In today’s very competitive world, agencies should invest in a CRM that is simple to use, secure, affordable, and tailored for agency operations.
Guest article written by David Cole and Tony Onaissi. Published on the Home Care Pulse website.
Technology. The very sound of the word can send shivers down the spine of a homecare business owner. For years vendors have been hawking products that while useful and important, can be a nightmare to implement and more disruptive to their business operations than beneficial. But there are a few areas where the technology is worth the pain.
For example, if you are in the homecare business, you likely need to have an electronic health records system (an EHR or EMR) to manage your client records in a HIPAA-compliant manner. If you bill regulatory authorities such as Medicaid waiver programs, you probably need to have a system that manages electronic billing and payroll as well. And Medicare, with its OASIS, RAPs, and final billing is even more complex and nearly impossible to do manually.
There are systems you need to have in place for client management, service tracking, billing, payroll, and human resource management. The best back-end vendor systems will handle most all of this in an integrated and seamless manner for you. But these systems leave out, bypass, or forget the most important part of the puzzle… getting the client to begin with! For that, you need a CRM or customer relationship management system.
CRM systems represent the first step in new client acquisition (read: getting more business). A good CRM system will provide a couple of very specialized functions that aren’t found in most back-end systems. Let’s look at a few of these important functions…
Determining who your marketing reps should call on – This involves understanding the territory you service, who the referral sources are in that area, and what motivates them to refer.
Managing the contacts and interactions between the rep and the referral source – All CRM systems keep track of the calls, visits, emails, etc., but the best systems include forward-facing tickler systems to remind reps of when to re-connect with a prospect, and ensure promises made to prospects are kept and on time.
Ensuring referrals come with all necessary data – In the “old days” a referral could be a name and phone number, but today, many referrals come from clients with diverse pay sources that can range from private pay to Medicare waiver program, to private insurance, to Medicare. Some clients can also represent a mash-up of multiple payers, such as the “dual eligible” Medicare-Medicaid patient who is qualified for personal care services through a Medicaid waiver program, skilled service through Medicare, and private pay services to supplement them both.
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