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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Marketing Plan For A Nursing Home
Posted by Anonymous on
3/20/2005 at 9:10 PM ET
I am the new marketing director for three long-term skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes). Two are located in the same small town operating at 88 beds. The other one is located in another neighboring small town operating at 254 beds. Both towns are characterized by an excess of beds. I have been asked to construct a marketing plan, and I am not sure where to begin. Please help....
3/20/2005 at 9:17 PM
3/20/2005 at 11:22 PM
When I was revamping our approach to marketing & sales plans I used the following websites for ideas & templates.
Hope they are useful.
3/21/2005 at 4:06 AM
Are you looking for a marketing plan template or help with your marketing plan.
If you are looking for a template, then you can go to
and click on marketing shop and you should get a template for free.
However, if it's help with the plan itself, then you will need to provide us with more info or at least what you have in mind for the experts to point you in the right direction and offer some practical advise.
Please post back your comments.
3/22/2005 at 6:05 AM
Any of these templates will show you where to begin, and what are the typical elements of a marketing plan.
What have you done so far? SWOT? Competitive Analysis? Anything?
Where are you having trouble?
Sounds like the business could be improved - at least you have spare capacity.
2/25/2008 at 10:24 AM
Remember that the Medicare A patients often bring in the most revenue and profit. So if you want to learn how to start your plan, research local competitors and see what you have or can do that is better. Also, locate your referral sources and then make a daily plan on how you are going to target them for relationship building etc.
Nursing home placements are “need driven” rather than “choice driven”. The placement of individuals into a nursing home is usually driven by some event that causes them to need your product, especially with Medicare A. Therefore, targeting the persons that decide skilled therapy is required is the first step. This includes, mostly doctors and hospitals, and sometimes rehab hospitals that cannot meet the 13 diagnosis requirement that presently exists for them to maintain eligibility for higher reimbursement. .
The problem is often that there are many dynamics that drive the referral sources decision to refer one nursing home over another. Therefore you must somehow create an environment that drives the referrals to your door and make the referral sources change their habits.
In turn, here are the goals to include in the plan you must achieve in order to do this:
-Create a trusting and tight relationship with the referral sources, sometimes on a personal level. Great RELATIONSHIPS create more referrals than any other medium, more than just offering gifts and “bagel baskets” does. This is a grass roots business.
-Meet all the needs of the referral sources timely and with respect.
-Make it very easy for them to communicate with you.
-Make it very easy for the referral source to get the transfer done.
-Get an approval for placement of the patient completed fast.
-All staff must be respectful of the referral sources needs, not just you.
-Make sure you have a good product (all the convincing in the world will not help if doctors and hospitals do not get good feedback from the people they refer.)
-Maintain a "service attitude" towards referral sources and do as much of the work as possible to get the job done. Have your staff do the abstracts timely if possible.
-Train all the staff on proper communication with the referral sources. If you are the only one performing the relationship building, but other staff is not helpful, then you will not achieve your goals.
-Make sure your environment is attractive and then hold an extravagant open house for the referral sources.
-When the doctors come in and visit your home, “roll out the red carpet”. That way they will want to send more patients to you because of the time they save getting in and out of your home on rounds. Greet them and have their charts out and ready for them. Teach your staff to please the doctors, including the triage of patient issues so not to inundate them with calls daily or at odd times at night. Answer the doctor’s questions, and do surveys to find their concerns and resolve them ASAP.
-Go above and beyond the expectations of your customers and referral sources.
-Do not be afraid to build relationships with hospitals that are not necessarily next door, sometimes out of town hospitals can drop one into your lap periodically.
-Be creative. Send someone from the your nursing home staff to personally deliver “get well balloons and flowers” containing your name prominently displayed to any residents of your home that go to the hospital for a short period of time. This will build a presence in the hospital and create a respect from the doctors, families, and referral sources.
These have been some tried and true approaches.
This information is really just is the “tip of the iceberg”. In turn, this subject requires much more time discussion than this. Good marketing also involves operations and marketing working together. Remember, marketing and operations must all work together, or your marketing efforts will never be maximized. Nursing Home providers cannot promise one thing to a customer or referral source, and then deliver another.
I am the President of a senior housing consulting organization and have worked in a leadership role in senior housing for approximately 10 years. I have often attended the National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care Industry conferences held in Washington, DC and Chicago, IL, as well as many other educational events. I am also a speaker on the subject. I have recently spoken at the World Research Group, Senior Housing Owner/Operator Annual Forum in New York City. There is an excellent resource on the web site below regarding this subject. The manual I speak of offers real life practical ideas to apply to your practices every day. It is called Ultimate Operational, Environmental, and Marketing Strategies for Senior Housing. All the ideas listed as responses to your question as well as many more ideas are drafted out in the manual with more detail and the tools needed to get you started. It won’t leave you guessing.
Many people have benefited from this and raised and maintained their census up to 95-98% from a history of about 80%-85%.
It hits this subject directly, and will help you change the culture of your staff and will impress your employer greatly. Although it discusses many other management issues, the marketing concepts and ideas listed are outstanding and worth the purchase alone.
Your organization will compound its return on investment in this manual greatly.
I recommend you use it and then you can pass it to your administrators and executives for the other issues if you wish.
The book can be found at :
The home page is
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