Last year, home-based care companies far and wide experienced impressive growth.
Among those were organizations that recently grabbed spots on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies.
Home Health Care News sat down with a few of those providers to find out how they continue to grow at such a rapid rate.
Serving seniors with dementia
One of the aforementioned companies is Friendly Faces Senior Care, a Houston, Texas-based provider that has set itself apart by specializing in delivering care to patients living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The company offers medical and non-medical services on a private-pay basis.
For Friendly Faces Senior Care’s founder and CEO, Qiana James, the business is personal.
“My father is 92 years old,” she told Home Health Care News. “He is our client ambassador, and he has been living with Alzheimer’s for a number of years. He’s well-known in the community. I have a lot of experience knowing what families are dealing with when it comes to a loved one that has Alzheimer’s or dementia.”
Many Americans can relate to James. Across the U.S., more than 6 million people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s disease — a number that is estimated to grow by 12.7 million by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, with others including vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia and more.
As the U.S. population continues to age, and the amount of individuals living with dementia increases, it makes sense that providers working in home-based care would make caring for this population a priority.
On its end, Friendly Faces Senior Care saw 122% growth last year, according to data from Inc. magazine.
Part of the reason for this is James’ focus on marketing and branding, which she believes shouldn’t stop just because a company is in a comfortable spot.
“It’s the reason why you still see commercials and advertisements for companies like Coca Cola and McDonalds,” James said. “These companies know that just because you have all of these sales, just because you have a market share, you can’t stop doing what you’re doing to be successful. Your competitors are right around the corner, so you always need to put yourself out front. That’s something that I’ve always done from the very beginning of forming my agency until now.”
As part of this effort, Friendly Faces Senior Care has a marketing representative in each of its territories.
Partnerships have also provided a major boost for Friendly Faces Senior Care. One of the company’s partners is the home-based care training platform CareAcademy, which the company utilizes to certify its staff. It also works with Houston’s local Alzheimer’s Association.
Like most of their home-based care peers, Friendly Faces Senior Care has faced challenges around recruiting, but James has leaned into a strategy that is working for the company.
“I like to understand and know what the market is doing,” she said. “What are the other home care agencies paying, and what are other industries paying that are competing for our workforce? Then I make sure that we keep our client rates at market rate where it needs to be, so that we can continue to pay our caregivers what we need to pay them. We like to pay them a little higher.”
The company has also tapped into unique recruitment sources, such as within religious organizations, or retirees looking to jump back into the workforce.
Looking ahead, the company is hoping to roll out an internal social media to increase employee engagement.
Accelerating home-based primary care
Upward Health, a New York-based in-home primary care medical group, has set its sights on caring for individuals who are high-risk and high-need.
“These are really the most chronic high-need, high-risk individuals in America,” Upward Health CEO Glen Moller told HHCN. “Any given health plan has a sort of top 10% of high-risk, high-need individuals, where the regular services that they can get in the regular old network are really not up to the task. These are individuals who fall through the cracks.”
The company’s care delivery model includes primary care, behavioral health and activities of daily living support.
Upward Health contracts with the health insurance companies to deliver primary care on behalf of certain populations in its member base.
“We work together with the health insurance companies to determine which patients are eligible for these advanced, more intensive Upward Health in-home services,” Moller said.
Since last year, Upward Health has seen 30,808% growth.
Moller attributes the company’s growth to its ability to help health plans reach members, and its unique position in the home-based care space.
“[Health plans] have a strong desire to reach out to these high-risk, high-need individuals,” Moller said. “There aren’t many providers who do this kind of thing.”
Moving forward, Moller is hoping for even more growth – in the company’s existing markets and elsewhere.
“We’re currently in five states, and we look forward to doubling that over the next few years,” Moller said. “The main thing that we want to focus on is doing an outstanding job for these patients of ours who seem to need it most. We’d like to have an impact across as broad a population as possible. We’d like to work with many health insurance companies in all the markets that we’re in.”
Delivering concierge care
A concierge home-based care company, The Perfect Companion has built its business by focusing on forming relationships with its clients, instead of just focusing on volume.
“What we’ve been able to do is work with concierge doctors and wealth funds, advisors — people who are really involved in their clientele, and being able to carry out the wishes of those people — to make it more relationship-based care,” Jon Siegel, founder and president of The Perfect Companion, told HHCN.
As part of its care delivery model, The Perfect Companion has a doctor on staff, and care management is a major priority.
The company is divided into three components: companions, caregivers and hospice care.
“The companion part of our business is really hiring a lot of seniors who may be retired nurses, retired teachers, homemakers, people who really relate to our clientele from a personality standpoint,” Siegel said. “These are clients who may not need the caregiving and the hospice care, they really need companionship, and we will utilize them more as personal assistants. We’ll take them to restaurants, take them to doctor offices, things of that sort.”
In terms of business model, The Perfect Companion is private pay.
“We may charge $3 to $5 an hour more than most of the other companies, but for instance, we have a traumatic brain injury client, who requires 24-hour care,” Siegel said. “His wife really wants somebody who’s trained in TBI and has the experience to really be able to work with her husband. What we do is find the caregiver who has that TBI experience.”
The company’s higher prices mean that they’re able to pay their caregivers more, which has resulted in greater retention. Siegel noted that 70% of the company’s caregivers have been with The Perfect Companion for more than eight years.
As the company moves forward, it has a number of interesting projects in the works, including a partnership with LifeBio, a company that helps individuals capture their life stories.
“A lot of our clients like to have a keepsake or the ability to tell their life stories,” Siegel said.
Last year, The Perfect Companion saw 180% growth.