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Struggling with Census? Let's Examine Your Referrals

Every time I have a conversation with an administrator about census-related challenges in the nursing home, the first questions I ask are:
1. Are you tracking your referrals? Show me the data around this.
2. Who are you accepting and who you are denying?
3. What are the reasons for the denials – specifically?
4. Taking it one-step further, how quickly are you accepting?

In one instance, three sister communities were doing everything right except that on average 42% of their referrals were going elsewhere. 71% accepted within 15 minutes of the referral, 97% accepting without additional information needed, yet somehow, those referrals were going elsewhere. Not easy information to fix, but at least there is a place to start now.

In another instance, in Massachusetts, a Director of Nursing Services was declining anyone who they didn’t “have a clinical competency” to care for, which was 58% of all referrals. The data was enlightening to say the least. Are there clinical capabilities or competencies that are needed and what is the plan to obtain them to better affect future referrals and the relationship with your hospital partners? That’s the question.

How can you go to your referral source and say, “you aren’t referring to me” when you don’t know all of the specifics around your admission and referral process? Simple: you can’t. You have to look at what the data is showing and address areas of opportunity in order to optimize your census.

We see clients using PCC track and trend in the CRM section of the software, if your hospital partner uses Allscripts, there is an ability to pull data on referrals, placement numbers, reasons for denials, time to accept or deny, which is extremely helpful.

Often we overlook what is right in front of us and consider a more difficult option. Most of the time the simplest solutions are the best solutions.

Written by: Kristy Yoskey, MOT, OTR/L, RAC-CT,  Senior Vice President of Clinical Strategies
Kristy's #HigherCalling: "Everyone has a significant purpose in life, mine is to help others become aware of that purpose - every nurse, CNA, rehab professional, on person at a time."