Case managers do double duty as marketing reps

Increase in referrals is documented

When the admissions coordinators from Floyd Rehabilitation Center in Rome, GA, go into the community to screen patients, they also set up appointments to call on physicians and other facilities in the area to tell them about the hospital’s services. Because the hospital draws from a large area, this plan saves money and staff time by eliminating the need for someone else to drive up to 100 miles round trip for marketing calls.

The program has been quite successful, says Karen Sablon, case management director. In 1993, the first year the rehab center was open, the highest number of referrals in one month was 50 patients. Referrals increased steadily to a high of 62 in one month in fiscal year 1994, 77 in 1995, 88 in 1996, and 110 in 1997.

The pediatric case manager’s duties also include meeting with parents of babies in the neonatal intensive care unit to let them know pediatric rehab services are available at Floyd. The case manager tells parents she can answer questions about developmental issues, such as a baby who is a slow feeder. The medical staff is available to answer medical questions, but parents often worry the most about developmental issues, Sablon says.

"We are making sure that these babies don’t fall through the cracks, but we are also marketing ourselves at the same time," she says.

To generate referrals to its new occupational health component, the case management department plans to place case facilitators in its urgent care center, its emergency room, and with its affiliated primary care physicians’ group.

"The facilitators would refer any workers’ compensation cases to an occupational health case manager so we can make sure the person injured on the job gets everything they need and that their employer is aware of our services," Sablon explains.

Her department works closely with the hospital’s marketing and public relations departments, but rehab case management does most of its own marketing. If there is a pediatric conference in the area, for example, the pediatric case manager attends. When the day hospital opened in August 1997, the case management department hosted a breakfast and open house for area physicians.