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So, Home Care Is Hot? Good to Know.

The recent Forbes article on " Best Franchises to Own: Why Home Healthcare is Hot" outlines a root cause of the program integrity problems our industry suffers. The blogger, who elsewhere shills for a specific home health franchise, cites "low investment" and "help with red tape" as an impetus for investment. For the low price of $100,000-150,000, you, too, can own your own home health agency!

To be fair, the blogger does note that the "specialty care services sector" has grown from 13 franchise brands in 2000 to a current high of 56, so new entrants should expect some competition. Again, good to know.

How to choose? Sandwich franchise or home health agency? Especially when this clearly expert blogger (note: she doesn't shop from "end caps") makes no mention of the clinical nature of the work, the need for skilled nursing services to support the seniors who get to stay in their homes, nor the increasingly important role of data and technology.

To the point, the real news this week is the increasingly expansive technology company investment in connected healthcare. After years of leadership from Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm and others, even Apple jumped into the waters this week with a new health-tracking app for mobile devices.

Modern Healthcare this week highlights Silicon Valley's newfound love for health care: from venture capital scions who have anointed healthcare among the top "internet trends of 2014" to significant technology firm investment in new healthcare apps, digital sensors and data collection capabilities. According to MH, these tech giants have identified the rising incidence of chronic conditions as the root cause of excessive health care cost and waste. Silicon Valley believes consumers want more ratings and data about healthcare and these tech giants are at the ready to "empower" this nascent consumerism. These innovations are rapidly disrupting traditional healthcare models, empowering consumers and, most important, improving health outcomes through the accumulation and analysis by skilled providers of personal health data.

Yes, home health is "hot." But it is also serious business. It's increasingly high tech, requires a high degree of business savvy, industry perspective AND a clinically skilled workforce. Definitely not the same as making a sandwich.

Comments

 
By: Sam Smith
On: 08/29/2014 14:20:39
Tracey: You hit the nail on the head. The fact is that many investors who have read "what is hot" are deciding to go into 'homecare' because it is as you say, "hot". This was evident last year when I was in attendance at the Home Care Association of America, the 1600 member non skilled home care association. There were 60 franchisees lined up to seek their wares in the trade show, along with a large number of software suppliers. Most of the attendees were middle aged White males. I think that many of them were there to see what kind of industry setting they had invested in. Many of the original home care franchisors are entering into skilled care now, seeing that the needs of the patient base are really covered by a mix of the two. It is much more difficult than the franchise brochure might have laid out for them! Thanks for this candid word.

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