In the past couple of years, Alliance Homecare has been able to solidify a name for itself within the industry by positioning itself as a high-end in-home care provider servicing a niche clientele. The company has been able to thrive in the bustling New York market by building partnerships that give its clients access to a unique set of service offerings.
Founded in 2006, New York-based Alliance is headquartered in Manhattan. The agency operates throughout New York and its surrounding suburbs, as well as in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Alliance provides short-term personal care, home health care and care management services in support of hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF) discharges. But the company’s main attraction is its concierge service, which offers clients that need long-term support weekly care management, meal preparation, social engagement and more.
The company employs about 50 people and serves roughly 150 clients. In 2014, Alliance brought in around $6 million in revenue — this has since jumped to just shy of $20 million.
Operating under a private-pay model has enabled the company to take a high-end approach with its concierge care, according to CEO and co-founder Greg Solometo.
“At its core, it means we provide care that we would want to provide to our own family members,” Solometo told Home Health Care News. “Home care as an industry is typically guided under what is afforded by the government, Medicare or Medicaid. Those services are paid for by the government, so there isn’t always the ability to provide the type of oversight, care or pay that we feel is appropriate for best-in-quality home care.”
Some of these specialty services include talk therapy, access to elder care law attorneys and food delivery, which can be crucial to care.
About 25% of adults receiving home health services are at moderate‐to‐high nutrition risk, according to a recent study by Advocate Health Care and Abbott.
“I know that food is medicine,” Solometo said. “There are absolutely ways that providing a better nutrition [experience] to our clients is going to yield better [health care] results. Food is not something that gets thought about traditionally in the home care setting, but it’s really valuable and also a nice lifestyle advancement.”
Alliance also offers its clients wellness services such as yoga, massage and meditation.
Over the last decade, the company has developed a number of partnerships with other health care providers or vendors — between 20 and 30 in total. Those partnerships have helped make the types of specialty services Alliance provides possible and have allowed the business to move forward, according to Solometo.
Alliance, for example, has partnerships with companies like Epicured, City Psychology, Nothing Forgotten, Fox Rehabilitation, Namaste New York and Tully Law P.C.
That list doesn’t include your usual home care-partner suspects: Epicured is a subscription meal delivery service that specializes in gluten-free and otherwise healthy prepared foods while Nothing Forgotten helps individuals handle the belongings of deceased loved ones. Namaste New York, meanwhile, offers in-home holistic wellness services, including personal trainers, yoga, pilates and other services.
“We provide a core service of caregiving to clients, but in order for the home care environment to work properly and most effectively, it requires the skill set of many different types of people and many types of services,” Solometo said. “Our clients benefit from the additional lenses that get brought to the table by our partner providers.”
Last year, Alliance also began utilizing technology to enhance engagement with its Val-Tech platform.
The company places a tablet in the homes of the majority of its long-term clients. Val-Tech then gives clients the ability to automatically dial their care manager or pull up their caregiver schedules. The platform also provides video chat capabilities, messaging capabilities, resources and other features.
An application that will allow caregivers to track clients vital signs is also in the works, according to Solometo.
Still, working within the private-pay space has its challenges as well. Alliance has to be more creative in terms of the places the company markets itself to, for instance.
“You have to make sure that the clients can afford the care we are delivering,” Solometo said. “Many places may want the type of care that we are providing and the outcomes that we deliver, but their clients or patients can’t afford what we offer.”
This limits the number of hospital systems the company can partner with, according to Solometo.
Typically, Alliance’s clients pay between $50,000 and $100,000 a year for services at 40 to 50 hours of staffing per week. That’s compared to the more typical $40,000 to $80,000 range.
Looking ahead, the company is thinking up creative solutions to combat the caregiver shortage. In 2018, the median caregiver turnover rate reached an all-time high when it jumped to 82%, according to Home Care Pulse.
“Everybody says that there is a shortage of caregivers — and they are right,” Solometo said. “There are not enough individuals to care for the people who need it. We haven’t solved all of those issues yet, but we are going to nursing schools, taking a proactive approach to recruiting instead of a reactive one.”
That said, last year, Alliance only hired 9% of the 3,600 caregivers that applied to work for the company, valuing quality caregivers over quantity.
“We are a growing company and we are looking to continue building up more market share, but we are never going to do that at the expense of quality,” he said.