Michigan, Florida and other states are full of care providers who rely upon Personal Injury Protection, (PIP) benefits to pay for the cost of care to those injured in auto accidents. It makes sense. Sometimes the cost of care from where you live to care received by others in your own home to transportation to medical appointments can become unaffordable rather quickly for the injured party.
No-fault benefits help take the financial load off Medicaid and Medicare. Both would be overwhelmed with the expenses of long-term rehabilitation that PIP benefits now cover; likely, in the billions of dollars.
From a marketing perspective we speak today about care providers. This includes outpatient rehabilitation centers, medical needs transportation companies, assisted living providers with clinical acumen and home care companies who come into the homes of the catastrophically injured, sometimes 24/7 to render important care. Many become easily frustrated trying to develop relationships with everyone from independent case managers who coordinate and monitor care to personal injury attorneys who litigate the cases to discharge planners in hospitals, nursing homes and large institutional rehabilitation firms in the search for referrals.
While developing all of these relationships is essential, it is misguided to expect that a new provider will instantly cut into some of these loyalties that govern who serves the best cases. How do you penetrate a network that has unspoken rules associated with letting you in?
Follow the path of the pharmaceutical industry and take your message to the end-user. This does not mean you stop developing relationships with important referral sources. However, your main focus becomes taking your message directly to the injured party and their families with radio, television, newspaper and internet search engine advertising. That’s right; Take your message to the home! Let people know why you are the best source for what they need.
If you have multiple care delivery departments under one umbrella, such as assisted living, home care, transportation and rehabilitation, develop an outreach campaign that shows a family how you can serve all of their needs with what we call the Costco approach – everything under one roof. That becomes real Care Along the Continuum.
When speaking with an injured party or their concerned family, educate them immediately about the fact that they have choices. No law firm, no case manager can force any service provider down their throat. Develop relationships independent of those who only want to favor their “closed network”. This reminds me of Fidelis.
Several years ago most had never heard of them. They are a health plan for Medicaid enrollees with a focus on the dual eligibles, Medicaid-Medicare. In 2010 they invested into a sales force that took the adult foster care community by storm. They made contact with every home statewide and they enrolled thousands of people into their plan. People were calling my office asking: “Who is this Fidelis?” and we knew some smart marketers who were not opposed to being both strategic and aggressive were at play. They were a firestorm and their growth was remarkable, especially for a new player in the market.
Think about all of the advertisements you see from personal injury attorneys. They are not sitting around waiting for a referral but taking their message to the end-user.
Care providers need to be focused on delivering your message in multiple ways. Many of you could join forces in financing a joint mass media campaign and make a world of difference. The approach you take is up to you: Bang on a wall that is tough to climb forever with little to no result, or jump over it with the right strategy! (A video complement!)
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