Richter Healthcare Consultants Answer Your Questions
My boss wants Admission & Social Services to have evening and weekend hours for families. Is this really necessary?
Family members today have busy schedules. It is not enough to offer admissions 24/7. Are you missing inquiries, tours and family interaction because the hours of access to your team are “normal business hours”? Not all families can connect with you 9-5. You can gauge this by looking at how many inquiries and tours were handled at night and on weekends during the past three months. Perhaps offering evening hours one night per week will help to direct more appointments to that time period. It may also be a good idea for the business office to increase their availability to families that may have issues regarding statements, payments, etc. Be sure that all new residents/families are introduced to the Business Office staff. Provide business cards and post the hours of availability. Weekend hours are often handled by the Manager on Duty (MOD) concept but unless the MOD is truly trained on the proper inquiry, tour and admissions processes, it may not result in the best outcome. Maybe having an admissions and/or business office rep alternate shifting their schedules a few days each month will work. It should not require extra staffing hours. Experiment with different options offering some alternatives until you can determine the best plan for your community.
Should we offer ACH, EFT and Credit Card options for payments to our center?
Are your residents and family members asking for these payment options? If so, it’s time to consider it. There may be merchant fees involved for the credit card options but this may be warranted for larger communities or CCRCs. Some communities even offer ATM machines on their campus, providing a convenience for residents, employees, family members and visitors. One of the easiest alternatives may be to suggest becoming rep payee for long term residents so that their Social Security checks will come directly to the business office.
What kinds of presentations work best for Family Nights?
The list of potential topics is endless but you might want to try a mix of both social and educational.
“How to plan for Medicaid”
Invite your caseworker, an elder law attorney, the Office on Aging, etc. to provide an educational program. Encourage families to come and learn when and how to initiate the Medicaid application process, with an emphasis on the fact that your team at the community is there to help in any way. Let attendees know how you can help, such as reviewing an application prior to submission, providing complementary copies of documents required as evidentiary, driving a family member to their appointment with a caseworker, etc.
“Legal Documents-Which ones are right for you?”
Power of Attorney (POA), Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPOA), Guardianship, Trusts, Wills, etc. are all important topics for residents and family members. Invite an elder law firm, the Office on Aging, or a case management group to offer a program that helps to educate on the difference and need for each type of document or service.
“Wellness and Aging-They go together”
Invite your therapy providers, your beauty/spa provider, or any wellness providers such as massage therapists, to put together a program that focuses on wellness. Include examples of easy exercise programs, stretches, etc. Your beauty/spa vendor might provide mini facials, mini manicures or hand massages. Involve your dietitian and Food Service Department to provide smoothies and nutritional snacks and desserts including products that are available in local groceries so that guests might try something “new”. One of your vendors might offer a promo item such as a pedometer or a squeeze ball. Are there areas at your community that are already measured and marked as walking routes, such as two laps around the garden area is equal to a half mile? Is there a local person who can speak about meditation or “aging gracefully”? Is there a local comedian who might keep the topic light and engaging?
Any programs which feature art, music, entertainment, etc. work well, particularly if you involve residents and area youngsters. Invite local schools and performance groups to participate.
Are you ready to maximize excellent care AND cash flow with total revenue cycle management? Then it’s time to contact the consulting experts at Richter Healthcare Consultants. Stop worrying about day to day management of the Business Office and focus on what matters most…the quality of care and service for your residents. Contact Richter today to get started!