NYC Home Care Company Takes New Approach to Referrals

To solve the problem of needing more space to grow and afford a larger office, one New York-based home care company has partnered with five other organizations and moved into a new, collaborative space with them.

Alliance Homecare, a home care agency that has grown rapidly over the last 10 years, has opened up a new headquarters with other groups in and around the home care industry.

The space helps save on rent costs in New York City and allows Alliance to have space to grow over the coming years.

“We are a growing company,” Alliance CEO and founder Gregory Solometo told Home Health Care News. “Space is very expensive in Manhattan. Ideally, it made sense to be able to rent a larger space than we needed today to be able to grow into it. But that said, it really made sense for us to have other people in the space with us to defray the cost.”

Beyond the cost savings, sharing elbow room with companies that compliment traditional home care, such as care management teams, estate planning and dissolution services, in-home dentistry, wellness concierge services like yoga, and a geriatric psychologist, has its own benefits, according to Solometo. Together, the organizations can end up as each other’s best referral sources and help boost awareness about the services revolving around home care.

“Everybody [in home care] typically works in a fragmented way,” Solometo said. “It’s not common for like-minded people to share space. It’s so valuable [to share elbow space] with our partners that we commonly work with.”

When it came to picking the partners that would share the space, Solometo approached the task with the same mindset Alliance uses when it comes to hiring its home health aides and companions. What has become known and trademarked as “The Grandma Rule,” is what Solometo uses to decide if whether to hire or partner with a prospective employee or organization.

“It’s more of an art than a science,” he said of the practice.

Though it is a “softer” approach to hiring and making decisions for partnerships or collaborations, the rule is simple enough. Solometo simply asks, “Is this someone who I would want taking care of my grandmother?”

The rule stems from his own experience of taking care of his grandmother for five years while she dealt with Alzheimer’s disease. Through that time, Solometo was also in charge of staffing her home health aides, and found the process arduous. Since opening his own home care business, the grandma rule has helped shape every hire and influenced the latest collaborative agreements in the new office space.

Sharing an office with five other organizations points to a larger trend across the home care space, which is a growing demand for care coordination and more services in the home. As demand for specialized services at home continue to grow, collaborations between providers make sense, according to Solometo.

“The needs of this country are growing as the baby boomers age,” Solometo said. “They are going to need a lot more services in the home. Home care is an extremely important platform for that to happen, and the reality is home care is not just staffing a nurse or a home health aide. There are many different facets to taking care of somebody in the home effectively. I think that really is a need to have a large partnership and grouping of resources at your disposal.”

Written by Amy Baxter