To help navigate the wave of consolidation in home-based care and strengthen its retention efforts, Interim HealthCare Inc. announced Thursday that Tracy Clark will serve as the international home care and hospice franchisor’s newest COO.
Founded in 1966 and currently part of Caring Brands International, Sunrise, Florida-based Interim oversees more than 530 franchise locations in seven different countries, which combine to provide care for nearly 200,000 patients annually. Unlike many other franchise companies, Interim’s operations include Medicare-certified home health and hospice services in addition to private-duty home care offerings.
That wide-ranging operational landscape means lots of moving parts for a COO.
“Interim is a very diverse organization,” Clark told Home Health Care News. “We have skilled home health care, hospice, as well as private duty and per diem staffing. That takes a lot of coordination within our team internally.”
Prior to being named COO, Clark served as senior vice president of operations and sales for Interim, which also runs a health care staffing business.
Clark, who began working at Interim in 2017, has also held positions as president and principal at Triple Threat Management, as CEO at Family Private Care and Ambassador Health Services, and as executive vice president at OMNI Home Care. That experience on both the Medicare and private-duty side of home-based care will be valuable in his new position, Clark said.
Besides coordinating Interim’s various segments, recruiting, onboarding and retention will also be among Clark’s priorities, he said. So too will be realizing an “aggressive” five-year expansion plan.
“They key to growth is good staff,” he said. “Staff [members] are our product, our business, so we want to have our franchisees focus on that area and be able to recruit.”
Top challenges for Clark include standardizing Interim’s franchise network and responding to each business owner’s needs on a local level, he said. Other challenges include competing against the industry’s bigger, consolidated players and working with physicians to manage an increasing number of patients with multiple chronic conditions.
“Physicians have a tremendous burden on them to not only take care of these patients, but to try to avoid them going back to the hospital unnecessarily,” Clark said. “We need to be able to position ourselves to help them.”
Interim’s move to name Clark COO follows an August rollout of a new patient-centered dementia program designed to better education the franchisor’s 40,000 caregivers and staff members.
Although Interim has not had an official COO since December 2017, Clark has been fulfilling many duties affiliated with the position over the past several months.
“There was about a six month period where [the former COO] had left and there was nobody in that position, though I was taking care of some of the day-to-day tasks stepping into that role,” Clark said. “The official title did not come until I solidified my operations team and felt comfortable stepping out of that day-to-day role at the franchisee level and focus on the company as a whole.”
U.K.-based Bluebird Care and Australia-based Just Better Care are also franchise brands in the Caring Brands International portfolio.
Written by Robert Holly