Some stories are able to make a big splash instantly, while some are more of a slow burn, taking time to attract the attention of readers.
While the former has already received some much deserved fanfare, Home Health Care News wanted to take the time to shine the spotlight on the latter. These stories are diverse in topic matter, style and structure.
Here are some of HHCN’s favorite hidden gems of 2022.
Whether it’s former hospitality professionals looking to transfer their skills to a new arena, a former attorney looking for new ways to help people, or an executive looking for a new business opportunity entirely — the world of home care franchise ownership is filled with individuals of various career backgrounds and life experiences.
Many of them have been able to use skills from their past to set themselves up for success as home care franchise owners at companies like Home Instead and Seniors Helping Seniors. Four franchisees sat down with HHCN to tell us their stories in part 1 of a two-part series.
Staffing shortages have long been a pain point for home-based care providers across the U.S., but in some parts of the country it’s taking an even greater toll on providers’ ability to offer care.
Specifically, workforce shortages are hitting the South and Pacific Northwest harder due the high percentage of seniors with self-care disabilities and daily activities of living challenges, a study led by the University of California at San Francisco found.
Rural areas, in particular, struggled with recruiting home-based care workers due to the challenges associated with navigating care delivery in those communities.
“It’s hard to find workers in rural areas, especially in personal care,” Susan Chapman, one of the study’s authors, previously told HHCN. “Personal care aides in rural areas have unique challenges with transportation, travel time from one client to another, isolating work, internet connectivity and so many others. Those are things we knew before on a surface level, but this makes it all the more worrisome that we don’t have workers in these areas.”
The home health proposed rule for 2023 has since been released but, back in October, in the weeks leading up to its unveiling, home health stakeholders pushed back against the inclusion of a 4.2% aggregate decrease in payments.
Industry stakeholders fought this fight by leaning into advocacy and legislation. Still, they didn’t want to leave any tool in their toolbox unused, so even legal action was on the table – and still is.
Though many viewed taking legal action as a last resort, the industry has a staggering amount of legal precedents on their side.
The expansion of home-based primary care could be the key to solving many access-to-care issues seen in the U.S. No one understands this better than VillageMD.
VillageMD — a primary care provider that operates across 22 markets and serves over 1.6 million patients — has been one of the most visible players in the primary care space. Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is one of the company’s chief investors — pouring billions of dollars into it over the years.
VillageMD’s rise coincides with the increase in popularity of home-based primary care.
Additionally, this type of service continues to attract attention from buyers looking to lean into the potential synergistic opportunities that come with having a primary care entity under the umbrella.
The hospital – and other acute settings – has alway been the most popular early career path for nurses.
However, this is slowly beginning to change, as more nurses embrace home- and community-based care settings.
“A lot of TV shows and publicity was done for hospital care,” Dr. Sun Jones previously told HHCN. “It’s more glorified to work in the ICU, for example. I think things are shifting now. Nurses are finding their niches in community-based settings a little more.”
Part of this trend is thanks to the turnover that took place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, working conditions at hospitals and other traditional settings become more dangerous.
Peruse the LinkedIn page for any tech company or startup, and you’ll eventually see someone that holds the title of chief people officer (CPO).
The same can now be said at many mid-sized and large home-based care companies.
But what does a CPO do exactly?
“One of our primary responsibilities is making sure that we work in concert with the executive team and other leaders to have a people-based strategy that allows us to accomplish the business goals,” David Cook Jr., executive vice president and CPO at AccentCare, previously told HHCN. “Chief people officer evolved from human resources roles. It’s become much more of a strategic role than it was in the past.”
AccentCare and Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) are just a couple of the home-based care companies that empowered these executives to make greater changes at their organizations. This includes everything from improving employee engagement to creating an intentional culture.
Non-medical home care is at a critical moment in time.
The combination of wage increases and inflation in the U.S. means that providers will need to decide whether to double down on a private-pay structure or find another way to grab market share and up the amount of people they are able to offer care to.