Why Home Care Agencies Believe Home Health Partnerships Offer Growth Opportunities

With the home care industry at a “pivot point,” it’s important for providers to take more control over their near- and long-term futures.

Griswold CEO Michael Slupecki told Home Health Care News that his company, while going through a transition of its own, is focused on how it can be better prepared for the changes happening in the industry.

“I think where we have an immediate opportunity is in how to partner with skilled home health,” Slupecki said.

Many home care companies believe they are capable of doing more in the home. Agency leaders have talked about their willingness to do more and Slupecki said Griswold — like many other providers — can do so by implementing new technologies, partnering with home health care providers and putting an emphasis on retention.

The Blue Bell, Pennsylvania-based Griswold (formerly Griswold Home Care) provides personal care services via more than 170 locations in 30 states. The home care provider is undergoing a “brand evolution” that includes a new logo, a new emphasis on technology, innovation and a new tagline: “Live Assured.”

Slupecki sees that opportunity in partnering with home health care mostly because of the growth possibilities.

“Skilled home health doesn’t have the margin to pay us, but they could certainly introduce us to families that have the ability to pay,” Slupecki said. “Skilled home health is really there three to four hours a week. They’re in, they’re out and it’s all about getting somebody well after a procedure or something similar. We can help by being there as eyes on a person on a daily basis.”

It’s also beneficial for those home health providers, seeing as these partnerships would be at no cost to them.

“Anybody that’s getting reimbursed from managed Medicare has got skin in the game on rehospitalizations and unnecessary hospital visits,” Slupecki said. “That’s what we think is an immediate partnership opportunity at no cost to them. At the same time, we can demonstrate value and they’re, frankly, going to make more money by not being penalized for these preventable rehospitalizations.”

Technology and retention are the other two keys to Griswold’s continued success moving forward. The company is currently piloting a senior-specific wearable that allows its caregivers and families to know what is going on in the home.

“The time you’re not in the home is a black box,” Slupecki said. “We like to show family members what’s going on in the 16 hours we’re not in the home. Are they eating? Getting out of bed? Are there changes to their usage of the bathroom? All these data points can be predictive and indicative of things that are going on, whether it’s depression, diet, all these things come into play.”

Griswold has also seen positive trends with its workforce figures as of late. Applications were up 40% year over year in 2022, while the amount of days from first day to first shift dropped by 50%.

Slupecki understands the workforce conundrum is a competition. Whether it be with its competitors in the home care space or other industries, Griswold has to focus on selling itself as the best option.

“We can always do a better job on retention,” he said. “That’s actually something that we are making a core focus of this year. That goes hand in hand with our brand, giving tokens of appreciation and putting the same precision we put in place around the retention side as we do the recruitment side.”

Overall, Slupecki is optimistic about the home care industry. Demand is high and providing quality care seems to be the throughline for all parties involved.

“The whole industry is kind of at this pivot point and everybody’s scrambling about what’s going to happen and what the future looks like,” he said. “I keep saying that if we focus on what we do and focus on why we do it, that stuff will sort itself out.”

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