Monthly Archives: September 2013

Plan for October: Get ready for National Home Care and Hospice Month!

It’s here! National Home Care and Hospice Month is finally here! Well, almost. There are still a few weeks left before the celebrations start, but October is the time to kick your planning into high gear. November’s National Home Care and Hospice Month is a great month to not only celebrate the important work you do, but to draw positive community attention to your agency.

  • Use special National Home Care Month or National Hospice Month greeting cards, magnets and bookmarks to recognize the efforts of your employees, volunteers and referral partners – all the physicians, discharge planners, case managers, social workers and others who play a huge role in making your work possible. Find them at
  • As you educate the community about what home care or hospice care is all about, use informative flip charts to ensure referral sources know when it is appropriate to refer a patient to your services. Guidelines for Home Health Admission are personalized to your agency and list the diagnosis codes for more than 200 common conditions. Find them at: Guidelines for Hospice Flip Charts detail the admission guidelines for many common hospice diagnoses. Find them at
  • Demonstrate to referral sources that you are not only qualified, but have a proven record of assisting patients with a variety of conditions. Patient Outcomes Brochures for Physicians outline the services you offer per disease. They also provide real data about your quality outcomes and how they compare to your competitors. Find them at Find accompanying brochures for patients at
  • Distribute FAQ brochures about Home Care, Hospice or Private Duty care at health fairs and community events in November as you educate about your services. Brochures include answers to commonly asked questions about coverage, payment, services, eligibility and more. Find them at

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. As our nation’s senior population grows, more Americans will be living with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 5.4 million Americans already are living with the disease, making it the most common form of dementia.

  • Present a free class on staying mentally sharp at your area senior centers. The Exercise Your Brain class from the Health Matters Education Series offers an easy-to-follow presentation about ways to keep mentally fit to stave off problems in memory and thinking. Find it at
  • After the class, leave behind puzzle books personalized to your agency to not only keep these potential clients mentally engaged, but to create broader awareness of your agency and educate about the benefits of home health, hospice or private duty care. Find them at
  • Visit with local neurologists, geriatric psychiatrists and geriatricians to tell them about your Alzheimer’s program. Demonstrate your agency’s serious focus on working with Alzheimer’s patients by showing off your Alzheimer’s disease patient education guide. Find it at Leave behind stacks of your Alzheimer’s disease information brochures in their waiting rooms. Find them at

Diabetes is a condition that affects about 25.8 million children and adults in the United States, or about 8.3 percent of the population. Among older adults, the percentage skyrockets to nearly 27 percent. Position yourself as a local health care leader and make a commitment this American Diabetes Month to join the fight against diabetes and promote healthier living for people of all ages.

  • Call on local endocrinologists and discuss your agency’s services for people with diabetes. Leave behind personalized glucose monitoring logs for the physician to distribute to patients. Find them at The logs provide a place to easily record blood glucose and important screenings and will go with patients wherever they go.
  • Diabetes can affect the blood vessels in the eyes, making optometrists and ophthalmologists an important health care provider for these patients. Leave stacks of agency brochures about diabetes in the offices of your local eye doctors. Find them at
  • Include diabetes-focused Zone Flyers in your regular care program for clients with diabetes. The flyers help people assess the severity of their symptoms and determine whether a call to their home health nurse or to 911 is warranted. Be sure to show your referral sources this important tool and explain how it helps reduce re-hospitalizations and makes patients more involved in their own care. Find it at

Get focused. Get training. Get more referrals.

The end of the year is in sight and it’s time to start thinking about refocusing your efforts to get even more of your local market share. A great way to do that is by attending a home care and hospice-specific sales and marketing training event to get energized and learn the latest tips and tricks from experts in home care and business growth.

  • There is still time to register for PMX, a three-day specialized sales and marketing experience devoted entirely to home health, hospice and private duty. PMX: PlayMaker CRM Expo & User Conference is the industry’s top destination for gaining the innovative tools and strategies needed to improve marketing efficiency; strengthen branding; increase referrals, census and revenue; and dominate your market. You do not have to be a PlayMaker CRM customer to attend or to get the full benefit of PMX.

PMX is Sept. 18-20 in Nashville, Tenn. Visit to learn more. We have secured a special discount for readers of this blog. Enter promo code BOGO when you register to buy one seat and get the second seat FREE.

Take a deep breath and get ready because October is all about lung awareness. Not only is October Healthy Lung Month, but Lung Health Day is Oct. 30 and National Respiratory Care Week Is Oct. 20-26. The number of Americans affected by lung disease is staggering. With about 158,000 deaths every year (more than prostate, pancreas, breast and colon cancer combined), lung cancer is the nation’s deadliest cancer. About 206,000 people are diagnosed with the condition each year. Additionally, about 10 million adults are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis each year, and about 4.7 million others have ever been diagnosed with emphysema – the diseases that make up Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). About 25 million people live with asthma. Take a stand for lung health and encourage your community to spread the word about lung disease.

  • Use your agency’s COPD outcome scores to demonstrate to physicians your success at providing quality outcomes for certain conditions. Outcomes brochures for the physician detail the specific services you offer and display your outcome scores as compared to state or national averages. Find them at Companion brochures for patients are available at
  • Hospice agencies can visit with physicians and discharge planners to discuss when referral is appropriate for patients with lung disease/COPD. The hospice specialty care flyer, which includes easy-to-follow end-stage indicators, is a wonderful tool to clearly convey this message. Find it at
  • Partner with physicians to improve hospice care for patients with COPD. The COPD hospice disease case study provides a specific patient scenario in which hospice referral would be recommended. Find it at
  • Empower your COPD patients and improve your positive outcomes by providing them with COPD zone flyers that tell them when their symptoms indicate a call to their home health nurse is needed, and when it’s time to call 911. Find them at Reminder stickers and magnets also are available at
  • Show physicians you’re serious about giving patients an active role in managing their condition by using patient education guides, which are packed with guidance, tips, goals and logs. Be sure to take the guides along when you call on physicians to discuss potential referrals and the care you provide. Find guides for asthma and COPD at

Get your pink ribbons ready. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society estimates that 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer and about 34,640 new cases of non-invasive carcinoma in situ will be diagnosed in the United States in 2013. About 39,620 women will die from breast cancer in 2013. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, surpassed only by lung cancer. With nearly 3 million breast cancer survivors in this country alone, it’s a disease that touches nearly everyone in some way. So put on that pink T-shirt and prepare to spread the word about breast cancer awareness, treatment and how home care and hospice can help.

International Infection Prevention Week is Oct. 20-26. Having good hand hygiene and awareness of simple protections to prevent contracting a cold or flu are simple but hugely important steps we all need to keep from getting sick. Highlight these simple strategies this week and play your part in reducing your community’s rates of potentially deadly infections.