Nearly 10% Of BrightStar Care’s Network Now Corporate Owned

The national home care franchise BrightStar Care has once again expanded its corporate-owned footprint, this time with the acquisition of eight locations in Wisconsin.

Based in Chicago, BrightStar Care has been significantly growing its corporate-owned footprint lately. With the most recent acquisition of BrightStar franchise locations, the company now fully owns close to 10% of its network, with franchisee ownership making up the rest.

Over time, there is becoming two factions of the BrightStar network: The BrightStar Owned (BSO) network, and the franchisees.


That is largely due to the aspirations that CEO and founder Shelly Sun has for the company long term. Those aspirations include getting further involved in Medicare Advantage (MA) business; involving the company in hospital-at-home models; and enhancing technology and data collection, among other initiatives.

While BrightStar remains a franchise brand, the corporate-owned footprint allows it to test out new initiatives at will without initially involving franchisees who may be less willing to engage.

“As we continue to align with where the health care industry is heading, we are focused on expanding BrightStar Owned by acquiring well-established franchised agencies that our entire network can learn and grow from,” Sun said in a press release Tuesday. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand BSO’s footprint in the Midwest through this monumental acquisition. … Franchising is how we became a nationwide enterprise, and we will continue to put processes in place, like BSO, to ensure its longevity.”


BrightStar Care is a provider of home care and supplemental staffing. As part of its network, it has 15,000 caregivers, 5,700 registered nurses and 380 total locations. The company also has senior living locations.

Its corporate-owned footprint now spans Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

The eight units acquired in Wisconsin were formerly owned and operated by Susan Rather, Jeff Tews and Ryan Tews.

“As we begin our next chapter, we take great ease in knowing our beloved home care agencies that we successfully operated and managed for nearly two decades will be under the best ownership with BrightStar Owned,” Jeff Tews said in a statement. “The communities we served in Wisconsin will continue to receive high-quality home care under BSO, and we’re excited to see how operations and services will evolve with the various resources and skills BSO has to offer this community.”

Most recently, BrightStar Care acquired eight franchise locations in Florida and Alabama.

“BrightStar Care created BrightStar Owned to expand the brand’s corporate-owned footprint and utilize these agencies as testing sites for new technologies and processes to advance its franchise locations,” the company said in the press release.

Specifically, key learnings from the corporate-owned locations will include ways to optimize operations and diversify revenue, the company believes.

Sun has spoken extensively about her desire to dive more into MA business, a strategic effort she believes will yield long-term sustainability for the company.

“I think that it’s really important that we have a seat at the table,” she told HHCN last year. “We’re seeing that about 5% to 10% of our Medicare Advantage enrollees from two years ago are now coming back and becoming private-pay clients. So those successes are starting to occur.”

Specifically, Sun said that converting MA beneficiaries to private-pay clients generally takes 18 to 30 months.

“I believe it’s about two years. And in 2021, I took 75% off our royalties for franchisees to get them to try it,” she continued. “We had some participate with us. And then we have our company-owned locations. Now we’re seeing some conversions to private pay. I think that two-year lag time will be similar to what it will take for us to gather enough data, publish the studies and influence behavior with the rest of our franchisees.”

With eight more locations under its sole ownership, Sun is setting the stage to make her ultimate pitch to the rest of the BrightStar Care franchise network.

Companies featured in this article: