Part Five: How do I find patients?

This last installment of our five-part series explores the crucial need for patients and referrals to keep your business afloat and profitable.

Long before you embark on the expensive and lengthy licensing (and accreditation) process, it’s important to solidify the ability to bring patients and revenue into your agency or registry.  Sadly, some clients are clueless about how to find patients; when ill-prepared, they can quickly become stymied and discouraged by the difficulty and competitive nature of long-term care.  As if there wasn’t enough pressure, the State of Florida can terminate licensure if an agency does not serve at least one patient in a 60-day period.  By now, I think we’re all clear on the importance of referral sources, right??

Some suggestions include becoming active in the community and spreading the word early in the process. Put out solid “feelers” with all types of referral sources – physicians, discharge planners, various healthcare personnel – so that you can obtain patients as soon after licensure as possible; this is critical to success and maintaining licensure. Keep in mind the very strict marketing guidelines and Patient Brokering statutes in Florida.  Violations carry stiff penalties and even criminal sanctions.

Another idea is to mine areas where the adult children of your potential patients can be found, especially if your business will offer personal care services.  These members of the “sandwich generation” are excellent sources and you will do them a huge service to lighten the challenge of caring for Mom or Dad.

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