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Telehealth as a Sales and Marketing Tool in Home Health Care

Are you looking for a new source of competitive advantage to grow your home health agency? Are you offering telehealth as part of your program of services?

A new study released by Philips Electronics and Fazzi Associates shows that 45.2% of home health agencies experienced an increase of referrals as a result of their telehealth program. My guess is that the other 55% of the agencies using telehealth have not done a good job of using telehealth as a source of competitive advantage.

In our Certified Home Care Sales Professional workshop, we have taught home health care sales professionals how to use facts and data to create competitive advantage. Here are some facts and data from the Philips / Fazzi study that will be valuable to all telehealth users:

* 17.1 percent of agencies use some type of telehealth system. A much higher percentage of large agencies (32.0%) report that they provide telehealth services.
* 88.6 percent report that telehealth led to an increase in quality outcomes:
* 76.6 percent report a reduction in unplanned hospitalizations
* 77.2 percent report a reduction in emergency room visits
* 71.3 percent report that telehealth services improved patient satisfaction. No agency reported that it reduced patient satisfaction.
* 83.9 percent state that less than one in ten patients refused a home telehealth system.
* 79.2 percent of patients or family members were reluctant to have the telemonitoring system removed.
* 42.8 percent report that telehealth led to a reduction in cost. A similar number reported it as cost-neutral.
* 63.5 percent report that telehealth had no impact on clinical caseloads. As more agencies use telehealth and move up the learning curve, clinical productivity measures may increase
* 49.7 percent report telehealth decreased on-site visits
* 45.2 percent report telehealth increased the number of referrals
* 56.9 percent report that their nurses were very receptive to having a telehealth service after one year as compared to 36.3 percent at the beginning of the program.
* 89.1 percent stated that given everything they know today, they would still have started their telehealth program.

For more information on the study, visit the Philips Electronics web site.

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