Ready to Grow

 In Preparing for the Future

Leaders turn attention to capturing untapped revenue.

Flying back from DC last week, the handle on my favorite carry-on bag gave out. Like the Lucky Starr song popularized by Johnny Cash, I truly feel like “I’ve been everywhere, man.” And I’m not alone. In the past 30 days, Transcend team members have attended NHPCO and NAHC annual conferences and held assessment and planning sessions with clients across the country. During our travels, we’ve had the opportunity to connect with many of you and your colleagues. We’ve looked deeply at the market and business performance dynamics shaping your outlook right now and we’ve seen a shift.

Here’s what we’ve found.


Workforce Burnout

Improved Workforce Conditions

Most organizations have fewer open positions and are filling open positions a bit more quickly than they were this time last year. They’re also experiencing less turnover. That seems to be due to the focus leaders have put on addressing burnout.

According to Transcend’s latest research, released at the recent NAHC annual conference, burnout among the nursing workforce is back down to a simmer as employee satisfaction improved, largely due to the efforts of leaders like you.

A few data points from the research:

  • 74% of respondents say burnout is improving
  • 53% report that they are or have been burnt out in the past six months
  • 51% said the source of their burnout was long-term job stress, while 37% cited problems with workload or on-call management
  • 41% said organizational improvements in workload management, on-call management, staffing or communications led them to feel more positively about the future of burnout. The next largest contributor was a sense of a post-pandemic return to normal (17%)


Shifting Focus and Strategy

Renewed Focus on Sales and Growth

With workforce challenges becoming a bit more manageable (for now), leaders are shifting their focus back to the growth engines of their business – sales, marketing and payer relations.

“Sales,” or the intentional building of B2B relationships with referrers and their staffs based on shared goals, is considered by some to be a dirty word in healthcare at home. The focus, scope and metrics Fortune 500 firms put on the function can seem to some to be incongruent with the spirit of hospice and home care. It’s led to the use of the seemingly softer “marketing” as a surrogate for sales, for the use of muffins or pizza and in-services as the primary vehicle for cultivating referrals. True marketing, which provides air cover for sales (and HR) by building brand preference and a strong reputation, differentiates so sales can deliver.

Many organizations do neither sales nor marketing as effectively as they could. And, that’s led leaders to revisit the scope, priorities and metrics associated with sales performance. Sales leadership roles are being redesigned to focus on competitive dynamics and a more modern suite of KPIs. We’re working with several clients on how to align brand, marketing “air cover,” sales “ground cover” and admissions in ways that are both effective and consistent with mission.


Puzzle pieces

M&A Outlook Improving

Lastly, we are seeing a significant increase in M&A activity, leading us to expect industry consolidation, particularly among nonprofit hospices, to pick up in the next year. This consolidation is coming from a position of strength fueled by a mission-driven desire to go farther together under a new generation of leadership. The merged organizations will be better suited for growth through new service lines, new payer offerings and stronger employee value propositions.

With all this underway, now you can see why my suitcase gave up! It’s an exciting time to work in this industry and an honor and a privilege to work with so many of you and my deeply talented Transcend colleagues. Thank you for your courage in taking on difficult-but-critical conversations, for thinking boldly about the future of healthcare in the home, and for embracing transformation. Your hard work is reaping rewards.

Stephanie Johnston
Chief Executive Officer

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