Family Home Care hires 100 new staff members
Company expects to grow through more acquisitionsMarch 16th, 2017
Liberty Lake–based in-home care provider Family Home Care has seen significant growth recently and says it plans for more, having hired nearly 100 new employees since its acquisition of Spokane-based competitor AtHome Care this last fall.
Company CEO Jeff Wiberg says the business has grown substantially in the years since his family purchased it in 2013 through their company, Manito Capital LLC.
“Last year’s revenues totaled just under $8 million,” he says. “This year we expect revenues of over $10 million.”
Wiberg says part of the business’s increased revenues last year came from its October acquisition of Spokane-based competitor AtHome Care, which enlarged its staff and provided the company a new presence in the Boise and Tri-Cities markets.
“The home care industry is facing compliance issues now for the first time,” he says. “What we’re seeing are smaller companies like AtHome Care getting out now because they can’t keep up. They become too focused on the administrative side of the business, which often means passing on higher rates and less quality care to clients.”
Wiberg says that environment gives larger companies such as Family Home Care the opportunity to acquire those smaller businesses.
“Larger companies like ours have the capacity to hire new professionals who’re up to date on new laws and policies and can handle the administrative end, so that caregivers can focus on providing excellent care,” he says.
Following its acquisition of AtHome Care, Wiberg says the business retained 70 of that company’s former employees, 22 of whom it has added to its Spokane locations.
He says since that time, Family Home Care has hired an additional 97 employees, 30 of whom were added in the month of January alone.
“There’s a struggle right now in the industry to find good professional caregivers,” he says. “We see a high turnover, with nursing students working for us while they go to school, then graduating and moving on. We also have some clients who need to move to more advanced care, or who pass away.”
To help with staff recruiting, Wiberg says Family Home Care also began a partnership last October with the Health Care Training Center, a nursing assistant training school in Spokane Valley.
“Many people come to us who are interested in a career in home care, but they can’t get hired because they don’t have a license yet or a way to pay for such a program,” he says. “Through this partnership, we offer to pay for potential employees to become certified nursing assistants. Once they’re certified, we hire them as employees, and they’re able to pay back that debt while gaining experience.”
Wiberg says the company currently has more than 30 people participating in the program. He says Family Home Care has 50 open positions and is expecting care needs to increase again this year.
“I could see an additional 1,000 hours per week being added this year, which equates to $1 million in care,” he says.
Wiberg says he expects the industry to continue growing, as a many seniors wishing to remain in their homes rather than move to assisted-living or nursing facilities likely still will need some kind of additional care.
Family Home Care provides personal in-home care to its clients on an hourly basis, with services ranging from assisting with personal hygiene, and home cleaning, to meal preparation and other tasks.
“We do a comprehensive assessment with each client that we use to develop a care plan that caters to their needs,” says Wiberg. “Our care plans also focus on engaging clients in hobbies and social activities, as we’ve found that aspect is often just as important to a client’s health as daily care needs, like taking medication or completing physical therapy exercises.”
In addition to its 5,400-square-foot headquarters in Liberty Lake, Family Home Care has four office locations, one at 1716 N. Union Road in Spokane Valley, and one each in Kennewick, Moscow, and Boise.
Wiberg says the company’s operations currently employ a total of about 326 people, with 302 in-home caregivers, 22 administrative staff, and two nurses. In all, the company serves just over 500 families annually.
The company operates in eight Washington counties—Spokane, Whitman, Benton, Franklin, Asotin, Stevens, Pend Oreille, and Ferry—and five counties in Idaho—Kootenai, Latah, Nez Perce, Ada, and Canyon.
Wiberg says the company anticipates making additional acquisitions next year, but none of them are expected to be in Washington.
“We do hope to acquire more home care businesses, but we’ll need to build some capital first,” he says. “We’re interested in the possibility of acquiring more businesses in Idaho, as well as Montana, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.”
Wiberg says the company also has explored the idea of diversifying its holdings to include other care services, but so far remains focused on in-home care.
“We don’t want to get distracted,” he says. “Our main focus is on being able to provide quality in-home care. As we’ve grown, we stay in touch with former owners of businesses we’ve acquired, who share our values and seem pleased to see their business is in good hands going forward.”
Wiberg says in the years since purchasing Family Home Care, he has been able to share his passion for the industry with his family, several of whom are now full-time staff members.
“I’ve been working in the home care industry for over a decade and really enjoy it,” he says. “In buying Family Home Care, I brought my parents and six siblings into the business with me. Three of them, as well as my brother-in-law, are now full-time employees here, and they’re loving it.”
Wiberg currently serves on the Home Care Association of America board, an organization that promotes the financial benefits of in-home care both nationally and at the state level, and helps to advocate for further funding of in-home care through legislative action.
Looking ahead, he says he’s most concerned with advocating for both seniors and vulnerable individuals as costs of care continue to increase.
“Baby boomers have a different approach to health care than their parents did,” he says. “They want things customized, and for that, you need a qualified staff that’s able to provide that level of care.”
Last August, Wiberg says, Family Home Care also started providing in-home care services to clients who qualify for Medicaid.
Eventually, he says, the company might consider creating a foundation or charity to help those clients who can’t afford insurance, but don’t qualify for Medicaid.
“We’d need to achieve the right size in order to subsidize care for that population,” he says. “But I do anticipate the need for something like that in the future.”