ComForCare on Wednesday announced a new business goal to roll out private-duty nursing across the entire franchise system of about 200 locations.
The move fits into the company’s broader strategy. ComForCare CEO Steve Greenbaum recently outlined the Detroit-based home care franchiser’s plans to differentiate itself from industry competitors, mainly by refining a “suite of services” to meet a wide range of client needs.
On a high level, the push toward private-duty nursing will help ComForCare serve older adults in a more holistic way and strengthen its ability to provide seamless transitions of care, according to company leadership.
Only 13% of ComForCare’s offices currently offer private-duty nursing.
Originally founded in 1996 in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, ComForCare began franchising in 2001. Today, ComForCare has roughly 200 independently owned and operated locations across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, tallying system-wide global sales of about $175.4 million, according to Franchise Times.
Greenbaum has made differentiation a top priority ever since he joined ComForCare as CEO nearly one year ago. He hinted at the private-duty nursing strategy — and other business plans — during a recent episode of Home Health Care News’ Disrupt podcast.
“We’re expanding our own private duty nursing program within ComForCare [and] we’re looking at businesses in the area of home repairs and modifications to allow people to safely age in their homes,” Greenbaum told HHCN. “We’re looking at hospice and palliative care businesses, and businesses that will functionally support seniors and aging adults at every stage and need in their lives.”
Private equity firm The Riverside Company acquired ComForCare in 2017.
“Having a suite of services, with products and services for any need and every need [seniors] may have, that is the key differentiator,” Greenbaum said.
‘The future of our business’
ComForCare is not holding back or mincing words when it comes to its commitment to the private-duty nursing plans.
Every ComForCare office will be expected to obtain the infrastructure and accreditation needed to offer both home care services and private-duty nursing to clients within the next three to five years, the company explained in its announcement.
“Private-duty nursing is the future of our business,” Greenbaum stated in the announcement. “We are aligning home care with the processes and standards of certified home health agencies to elevate the level of care we can provide our clients and broaden the reach and impact of much-needed services.”
ComForCare’s private-duty nursing plans come as the home care franchiser also hopes to double in size by 2023.
In addition to differentiating the company from home care peers, expanding private-duty capabilities could help ComForCare build relationships with health systems or Medicare Advantage (MA) plans looking for trusted home-based care partners that could manage a broad spectrum of clients with ever-changing needs.
ComForCare signed a preferred partnership agreement with Kindred at Home, the largest provider of home health and hospice services in the country, in October.
“There are only a few [insurance] providers right now that I’m aware of that are offering home care as a supplemental benefit, and that’s only in select areas,” Greenbaum said during the Disrupt podcast. “Like a lot folks, we’re in a wait-and-see situation, to basically see as other [insurance] providers come forward, if they’ll be offering more substantial plans during the October 2019 enrollment period … just wanting to make sure that we enter that opportunity at the right time in the right way when it becomes available.”
ComForCare has already been making moves to support its private-duty nursing push. That includes staffing changes and investing in tools to support this program over the past year.
Emily Wiechmann, RN, BSN and clinical program manager for ComForCare, joined the organization in May, tasked with overhauling the private-duty nursing program that was in place and making it scalable for the entire franchise system.
ComForCare operates as At Your Side Home Care in Houston, Texas.
Written by Robert Holly