Post-acute buzz: Relationship vs. service marketing


It’s a little too early to go into too much detail, but a big focus at this year’s HME News Business Summit, Sept. 7-9 in Minneapolis, will be post-acute care.

Not HME, but post-acute care.

There will be a number of sessions that will have something to do with this growing movement of post-acute providers banding together and with acute care providers for survival (if you think HME is the only healthcare segment that’s hurting, you’re wrong) and success (not only financially, but also from an outcomes perspective).

We began covering this movement at the past two Summits. Two years ago, we had a panel of HME providers who were in the early stages of making plays in a number of areas: negotiating preferred provider agreements, offering chronic diseases management programs through telehealth or proposing high-touch transitional program. Last year, we had a provider who is partnering with area health systems by giving them part ownership in the company.

I feel like this movement has come a long way in the past two years, to the point where you have vendors like Brightree and Mediware positioning themselves and their software solutions for, not just HME and home infusion and home health, but post-acute care and all it entails (see stories in the May issue).

This year, we’ll have another panel of providers, but this group is more established in its partnerships and agreements. We’ll also have a presentation by a person inside a growing health system whose job it is to build a post-acute care presence in its existing and new markets.

One of the providers on the panel put the importance of this movement this way:

“I have long seen that as an industry we needed to transition into relationship marketing rather than just service marketing. In this line of thinking, it means being in a position to offer a solution to a community, network, organization at the moment that a problem is trying to be solved. This may mean decreasing re-admissions, increasing compliance, etc.”

It’s forward-thinking stuff.

We plan to announce the educational program for the Summit in May. Keep an eye out.