order that referrals through the larger network can reach the company.
  • Corporate web leads and franchise websites generated 17.4% revenue for home care companies in 2015, with 9.4% of companies citing this as their highest revenue generating source.
  • Companies can join associations that can act as lead referral services; an example is the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA). These associations often have databases of home care providers, which can serve as valuable tools for receiving referrals.
Part
02
of four
Part
02

Home Healthcare Consumer Priorities

Top priorities for home healthcare consumers when seeking their services is high quality care that is patient-centered, personalized, and individual, as well as being able to trust the home health organization and workers, and more affordable costs.

Patient Centered Care and Quality

  • According to a report from the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (AHHQI) one of the "four pillars" for the future of home health is care that is patient-centered and responsive to individual patient needs.
  • Consumer preferences and demands along with changing reimbursements have caused individualized care to increase over the years, as instead of only meeting the goals of medical care, the specific needs and preferences of patients are now being prioritized and not only considered. Home health organizations are now held accountable and are working with patients and their loved ones to ensure that care is done according to the preferences of the patient.
  • An older yet reputable 2016 study from Deloitte found that whether it was the "doctor’s office, hospital, pharmacy, home care giver, etc," that leading providers will "strive to create personalized experiences where past interactions are known, and future needs are anticipated." The study found that consumers "want to be known and understood" in order to get a personalized home health experience.
  • Although older and also from 2016, this pertinent study examines home health and how patients are becoming ever more engaged in their home health care, with patient preference and satisfaction ever more being considered key performance evaluation measures. Older Americans overwhelmingly "desire to age in place and receive care at home rather than in institutional settings," with a survey in 2010 by the AARP finding that nearly three quarters of those aged 45 or older strongly desire to "stay in my current residence for as long as possible. Dartmouth Atlas researchers also found that in the last stages of life, more than 80% of patients say that they wish to avoid hospitalization and intensive care during the terminal phase of life," and to remain home throughout.

Trust and Quality Care

  • Quality home care is a priority across the board for consumers, as even though most of the individuals using home health services are elderly and possibly have chronic disease, home health organizations are still expected by consumers to provide the highest quality care possible. Improving services for the increasing population of seniors and patients with chronic conditions will allow agencies to better manage resources in order to address the individual needs of patients sooner, resulting in greater cost efficiencies and outcomes.
  • Although from 2011, researchers from the National Health and Aging Trends Study found an especially high occurrence of unmet need (nearly 60%) among those receiving paid assistance such as home health, raising quality care concerns for patients.
  • Most consumers in one study stated they are open to hiring in-home caregivers for themselves or family, although 81% of participants said they have "a difficult time trusting that a caregiver is taking good care of their parent." With the traditional American family becoming much more spread out and a large portion of adult children living further than an hour’s drive from their parents, trust in honest quality home health care has become a major issue for consumers. Consumer are asking such questions as 'if the home is a safe enough setting with "sufficient oversight and clinical monitoring?"

Cost

  • A survey from Mavencare also highlighted interesting facts concerning how consumers view care costs, with 84% of those surveyed stating that they "do not have any money set aside for their parents as they age," and 58% stating that the cost of home care is their biggest concern when hiring.
  • 40% of the Mavencare respondents stated they "do not believe their parents are equipped to pay for their own needs as they age."
  • 82% of the survey respondents stated they would consider hiring in-home caregivers for their parents "if it were at an affordable price." In 2019, according to the latest Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the median monthly cost for full-time home care services checked in was $4,290.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Home Healthcare Providers: Challenges

The home healthcare sector has seen significant growths over the years and is projected to continue to grow in the near future. Below is a summary of key findings on the challenges facing the sector.

Patient Preference

  • According to a study on old patients, 54% of respondents prefer treatment for acute illness in the hospital rather than at home.
  • The preference for settings other than at home is driven by a number of reasons. For example, privacy concerns and prior experiences of abuse or negligence can deter patients from seeking home-based care.
  • For patients to be willing to open their home to healthcare professionals at their vulnerable time, it is important for home care providers to build trust. It is suggested that patients trust home care providers "with excellent clinical skills who understand their needs and approach them as a trusted professional, not as a friend or family member."
  • Home healthcare providers must build strong relationships with outpatient facilities, hospitals, and other long-term facilities to accommodate patients’ changing preferences.
  • Parrish Home Healthcare, for example, emphasizes its trusted nurses and leverages customer testimonials and referrals.

Worker Shortages

  • About 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, and many will require home healthcare services.
  • Spending on home healthcare is estimated to be $103 billion in 2018 and projected to reach $173 billion in 2026.
  • With increasing demand, the sector is projected to have 7.8 million job openings by 2026.
  • Given the pay levels, there is also competition for workers from rising sectors such as online retailers--Amazon, for instance. At the same time, hospitals pay nurses significantly more.
  • While there has been an increase in workers, keeping up with demand is constantly a challenge for the sector. For pediatric home healthcare, it is particularly challenging as these patients tend to be more medically complex.
  • To overcome staff shortages, Maxim Healthcare recruits workers by connecting nurses to mentors right out of college. It also has worked with Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing to develop online training programs.

Regulatory Environment

  • Home healthcare regulations are not uniformly applied. There is currently no national or state requirements for quality of home healthcare, except for the care governed by the Medicare home-health benefit. Regulation for education, training and licensing is also limited.
  • Many home care agencies have already established their own standards for quality. The self-enforced standards are what set these agencies apart from others in the business.
  • From January 2020, Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) has been implemented as the biggest change to home healthcare reimbursement in 20 years. Transitioning is expected to require a radical shift in operations for home health agencies.
  • According to a survey of home health agencies, 80% are experiencing a difference in reimbursement rates under PDGM, with 82% of those reporting decreased rates. This raises concerns for cash flows for smaller agencies.
  • According to the Cheif Operation Office of the Pennant Group, it is anticipated that PDGM will drive more consolidation.
  • Home Health Care News anticipates consolidation at unprecedented levels, citing Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group Inc. and its deal for Egan Home Health as a perfect example of PDGM-fueled consolidation.

Research Strategy

To carry out this research, we categorized challenges into three groups: patients, staff and regulation. Under each, we provide statistics based on research studies as well as current news. The top challenges were chosen based on regularly cited issues by experts as well as industry reports.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Home Healthcare Providers: Los Angeles

Some of the top home healthcare providers include Access TLC, Home Care Assistance, Pegasus Homecare, Accredited Home Care, and Interim Healthcare.

Interim Healthcare

Accredited

Pegasus Homecare

  • Pegasus provides "medical and personal care services for families throughout the Los Angeles area."
  • Their staff includes medical professionals, RN’s, LVN’s, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and medical social workers
  • Pegasus was included because of their popularity and credentials. They were recently awarded the Gold Seal of Approval for Accreditation by the Joint Commission for their high-quality services.

Home Care Assistance

  • Home Care Assistance specializes in assisted living and home healthcare services and provide a 24/7 assistance to their clients.
  • Their caregivers include certified practical and vocational nurses, CHHAs, CNAs, and RNs.
  • Home Care Assistance was included because of their numerous awards and recognitions. For instance, they have been featured in Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company list and have been recognized by Home Care Pulse, recognized as one of the best home care endorsed national providers for 7 years in a row (2013 to 2019).

Access TLC

Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "ensure that your agency is being seen by potential clients"
  • "Internet lead sites were some of the top consumer marketing sources of 2017."
Quotes
  • "educate people about the issues and developments in your industry, and also highlight the work that your business is doing."