I'm a political junkie; I love hearing news about the "too-close-to-call" races, listening to the latest poll data, and watching election night returns. For those of you who aren't as enamored as I am, the good news is that the 2014 mid-term elections will soon be over.
For hospices, elections happen every day. Unlike voters, hospices can't be apathetic when it comes to understanding the key issues related to the election and admission process. Since I'm not a regulatory expert, I'll leave it to my friends at Weatherbee Resources to write about compliance-related issues (including this recent blog regarding the changes to the Notice of Election process).
Instead this post serves as a reminder, in the context of the recent Washington Post series The Business of Dying, that hospice should have absolutely nothing in common with political campaigns. And yet, there are similarities:
It's not too late to reverse course and return to the days when journalists, patients/families and referring physicians were universally singing praises of hospice. What can you do to help improve the reputation of hospice in the US?
- Promote resources that help patients/families understand how to select a quality hospice that is best for them;
- Stop talking about your competitors - at all. Focus on being the best hospice in your community and promote your value, not your competitors' faults;
- Be wary of offering bonuses to sales/outreach and/or admission staff, and if you do, follow the NHPCO Hospice and Palliative Care: Ethical Marketing Practices; and
- Be proactive, conduct regular audits of your systems and processes to ensure that your hospice is always in compliance with the regulatory requirements.
The 2016 election season will start as soon as the mid-term elections are over, let's hope that by the time election day 2016 is upon us, there will be little if anything in common between political campaigns and hospice.
Posted by Kathy Brandt, MS, Principal of the kb group