Delta Connect Blog

Set yourself apart from other home care providers

Posted by Crystal Parks on Sep 30, 2015 10:52:03 AM

Set yourself apart from your home care competition

Have you wondered how professional resources such as doctors, hospitals, specialists, and care managers can impact your private duty client referrals?

The home care industry is a competitive business. You need to work with these professional resources to attract new clients.  But how can you attract these resources and create a mutual benefit?

According to the Private Duty Benchmarking Study, many home care providers feel their greatest opportunity for growth lies in creating better relationships with professional referral sources. But with so much competition in the market, home care providers may struggle with setting themselves apart and easing the concerned minds of these professionals. 

On September 24th, Chris Marcum, Director of Marketing at Home Care Pulse, presented a webinar showing why it's important to work with professional resources and how to become more attractive to them. 

Did you know?

  • The cost for acquiring a referral is less than web marketing
  • Nearly 50% of home care organizations list professional resources as their top revenue generator
  • The impact professional resources have on clients looking for home care is substantial

If you’re eager to learn why it's important to work with professional resources and how to become more attractive to them, we encourage you to view a recording of the Building Mutual Relationships with Professional Referral Sources webinar.   

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Topics: home care, Private Duty, referrals

Be Different in Home Care by Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences

Posted by Stephen Tweed, CSP on Sep 15, 2015 7:30:00 AM

stephen tweed

This is a guest blog post written by Stephen Tweed, CSP, who is the CEO of Leading Home Care...a Tweed Jeffries company.  Stephen is an internationally known health care and business strategist, award winning professional speaker, published author, and consultant to the home care industry. 



expceptional customer experiences in home care

Perhaps one of the greatest delusions in the home care business today is “customer service.” 

Every agency owner, CEO, and administrator truly believes that their agency gives great service and that they give better service than their competitors. Over the years in my seminars and workshops, I’ve asked participants “Who believes your agency gives better service than your competitors?”  Nearly everyone raises their hands.

Psychologists have actually created a name for this delusion, “The Lake Wobegon Effect.”

The Lake Wobegon Effect

This delusion was named after Garrison Keillor’s famous radio show “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”

Everyone in your agency suffers from the Lake Wobegon effect … you think you are better than you are and your service is better than it is. Service in this country is so bad that you can offer above average service and still stink.  Assume your service is bad. It can’t hurt and it will force you to improve.


  • When researchers asked students to rate themselves in their ability to get along with others, 60% rated themselves in the top 10%.
  • 94% of university professors say they are doing a better job than their average

An article I read in Delta Airlines Sky Magazine several years ago said, “70% of companies believe that customer service has improved over the past five years.  An equally high percentage of consumers believe that service has declined.”

Customer Satisfaction is Not Enough

In the early 1980s, General Motors got the quality religion most famously expressed in Ford’s theme, “Quality is Job One.” GM surveyed customers and found they were far more satisfied than before the quality initiative.  Funny thing happened, “Satisfied” and “Very Satisfied” GM customers went out and bought Toyotas, Hondas, and Fords.

Fewer than half of “satisfied” customers bought the same GM make again. Stop measuring “client satisfaction” and start creating exceptional customer experiences.

Fourteen years ago, my wife Elizabeth decided it was time for a new car.  She traded in her 10 year old Cadillac that she loved and had bought with cash, for a brand new Lexus LS400. She loved that car even more, and drove it for 14 years.  Not only did she love the car, she loved the experience of going to the dealer.  Now how many people can say they love going to the car dealer for service, but our friends at Sam Swope Lexus have made getting your car serviced an Exceptional Customer Experience.

At the time, I was driving a Honda Pilot, which was my yard truck.  I drove it back and forth to the office, back and forth to the airport, and for hauling important stuff like canoes, kayaks, bikes, mulch, and fire wood. When it was time to trade the Honda, Elizabeth talked me into looking at the Lexus SUV. I couldn’t see myself in a Lexus and I couldn’t see myself hauling mulch in such an expensive SUV.

After going to visit the Lexus dealer, and having another Exceptional Customer Experience, I’m now driving a Lexus RX350 and loving it.  And I, too, love taking my car for service.  Go figure.

While I was “very satisfied” with the Honda and the Honda service, it wasn’t enough to keep me as a customer.

If you really believe that your greatest strength is customer service, and you want to compete in the home care marketplace based on an Exceptional Customer Experience, then there are some things you will need to do.

Mark Sanborn, my speaking colleague and past President of the National Speakers Association, gives us The Four-Way Test of an Elevated Experience in his book Fred 2.0:

  1. They are surprised – in a good
  2. They are happier after the experience than they were
  3. They feel they received
  4. They want to tell others about their

Scott McKain in his wonderful book, All Business is Show Businesssays:

“More than 70% of customers would tend to go someplace else to make a purchase if it was more entertaining to do business there. Over 74% of employees say they would quit where they are currently working and take a job with another organization for comparable pay if it were more fun to work there.”

They don’t want a job, they want a relationship. We’ve seen this in home care as we have studied caregiver turnover.

“The bottom line is that your customers and employees are going to have an emotional experience because of their contact with your company whether you like it or not.  Your responsibility and challenge is to provide them with the kind of emotional connection that will inspire loyalty. In today’s channel-zapping, faxing, FedEx-ing, e-mailing, instant response world, the new currency is time.  Today’s stressed-out consumers and employees value this new currency as much as money.”

Apply the four-way test to growing exceptional customer experiences in home care:

  1. What do you do to surprise your clients or families in a positive way?
  2. How do you know they are happier as a result of having the care experience with you and your company?
  3. What value do you provide and how do your clients know they have received it?
  4. What can you do to encourage them to tell others about their exceptional experience?

