BRINGING A WALL STREET BRAND BACK TO ITS SOUL PURPOSE
Amedisys was a high-growth company for many years, growing through acquisition across the country and had become a Wall Street darling. From features in Forbes Magazine to a rising share price, most of what you saw, heard and read about Amedisys was focused on how it was a great investment. When I joined the company as its head of marketing and communications, I saw something so much more powerful and enduring. I saw the heart of its caregivers, who looked after the health of more than 300,000 patients each year. I saw the company’s soul and was able to help the company evolve the brand to focus on its caregivers, patients, their families and its clinical discipline.
The company was also going through a crisis. A feature in The Wall Street Journal accusing the company of Medicare fraud triggered a series of investigations from the Senate Finance Committee, the Securities Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.
The healthcare landscape was also changing as the nation adopted the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Those times made it even more critical to strengthen the company’s reputation.
Our approach was raw, honest and heartfelt. We shared the stories of our patients, their families and our caregivers. We re-named each of our agency offices to care centers – because that’s what they really are. We made information easily accessible for the loved ones of patients who were looking for help easy to access and understand through our new website and consumer media channels.
We contained unflattering media coverage by providing clinical data on how we help patients improve their mobility, overall health and lives through physician ordered home health and hospice care. And, we leveraged the expertise of our clinical leadership including our chief medical officer to share the company’s clinical views on the necessity of home health and hospice care.
And, we positioned the company well should the Affordable Care Act be passed by sharing insights we were learning from pilot programs we conducted with our physician practice and hospital partners.
- Created a new positioning for the company that balanced its focus on delivering the best care and also clinical expertise – “Bringing Home the Continuum of Care”
- Launched a new website rich with easy-to-follow information about home health and hospice care as well as stories from patients, their families and caregivers
- Effectively managed four years under scrutiny from the press as the company was being investigated, balancing coverage of the investigations with positive stories focused on patient care and clinical efficacy of home health and hospice care
- Launched a multi-year thought leadership campaign around continuum of care issues in light of the ACA evolving the healthcare industry