Source 1: 3 Strategies for Private Pay
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Source 1: 3 Strategies for Private Pay

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If you’re considering charging for services, here are three approaches to facilitate a smooth and effective transition:

  1. Integrate the way private pay consumers are served into pre-existing business processes.
    Senior Services, Inc. in Kalamazoo, MI, generates revenue through a variety of specialty and contract services. Its fee-for-service meals program called Food For All® delivers hot or frozen meals to any county resident. Senior Services accepts payment in cash, checks, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and soon, PayPal. Surplus funds are reinvested into nutrition programs for low-income consumers. 

  2. Evolve an existing service to incorporate fee-for-service clients.
    Modify an existing service to reach a new market—or start a new function related to your core mission. After observing a community need for ongoing service navigation, REAL Services Area Agency on Aging in South Bend, IN, now offers long-term case management and guardianship services on a fee-for-service basis. It markets and advertises the service with a separate logo.

  3. Educate staff and stakeholders.
    Understand that change takes time. Work collaboratively with consumers, staff, and stakeholders to address concerns they may have with a cost-sharing or fee-for service model. Communicate clearly and openly about your plans and what you hope to achieve. 

More Tips for Change

Your organizational culture may need to shift to fully embrace charging consumers for services. Here are some ways to help:
 
For Staff

  • “You first need a culture change within yourself. Exude confidence and professionalism so that families feel confident that the services you provide are worth purchasing,” says Kim Charles of REAL Services.
  • Remember that private pay does not equal wealthy.
  • Services purchased by long-distance caregivers can bring tremendous peace of mind.???

For Advisory Councils

  • Offering paid services to fill an identified gap in the local area addresses consumers’ unmet needs.
  • Establish a business model early on, but realize it will take time before the services become profitable.???

For the Public

  • Remember that you offer high-quality services to support people who have long-term care needs.
  • A small up-front investment in services can save many thousands down the road if it helps someone avoid institutionalization.

Written by Sarah Lash and Christina Neill Bowen, The Lewin Group, and Leah Dobkin, NCOA

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