Story by HHCN freelance reporter Judith Ruiz-Branch
Home-based care giant Interim HealthCare Inc. has its sights set on ambitious goals in 2020 — and the company’s staffing business will likely play a major role. The Sunrise, Florida-based franchiser is looking to go back to its roots to continue its growth.
“The sky is the limit for us in 2020,” CEO Jennifer Sheets told Home Health Care News. “We will continue to lead with compassion and look for ways to break down silos in health care through a highly comprehensive staffing offering that benefits the entire health care continuum.”
Interim HealthCare is one of the largest and oldest home-based care franchises in the U.S. It provides a range of services, from skilled nursing care to non-medical services like companionship.
Founded in 1966, Interim HealthCare Inc. is part of parent company Caring Brands International. Including its U.K.-based Bluebird Care and Australia-based Just Better Care franchises, Caring Brands International oversees more than 530 locations across seven countries.
In addition to staffing one of the nation’s largest pharmacies, Interim HealthCare staffs a wide variety of client settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician offices, correctional systems, schools, large employers and other health care facilities.
Interim’s independent franchisees employ 40,000 health care workers and provide nurses, therapists, aides and other health care personnel who serve approximately 50,000 people annually.
Interim’s staffing business is one of the company’s fastest-growing business lines.
Over the last five years, Interim’s staffing line has grown more than 30% — and year-to-date it’s up almost 15%, Sheets said.
Overall, Interim HealthCare’s staffing business has doubled over the past 10 years. Today, it represents almost 10%of the network’s total revenue; the company has $1.2 billion in estimated revenue annually.
While Interim’s plans to ramp up staffing services are new, the segment itself is not. In fact, staffing is how Interim started over 50 years ago, so it makes sense that Sheets, Interim’s relatively new CEO, would want to leverage it as a part of the innovation she’s hoping to foster.
The plans come at just the right time.
“In many ways, there is a perfect storm for health care staffing services,” Sheet said.
“We pioneered staffing,” she said. “We aren’t aware of a market in the country that isn’t facing a staffing shortage. This presents a tremendous opportunity. As the industry is projected to be a $19 billion industry next year – we believe we have the resources and capabilities, the ‘playbook,’ to quickly scale our programs in every market, large and small across the United States.”
That includes continuing to build partnerships within local communities, whether those partnerships take place in schools, institutions or health care facilities, Sheets said.
With the aging population growing, longer life expectancies and hospitals seeking to discharge patients sooner — including those with chronic conditions that require a caregiver to ensure adherence — Interim is hoping to be able to fill in the gaps.
Broadly, that gap is projected to keep growing, too. A new report estimates the global health care staffing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 5.2% over the forecast period 2019 to 2026, reaching the market value of around $45.2 billion by 2026.
“Our franchise owners across the country are increasingly looking to integrate the Interim staffing model into their own local business models,” said Sheets, who joined Interim at the start of 2019. “As the franchiser, we ensure that we’re providing the very best education, tools, technology, best practices and support they need to hit the ground running.”
Along with a business model centered on compassion, Sheets said technology has also played a key role in their success this year and will continue to moving forward.
Interim invested heavily in talent, market research, data analytics capabilities and proprietary technology that allows Interim to target specific health care facilities that might be understaffed or regions that show gaps in care, Sheets said.
Specifically, Sheets is proud of the “achievement dashboards” they created to assist staffing applicants while tracking patient encounters and workforce utilization. The dashboards also help streamline Interim’s recruiting process.
These investments helped Interim HealthCare earn the “Silver” Optimas award by Workforce Magazine.
Additionally, Interim HealthCare was recently recognized by Staffing Industry Analysts as one of the largest per diem staffing firms (ranked No. 10) and one of the largest health care staffing firms.
“Technology has not only transformed how we provide care to our patients; it has also transformed how we recruit the best candidates,” Sheets said. “With the staffing industry being a high-demand market, recruiting is endless and matching the right candidate with the right role and organization is crucial.”
This year, the overarching staffing industry recorded its 10th consecutive year of growth in the U.S, growing from a recession low of $83.2 billion in 2009 to a record $152.1 billion projected in 2019.
Looking ahead, the staffing industry is expected to grow 3%, with revenue growth in many segments led by expansion in bill rates and pay rates rather than volume. Interim HealthCare is looking to stay one step ahead by meeting the need now and planning for higher demand.