Print this article

2017 – The Year of the Caregiver

By Stephen Tweed  2017-year-of-caregiver-banner

What’s the biggest challenge for you going into 2017?

I know there’s a lot on your plate, from increasing competition to increased regulation, and from The Affordable Care Act to the Salaried Overtime Rule.

After working with literally hundreds of owners, CEOs, and top level leaders in home health, hospice, and private duty home care over this past year, it is pretty clear that the biggest challenge facing the health-care-at-home industry is “The Caregiver Recruiting and Retention Crisis.”  Agencies simply can’t find enough nurses, therapists, home health aides, and personal care aides to meet the growing demands of an aging population.

We’ve talked with agency leaders who have told us that they have stopped marketing to referral sources for new patients and clients because they don’t have enough caregivers to fill the cases they are already getting. They don’t want to disappoint referral sources by not being able to take new cases.  A number of owners and CEOs have told us, “If I can get the caregivers, I can get the clients.” They have found themselves in the situation of turning down high value cases because they cannot staff them.

Your People Get Tentative over Caregiver Shortages

We’ve also had conversations with home care leaders about the “lost opportunity cost” created by the caregiver shortage.  When you don’t have enough caregivers, everyone gets “tentative”.  Everyone on your team is hesitant to more forward aggressively because of their fears about not being able to staff cases.

  • Sales and marketing people get tentative because they don’t want to disappoint their key referral sources by not being able to staff a case
  • Intake and admission staff get tentative because they are afraid that when the phone rings it will be a call for a new referral, and they can’t staff the case
  • Schedulers get tentative because they are already burned out trying to fill cases and cover call-offs.
  • Recruiters get tentative because they are frustrated by the low quality of applicants they are seeing.
  • Finance people get tentative because they count up all the lost opportunity dollars from missed cases, and they are reluctant to invest in the future.

When everyone gets tentative, the “lost opportunity costs” can be huge.  How much is the caregiver crisis costing you?

There’s a Three-Tiered Solution

For most of 2016, we have been studying this trend across the health-care-at-home spectrum. We’ve also ventured into the Post-acute Care sector as we monitor the closer connection between post-acute care and health care at home.  Based on our interaction with hundreds of CEOs, in-depth conversation with our mastermind groups, and a survey of major industry trends, we believe there is a three-tiered solution to this crisis.  It is pretty simple, but it’s not easy.  You know what I mean by simple but not easy.

  1. The Upper Story – home care and hospice leaders need to work together with acute care and post-acute care organizations to attract more workers to the role of being a front line caregiver.
  2. The Middle Story – home care and hospice leaders need to work together with their own leadership teams to create a “Culture of Attraction and Accomplishment.”  This means creating a great place to work so that you can attract to your agency those wonderful people who are currently working in health care.
  3. The Lower Story – home care and hospice leaders need to refine and refocus their people and their processes to be more effective in attracting, selecting, on-boarding, training, and retaining front-line caregivers.  Implementation of a “Caregiver Quality Solution System” at the tactical level will go hand-in-glove with the development of a “Culture of Attraction and Accomplishment” at the strategic level.

The Power of the Mastermind  

Uncommon Friends Mastermind - Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Charles Lindbergh, and Dr. Alexis Carrel.

Uncommon Friends Mastermind – Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Charles Lindbergh, and Dr. Alexis Carrel.

In 1985 I joined the National Speakers Association.  This is a professional society of experts who speak for a living.  I had been speaking professionally since 1979, and had been speaking in the home health industry since 1982.  When I joined NSA, I immediately became part of an amazing group of people who are willing to share their ideas, their expertise, and their support.  It’s truly amazing because all of these professional speakers compete with one another for speaking engagements, yet they openly share with each other.  We call it “The Spirit of Cavett” after our founder Cavett Robert.

One of the lessons I learned early in my affiliation with the National Speakers Association is “The Power of the Mastermind”. It’s the power of people coming together to share ideas, solve problems, and support one another.  The most famous mastermind group was that of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Charles Lindbergh, and Dr. Alexis Carrel. These five amazing men met regularly, became close friends, and supported one another in their business ventures.

Over the past 30 years I’ve belonged to at least three formal mastermind groups with other professional speakers.  The lessons learned from colleagues changed my life and propelled my career to heights I never could have imagined.  Two outcomes of that learning were being elected to serve as President of the National Speakers Association in 2002-2003, and being selected to receive “The Cavett”.  The Cavett is the highest award for lifetime service offered by this prestigious association.  Another outcome has been learning to grow a speaking and consulting business that has had an impact on over 500 different organizations in home health, hospice, and private duty home care.  The business also generated millions of dollars of revenue, and created the opportunity to travel the world.

In 2013, we introduced the Power of the Mastermind to the home care industry. We created the “$5 Million Mastermind”; a group of ten company CEOs and COOs who generate more than $5 Million in annual revenue.  These home care leaders have come together twice a year since then.  Three of the original members left the group when they sold their businesses and moved into a different phase of their lives.  In 2015, we created the “Strategic Growth Mastermind,” and in 2016 we initiated the “Top 10% Mastermind.”

Introducing the Caregiver Quality Mastermind 

Because we saw the results of the mastermind on these three groups, we decided to apply the same principle to “Conquering the Caregiver Recruiting and Retention Crisis.”  In January, 2017 we are kicking off the Caregiver Quality Mastermind”.  This will be a group of companies that will come together to share ideas, solve problems, and support one another around the issue of caregiver recruiting and retention.  The group will meet virtually at first.  That means you don’t need to travel to be a part of it.  The group will be limited to 25 companies, and only one company per local marketplace.  There will not be anyone in the group who competes with other members.

Because of the unique nature of the Caregiver Quality Mastermind”, there will actually be three different groups:

  • Independent Private Duty – this will be a group of independent companies that provide private pay in-home care.
  • Franchise Private Duty – this will be a group of companies that are part of a franchise system, but not necessarily the same franchise system.
  • Home Health – this will be a group of Medicare Certified home health agencies who want to work together to recruit and retain nurses, therapists, and home health aides.

Learn More About the Caregiver Quality Mastermind

For more information on the Caregiver Quality Mastermind groups, click on the LINK.

Register Now

Then sign up to become the only agency in your local marketplace to have the benefit of the power of the mastermind. Connect with other companies to find and keep the front line caregivers you need to grow your business and get ready for the future.


Related Blog Articles:

The Caregiver Crisis Continues

Defining the Crisis in Caregiver Recruiting and Retention

How to Hire Winners



Print this article