Summer is the peak wedding season, so it’s no surprise that matchmaking is on the minds of many long-term and post-acute care organizations these days. Being able to craft smart partnerships is part business strategy and part art form. For some, it’s a way to survive in a unique service market that is both highly competitive and (still) highly segmented.
It really comes down to this: Your facility has A, but could be so much more if it had B. Your organization’s forte is delivering service X, but your competitor beats you every time on delivering Y. Meanwhile, everyone in town is scrambling to remarket themselves and get on the local acute care’s referral A-list.
Could a marriage be in your future?
At this year’s annual Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) conference, partnerships were a big topic—including how to combine business segments with skilled nursing and how to woo acute care referrals. Here’s my suggestion list for those who are considering a partnership to grow business:
Focus on the market needs. Memory care, rehab (occupational and physical) and home care services are already seeing huge demands nationally, and those service waves have not even begun to crest yet.
Get creative. Perhaps there’s an untapped service vertical waiting to become part of your repertoire, if you can find an occupational therapy partner (for rehab services) or a transportation partner (for adult day services), etc. And, perhaps valuable opportunities are right in your own neighborhood, such a partnership with an assisted living facility or hospice.
Don’t offer what you don’t have. Most partnerships between acute care and long-term/post-acute facilities need to include technology that allows electronic records to be exchanged smoothly, as well as tech capabilities to track transitions of care between sites. Such technology is rapidly moving from acute care’s wish list to their requirements for a partnership.
Don’t settle for less. When seeking a service partnership, their business becomes your business. Do the homework. Ask around. A partner’s customer satisfaction record will become yours if you decide to marry.
Alas, life is not “business as usual.” Consolidation of services is a fact of the current market. So is partnering with the right companies to enhance your offerings, whether to entice more business from acute care or to become the flagship long-term/post-acute care provider in your area.
So, don’t be a shy wallflower. Look around to see if a possible mate is nearby. The right partner can increase your local business and improve senior care service offerings at your site and in your own community.