As home care services are highly regulated by the government and industry bodies, online lead generation has not mushroomed as in other industry verticals. However, the opportunities in this industry are very large. As the population is aging quickly and the health care costs are skyrocketing uncontrollably, consumers are looking forward to technology for researching products and services, cutting costs and improving health care. As more and more health care systems get automated in the near future, the rules and regulations will be more clear and easier to follow.
Home Care Leads Generation
Since cold calling is not allowed for sales promotion, lead generation services providers still depend on traditional marketing and leadgen channels such television, radio and print advertisement. Once the potential customers see the advertisement and call the telephone number advertised, the agents carefully screen the calls and then pass on the leads to the service providers and product suppliers.
Home care leads fall into two major categories: Home care equipment and Home care services. The lead generation companies have to wade through lot of legal issues and make sure that they are following rules such as HIPAA regulations, state rules, Medicare regulations and other privacy regulations.
Lead Distribution and Management
The home care providers also exercise great caution when buying leads from third parties, as they are ultimately responsible for the issues, if any. For example, a consumer could have called a lead generation service and the lead company could have passed on the contact information to the service provider. The service provider must have clear record of the entire conversation / communication, so that they can defend themselves in case of issues; the buyer also will have the right to inspect the processes of the lead generation company.
Home care lead generation firms have started using advanced lead generation management system software for distribution, delivery and tracking of leads. The lead distribution systems supports recording of telephone conversation and tracking entire lead movement from end to end.
Home Medical Equipment (HME) companies have to make sure that they are buying from established lead suppliers and foolproof systems and procedures are used by the firms concerned.
The lead acquisition companies should make sure that express consent is obtained from the prospective customers. Internet lead generation is to be carefully planned and executed. For instance, the lead company should specifically inform them that they will be passing on the contact and related information to another third party (i.e equipment / service provider). Even in such cases, the communication is considered as marketing and hence payment is not a referral fee. Hence the lead generation firms and the lead buying home care companies enter into a business associate relationship.
The lead companies are not allowed to discuss medical conditions or prescription information with the potential customer, while they might check the insurance eligibility.
In such a scenario with highly regulated business environment, it is essential to follow the rules by the book. Automation will certainly reduce some manual efforts, so that more critical business tasks can be focused. Automated lead aggregation and management systems can help lead companies operating at regional or national levels gain maximum benefits by reducing the manual process errors and increasing the efficiency of the lead distribution and tracking process.