Referral Marketing for Home Care and Care Management

You might be inclined to think medical personnel are your best referrers. Not so! If you are marketing home care or working to promote your care management company, a big part of your efforts will (should) be devoted to developing a referral base of non-medical professionals.

Leading Home Care’s research

If you ever get a chance to hear Stephen Tweed of Leading Home Care talk, he’s worth listening to. (My background is in research that involves randomized clinical trials through the National Institute on Aging. While that’s the gold standard of science, there is a lot to be said for Stephen’s applied approach which evaluates evidence as it happens “in the field”.) At a NAHC conference, he once reported an interesting observation. It was a case study and relates to home care, but I think it also applies to care managers since both sectors are private pay. It is worth paraphrasing:

Not all referrers are alike

While you may have tons of connections from years working in the hospital, that referral source may not be your most fruitful. Here’s what Stephen Tweed observed when he looked at weekly home care revenue BASED ON THE SOURCE OF THE REFERRAL:

  •  ≈$500/week if the client was referred by the hospital
  • ≈$800/week if the client was referred by an ALF
  • ≈$1300 – $1500/week if the client was referred by “a trusted family advisor” (e.g., an elder law attorney, a financial planner, a bank trust officer, or a care manager).

Your most fruitful source of referrals

Even though these data are for home care, I believe they apply for care managers as well because of the private pay angle. It’s evident that discharge planners and medical professionals deal with the general public, working with people from a range of incomes. While high in volume, many of their patients cannot afford you. The trusted family advisors, on the other hand, work with the upper 10%. As a private pay business, that’s your clientele. Customers referred by trusted family advisers yielded larger contracts because those advisers have essentially pre-screened for the ability to pay.

Trusted family advisors

With limited time on your part, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that your referral marketing energy will best be spent focusing on elder law attorneys, financial planners and bank trust officers. (If you are a home care company, I would add care managers to this list. Find a provider in your area at the Aging Life Care Association).

In a subsequent post, we’ll talk about which social media platform(s) make the most sense for reaching out to these trusted family advisors.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to learn more about optimal content marketing strategies for elder care, please do contact me or give me a call at 707-477-0700 (Pacific time). I’d be delighted to help you market your business using educational resources.

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