Targeting Continuum of Care Providers, Honor Partners with Eskaton’s Home Care Business

San Francisco-based Honor — which uses technology and workforce management solutions to take over caregiver recruiting, scheduling, billing and other back-office responsibilities for home care agencies for a share of their revenue — has started to refine its partner profile.

Since revamping its business model more than a year ago, Honor has teamed up with a variety of sized home care agencies that do between $1.5 million and $6 million in revenue. In December, however, Honor President Nita Sommers also told Home Health Care News that the startup was beginning to see interest from bigger, platform-type organizations that provide a range of care services to older adults.

Honor — backed by more than $115 million in venture capital funding — announced Wednesday that Live Well at Home by Eskaton has joined its network.

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A more than 50-year-old nonprofit, Eskaton owns or manages more than 30 senior living communities across California, with Live Well serving as its home care offering.

“The decision by Live Well at Home … to partner with Honor is the perfect example of the growing trend of continuum of care providers looking for more innovative ways to effectively manage the non-medical home care component of their senior services,” Sommers told HHCN following the announcement. “Through this partnership, we’re able to offer our caregiver recruiting and workforce management solution coupled with our deep home care operations expertise to provide seamless integration and quality of care for the older adults they serve.”

Eskaton’s portfolio includes assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and rehabilitation services. The senior living provider launched Live Well in 2014 to help meet rising demand for in-home care in the Sacramento area.

“We started Live Well to balance out Eskaton’s offerings,” Tom Bollum, its executive director, told HHCN. “Eskaton really took a look at the care that was being provided to people in their own properties already by other agencies and decided it was a great opportunity.”

Over the past several months, Live Well had found it was becoming more difficult to recruit and retain its caregivers — problems that made growth targets nearly impossible to hit.

That was the prevailing factor in its decision to partner with Honor, Bollum said.

Before partnering with Honor, Live Well had about 120 caregiver employees in total. About 75% of Live Well’s costs were caregiver-related, Bollum said.

“Over the last year or so, we’ve certainly seen the results of the caregiver crisis,” he said. “Our caregivers are absolutely key to our growth, so we took a look at what Honor was offering. It appeared that they were tackling several of the pain points associated with growing an agency — the hiring, training, supervising of Care Pros or caregivers.”

While Bollum determined partnering with Honor made sense for Live Well, some have questioned Honor’s partnership model and raised concerns over the company’s revenue-sharing approach in the past.

California is projected to be one of the fastest growing states in the country in terms of overall population.

In 2016, California comprised 12% of the U.S. population, a figure that’s expected to grow 30% by the year 2060. The California population aged 60 years and over is expected to grow more than three times as fast as the state’s general population, with growth varying greatly by area.

For example, the 60-and-older population in Sacramento specifically is projected to increase by nearly 187% by 2060, according to the California Department of Finance.

In addition to its Sacramento headquarters, Live Well is now opening a Stockton location and has plans to launch in the San Francisco Bay Are within the next three to four months, Bollum said.

“We see the partnership for Honor as checking off one of the boxes in our strategic initiative,” he said.