Is your program ignoring alumni? Executive teams are asking about the ROI of an alumni program. The “returns” are many – including improved outcomes, increased referrals and improved overall experience. Another way to evaluate investments is to consider another type of ROI – Risk of Ignoring. What is the negative impact that will happen to your program if you don’t do something? Most programs look to only check the alumni box by making a few phone calls post-treatment and throwing a picnic (or two). Many programs are ignoring alumni as compared to other parts of the program. Ignoring alumni hurts your long term payer relationships, negatively impacts census and creates misalignment with your core mission and values.
Payers are wanting more information than ever before about the long term impact your program is having on patients. Investing in tools that extend the continuum of care, helps to demonstrate your commitment to supporting patients post-discharge. Staying connected and engaged to your alumni also gives you the ability to collect outcomes data. It’s critical that your program is able to get access to this data in real-time to be able to reach out to alumni who are in need. As more programs engage with value-based care structures, your long term success will be tied to your ability to influence and support your patients post-discharge.
Alumni should account for at least 20% of your overall census. Having a great clinical program along with comprehensive engagement strategies helps to create an army of brand ambassadors. Staying top of mind and providing value to your alumni and families empower them to share the message of hope and healing with others. A strong alumni program is also a key differentiator for referral sources, who understand the importance of long term engagement. When compared to all of your patient acquisition channels, alumni referrals are the most cost-effective AND have some of the lowest AMA rates.
Think back on why you started your program. Look at the core mission and values you communicate with your staff. You probably talk about hope, transforming lives and healing. We all know that healing, instilling hope and transforming lives is part of a long term process. Are you committed to being on this journey with your patients? To live out your values and have a successful program over the long term you need an efficient sales and marketing team, a strong clinical center of excellence and a commitment to extending the care continuum. All of these areas take resources and a commitment from the executive team.
“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.”
Do you have a defined engagement plan and KPI’s? Is there a staff member who allocates at least 30% of their time towards alumni engagement? Are you keeping up with best practices and technologies that are critical for long term engagement? These are just some of the ways that programs demonstrate they are Investing in and not Ignoring their alumni efforts. Long term engagement is much more than a box to check, it’s a critical piece of the recovery puzzle.
CaredFor works with 80+ treatment programs and helps to collect data, improve outcomes, drive referrals and build brand awareness with its white-labeled engagement platform. To learn more about how CaredFor can help your program, schedule some time with our team here.