HomeWell Banking on Hospital-to-Home Transition Program to Drive Growth in 2021

When a company goes through a significant leadership reorganization, it’s often the chance to breathe new life into the organization. This can mean a shift in perspective or even a major strategy overhaul.

For HomeWell Care Services, which recently announced a series of leadership appointments, a reorganization was an opportunity to lean into rebranding efforts that began in 2018.

Crystal Franz stepped into the CEO role at HomeWell earlier this month.

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“It really is a new day at HomeWell,” Franz told Home Health Care News. “In the last couple of years, there have been some huge initiatives we have taken to set ourselves up for significant growth. We rebranded our company from HomeWell Senior Care to HomeWell Care Services.”

This distinction is subtle, but for HomeWell it meant a transition from a company that mainly operated in the senior care space to one that offered home care to more varied populations.

“While the majority of people we provide services for are seniors, we realized there are folks out there who are in need of home care that might not be in the senior age bracket, such as people who are getting discharged from hospitals and things like that,” Franz said.

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HomeWell is a Burkburnett, Texas-based home care franchise company that provides personal care, companionship and homemaker services. The company serves more than 3,000 clients annually, with 45 locations across the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to appointing Franz as CEO at the start of January, Brandon Clifford was named senior vice president of development and franchise services. Michelle Cone was named senior vice president of training and brand programs.

HomeWell also appointed Mishelle Payne vice president of marketing.

All of the recent executive leadership appointments involve people who were already part of the company prior to their promotions. By elevating HomeWell veterans, the company was able to tap into their knowledge and redirect their efforts, according to Franz.

“We are very committed to bringing in the best folks within their respective fields,” she said. “What we have going for us at HomeWell is an executive leadership team that has deep experience within the four parts of the organization that they manage.”

Franz believes that HomWell’s new leadership team and the expertise they bring also positions the company to attract the right kind of franchise owner. That has been another key area of focus for the organization.

“We took a hard look at our franchise system — and what type of owners we want to bring into [it] — to truly make sure they’re helping to deliver on our mission in their local market,” Franz said. “We spent a significant amount of time investing in our brand, our processes and our operations. Now is the time for us to capitalize on that.”

Despite the COVID-19 emergency, HomeWell has seen a consistent interest from potential new franchise owners.

However, Franz did note that people typically took longer to make up their minds about purchasing than they had in the past.

“I attribute that to some of the unknown of what the pandemic was to hold,” she said. “Coming into the spring, we are booming. I think we’ve seen the interest increase in the number of people wanting to become an owner because the pandemic has helped to highlight the need for home care. People want to capitalize on that opportunity, and they want to try to help people.”

In 2020, HomeWell had what Franz called a “record-breaking” success when it came to all of the company’s key performance metrics. The company executed 19 new contracts, signed 16 new owners and expanded into 31 territories.

Looking ahead, HomeWell is focused on solidifying its “Go HomeWell” program. The program helps patients transition from a hospital stay into their homes.

“That program is live, but in light of the pandemic, we really want to try to push that program even more,” Franz said. “We want to help hospitals lower their readmission rates. One of the ways we’re able to do that is by providing our program to our owners to implement.”

HomeWell also has plans to revamp its life enrichment and activities program for seniors.

“It’s helping put together activities designed for companionship and engagement,” Franz said. “We feel that this particular program … is really a solid answer to the pandemic where we are seeing senior isolation and loneliness play a role in people’s overall health.”

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