by Stephen Tweed
I’ve just returned from Orlando, Florida and the 2012 National Association for Home Care and Hospice annual meeting and exposition. Thousands of leaders from home health care, hospice, and private duty home care gathered to get the latest information on health care reform, government regulations, trends in clinical care, and new marketing ideas.
While there was a track that was focused on private duty home care, and a reception for members of the Private Duty Home Care Association (a NAHC affiliate), we also heard a lot of conversation about private duty in the leadership track. Speakers on leadership in home health and hospice frequently mentioned private duty.
That’s Good News and Bad News
The good news is that industry and consumer awareness of private duty home care is growing. More and more people are aware of what we do.
The bad news is that every home health agency and hospice in the country is thinking about private duty home care. They are your new competitors. They bring new forces into the marketplace as they already have a stream of patients that may become home care clients. Our research shows that home health agencies and hospice make good referral sources for private duty home care. If they have or start their own private duty businesses, that’s one less referral source, and one more competitor.
In talking with several of the financial advisers and consultants at the meeting, I came away with a clear picture of how badly the Medicare cuts and Face-to-Face encounter requirements have hurt the finances of home health agencies. As they look to become less dependent on Medicare and Medicaid, private pay is a likely solution.
I also had the opportunity to talk with several leaders from major private duty franchise companies, and they are growing rapidly as well. And, we still get ten calls a week from individuals who want to start a private duty home care company.
Creating Competitive Advantage is Critical
With all this new competition coming into the marketplace, and with more than 17,500 private duty home care companies already here, growing your business is more and more difficult. That means that you need to really focus on your sources of competitive advantage, and what makes you different.
At The Academy for Private Duty Home Care, we will continue to develop new data, information, and best practices to help you get ahead of the competition. Coming up later this week is a new web conference on “Building Your Brand with Consumer Marketing“. Stay tuned for other events to help you grow your business and get ready for the future.