If you and your team believe that you can differentiate your agency from your competitors by creating exceptional experiences for your patients, family members, and referral sources, then you’ll want to download the free research report from Delta Health Technologies. 

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Topics: home care, Private Duty

Improving Home Health Compare Scores

Posted by Crystal Parks on Sep 14, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Home Health Five Star RatingHome health provider's quest to improve patient care and satisfaction - thereby increasing their Five-Star Quality Rating - doesn't have to take a back seat to their business strategy. They can, and should, strive to excel at both. 

The evolution of the home health industry means that it is more important than ever to be competitive. A home health professional's primary goal is to care for patients to the best of their ability. However, the only way to acquire more patients is to outperform the competition with more referrals, while simultaneously keeping the costs of doing business down. 


In addition to the competition, providers may also be worried about market share, remaining profitable and hiring more skilled workers.  For an even bigger competitive advantage, consider this: home health agencies are partnering with ACO's and other emerging care models. The good news is that some hospitals and physicians are also looking to partner with select agencies provided they can meet and maintain the below criteria:

  • Proficiency in medical reconciliation
  • Symptom monitoring and disease management
  • Accurate EHR and sharing data
  • A high level of patient satisfaction

In order to remain successful as the industry evolves providers need to redefine their vision and shift their importance from the number of patients to the number of satisfied patients.

Download our free eBook to learn more about how you can better serve your patients and devise a strategy to outperform your competition starting today.

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Topics: Home Health Compare, healthcare technology, homecare software

Dare to be Different in Homecare

Posted by Stephen Tweed, CSP on Sep 8, 2015 7:30:00 AM

stephen tweed

This is a guest blog post written by Stephen Tweed, CSP, who is the CEO of Leading Home Care...a Tweed Jeffries company.  Stephen is an internationally known health care and business strategist, award winning professional speaker, published author, and consultant to the home care industry. 



dare to be different in homecare

Several months ago, I was on a sales call with the owner of a successful home care company in the Midwest.  I was there to lead the home care team through a strategic planning process. The owner called the day before and said he had to set up an appointment with a very important prospect for the next day and would it be OK if we took a break from our planning so he could keep this appointment.

He asked me if I would accompany him on the sales call.

One of the first questions this rather sophisticated referral source asked was, “What makes your company different from all of the other home care companies in our town?”

The owner was caught off guard for a moment, and then gave him several generic responses. The prospect said, “That’s nice, but what really makes you different?  Your competitors say all those same things.”

The owner of the company was totally stumped.  He looked at me for help, but we had just begun our planning and I couldn’t help him very much.

When we got back to the office we spent much of the rest of the day really working on the answer to that question.  “What really makes you different from the other home care companies in town?”

Competitive Advantage

 The reality in homecare is …

  • Most homecare services are perceived as the same
  • Most homecare companies are perceived as the same
  • Most homecare sales reps are perceived as the same

There is no difference between you and your competition unless your customer perceives a difference.  

The Seven Sources of Competitive Advantage

Back in 1990 when I wrote my first commercially published book, Strategic Focus: A Gameplan for Developing Competitive Advantage, I talked about the Five Sources of Competitive Advantage.  Over the years, I’ve expanded that to Seven Sources of Competitive Advantage. 

These seven sources can be applied to any business. They are:

  1. Product Differentiation
  2. Service Differentiation
  3. Narrow Market Focus
  4. Relationships
  5. Exceptional Customer Experiences
  6. Common Values
  7. Low Price

Applying the Seven Sources of Competitive Advantage to Home Health, Hospice, and Private Duty Home Care

After speaking to hundreds of audiences and leading strategic planning retreats for over 500 different organizations about the concept of competitive advantage, I have been able to refine these concepts specifically for the home care and hospice industry.  Here are the seven sources of competitive advantage for home health and hospice. 

  • Superior Patient Outcomes
  • Exceptional Customer Experiences
  • Caregiver Quality
  • Personal Relationships
  • Organizational Relationships
  • Relationship Selling
  • Brand Awareness

The seven sources are slightly different for private duty home care. As you know, private duty is a very different business from home health care. Many agencies have tried to mix the two and have failed miserably. The most successful home health agencies that have private duty business have separated the two.

Here are the seven sources of competitive advantage for private duty home care.

  • Caregiver Quality
  • Exceptional Customer Experiences
  • Person to Person Relationships
  • Organization to Organization Relationships
  • Relationship Selling
  • Brand Awareness
  • Specialized Programs and Services

If you and your leadership team dare to be different, then you will want to explore these concepts in much more detail.  You can do that easily by downloading the complete research report “Dare to Be Different: Seven Steps to Creating Competitive Advantage in Home Health Care, Hospice, and Private Duty Home Care.  

This powerful report is brought to you at no charge by Delta Health Technologies. 

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Topics: home care, Private Duty

One Month Until ICD-10 - Are you Ready?

Posted by Crystal Parks on Aug 31, 2015 1:59:17 PM



ICD-10 implementation is only a month away. How ready is your home health and/or hospice organization for ICD-10?  

By now, your agency should:

  • Have the ICD-10 compliant version of your home health and/or hospice vendor(s) software in production;
  • Completed, are in the process of, or will soon be testing with your applicable payers;
  • Be dual coding;
  • Continuing intensive training for coders; and
  • Reviewing your ICD-10 Project Plan to be sure all tasks are completed for full compliance of ICD-10.

Visit the CMS ICD-10 website for the latest news and resources to help you prepare for the October 1, 2015, deadline.

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Topics: ICD-10

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