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Great Ideas...Marketing and Referrals

  • Physician Education on Financing Hospice in an HMO Environment
    Most physicians are unsure of how hospice is financed. We hope that by informing physicians how this works that we will help to decrease late referrals. So far the results are promising. Sisters of Providence Hospice of Providence, Providence, Oregon

  • Delivering Cookies to Physicians
    During national hospice month (November) our volunteers bake cookies and nurses, MSW, chaplain, and CNAs deliver to physicians in our area. Walla Walla Community Hospice, Wall Walla, Washington

  • Summary of Services for Physicians
    Following a patient's death, a list of hospice services rendered to the patient and family during their stay is sent to the physician (e.g., number of nursing visits, CNA visits, MSW, chaplain, volunteer, bereavement follow-up, who present at death, then personal, handwritten note by coordinator to thank physician and staff. Adventist Health Hospice, Tillamook, Oregon
  • Referral Board
    All referrals are placed on a board with the date referral. Staff member is immediately assigned and goal is admission or denial within 24 to 48 hours. Case managers/ SW become more aware of marketing, adm. criteria, insurance coverage, MD interaction etc., DME, etc., etc. Good way to do quick follow-up, educate staff and market all at the same time. Anonymous

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  • Cookies for Physicians
    After attempting to take lunches to physicians' offices we realized that we could not compete with the pharmaceutical representatives, etc., so we had a cookie jar designed with our name on it and have our volunteers, and now high school students, bake home-made cookies. We also have a corps of volunteers who have a list of specific physicians to whom they deliver informational brochures, marketing pieces, etc., on a regular basis. Family Hospice, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Halloween Marketing Idea
    When Halloween approaches, we purchase plastic pumpkin baskets, witches hats and Halloween coffee mugs. We fill these with candy and distribute them to doctors' offices for their staff. The mugs, filled with candy, go to social workers, case managers and discharge planners in hospitals. The larger buckets and witches hats go to the doctors. Hospice Savannah, Savannah, Georgia

  • Marketing Strategy to Increase Physician Referrals and Promote Physician Satisfaction With Services
    a) Members of administrative team are assigned key doctors, b) Member of team responsible for establishing a working relationship with doctors or key members of his staff, c) Means of communication, frequency, determined between staff member and doctor/staff member, d) Team member communicates patient care issues, assesses physician/patient needs, relates new program ideas within these established guidelines, and e) Team member reports findings to Operations Committee on a monthly basis. Methodist Alliance Hospice, Memphis, Tennessee

  • Staff Awareness of Referral Sources
    Provide clinical and administrative staff with feedback from all referral sources such as: changes in policy with managed care groups; physician feedback--good or bad--and updates on changes in marketplace. The purpose is to help staff realize that our referral resources are important to our program and that we are all team members in a business of hospice. VNA Hospice Care, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Letters to the Editor
    Letters to the editor are great tools for getting out information. Have your medical director write a letter to the editor when your newspaper runs an article on Kevorkian or studies that have been published regarding pain control. Volunteers are usually willing to write letters to the editor to encourage others to volunteer for your hospice. Letters can also be written for national hospice month, national nursing week (a nice way to thank your nurses for their hard work the first week in May), national social work month (March) and national pastoral care week (October). These can serve not only as staff strokes, but also to educate on the role of these team members in the care of patients.This is one of the top-read sections of any newspaper. Hospice Inc., Wichita, Kansas.

  • Informational Feature Articles
    Our hospice serves 19 counties in Kansas, most of which are considered rural. We target media communications to ensure publication of news releases. However, periodically, we send out infomational feature articles, such as a recent one on advance directives written by our director of education, to all the newspapers in our service area. These can be kept until there is space as they are not time-limited. These are picked up by virtually all the smaller papers and always by the two monthlies geared towards readers aged 55+. Hospices can definitely foster death and dying discussion in their communities with such articles as the topic of assisted suicide can be tied in, grief, etc. Hospice Inc., Wichita, Kansas.

  • Newspaper Articles
    When sending notice of a hospice happening to local papers include ideas for a story line including quotable statements and names and numbers of potential interviewees. It may result in an article. Mid-Willamette Valley Hospice, Salem, Oregon

  • Informational Packet for Identified Families
    Providing referral physicians with a patient envelope for potential hospice patient/family seen in office. Envelope contains: a ready reference card with names, hours, address, phone number, a general hospice brochure, special brochure on financial considerations. Idea well received by our physicians; helps doctor and patient. Hospice of Licking County, Newark, Ohio

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  • Magnetic Signs on Staff Cars
    We put magnetic signs on all RN, CNA and social workers' and chaplains' cars when they are on hospice business. This is voluntary but all choose to participate. We logged 72,000 miles on business last fiscal year. Joliet Area Community Hospice, Joliet, Illinois [Hometown of Dale Larson! ]

  • Collaboration Diversity Event
    African American staff organized and conducted "Hospice" Alive" in their community. Sold ads in program and took up collection. Groups from other churches in area put on performance. Hospice of the Treasure Coast, Fort Pierce, Florida

  • Outreach to Diverse Patient Groups: Booths at County Health Fairs
    Because we are a very racially diverse county in southern California, we've begun targeting the Korean and Vietnamese MD's and community groups. We just had a booth at the Korean Community Center Health Fair and did 7100 blood sugar checks. We've hired staff fluent in these languages to provide the care and f/u with MD's, etc. Coordinated Hospice, Westminster, California

  • Sending Family Letters to Physicians
    When families send letters of appreciation to Hospice with information such as "we wish we were referred sooner" or "Hospice really helped" we should send copies of these (with family permission, of course) to their physician or maybe all physicians who refer to encourage more and earlier referrals. This could also be done by copying and sending surveys that address these questions. Hospice of Metro Denver, Denver, Colorado

  • Assigning Primary RN Case Managers to High-Referral Physician Practices and Clinics
    Reduces number of phone calls for MD and RN's. Develops mutual understanding of practice patterns. Increases MD loyalty. Visiting Nurse and Hospice of San Francisco, San Francisco, California

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  • Promoting Hospice
    National Hospice Month promotion of Hospice: Roving Cart and display - NHO Code of Ethics, hospice brochures, family fact sheet, comments written from family, satisfaction surveys, hospice pens. Goes from unit to unit; hospitals, NH. Tea reception at end of month to have IDM team available for introduction, question and answers. Ontario-Yates Hospice, Geneva, New York

  • Better Communications with Attending Physician
    Thank you from supervisor for referral and name of primary nurse to doctor within a week. Progress note to attending from primary every 90 days. RN (helps especially with long-term patients). Team meetings are held close to workplace of medical director to enhance their attendance. St. John's Hospice, Grove, Oklahoma

  • Public Relations Staff
    Our hospice census is about 90. We have one public relations person for Ft. Worth and one for Dallas. Our nurses are limited to 8-10 patients each. The public relations people work with the nursing staff to break through in the doctor's office. They provide lunches and socialize with the staff and doctor's to be the hospice they would think of to refer patients to. American Hospice, Inc., Dallas, Texas
Alliances and Networking Marketing and Referrals
Bereavement Special Programs
Clinical Staff Support
Community Education Team
Fundraising Volunteers

©2011 Dale G. Larson, Ph.D.