It’s been a rough year for those of us in the hospice field, and many of us are seeking new tactics to stay financially whole in this new world order. A recent survey from the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) revealed hospices across the country are reeling from deep drops in revenue in 2020.1 With a full 60% predicting decreases in revenue in 2020 – along with increases in costs due to Personal Protective Equipment – many hospices are wondering how they can turn the tide. One idea: increase referrals by creating strategic partnerships in the community.
Types of Organizations to Consider
When seeking potential partners and referrals, home health care organizations may be an untapped resource for your agency and a good place to start. Home health services include physical, occupational and speech-language pathology, as well as monitoring serious illnesses and those with an unstable health status. Home health patients with two or more ADL impairments and multiple chronic illnesses experience severe pain, increased hospitalizations within 12 months and a third pass away within two years.2 At any given time, 15-20% of home health patients are truly hospice eligible.3 This patient group presents a potential seamless handoff to hospice for improving continuity of care.
Another strong potential source for referrals: Personal Care Attendant (PCA) companies, which are responsible for providing personal care needs services like feeding, showering/bathing, dressing and more. These are becoming more popular with an increased focus on home-based care. Approximately 5-25% of PCA clients are hospice eligible.4 Here are other organizations to consider for potential strategic partnerships:
- Accountable care organizations (ACOs)
- Assisted living facilities/long-term care facilities
- Primary care
- Independent physician association (IPA)
- Personal care attendant companies
How to Work Together
When evaluating partnerships, look for alignment in values and mission. Both parties’ mission and values should complement one another to create a foundation for successful collaboration. When the partnership is being formed, we recommend that you get together and determine the following:
- Complementary areas of expertise and potential collaboration
- How to identify patients in need of hospice care
- How often to meet
- What success metrics to use
- How to split payments
- Best ways to communicate with each other
There are many aspects to consider when looking for partnership candidates. For instance, is your hospice still relying on paper-based processes? It will be increasingly difficult to partner with other palliative care providers and generate referrals without EHR software. Net Health offers an EHR solution for hospice management that can help you support partnerships to thrive and grow in the COVID-era and even post-COVID.
1National Association for Home Care & Hospice, ”Hospice in the Time of COVID-19: Findings from the NAHC National Survey,” May 27, 2020,
2-4 Relias, “Developing Strategic Community Relationships for Hospice Providers” 2020