In May of 2022, I had a chance to interview the founders of HomeCareQuote, a new SaaS for the home care industry, that is bound to disrupt how we do business in this market.
Karl and Valerie have found a way to eliminate the questions that most home care agency owners and marketers have asked themselves from time to time, especially since 2020.
- How much should we charge for this?
- Are we charging enough?
- Are we paying our care professionals correctly?
- How can we help ourselves with care professional retention?
- Are our clients getting the best care possible?
- How do we set ourselves apart in this crowded market?
Tell Us Who You Are and How This Amazing Journey Started
My name is Valerie Darling. I’m the owner, founder, CEO of Home Care Matters, which is a personal care companion agency located in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. We have been in business going on 11 years. Our agency started through a personal experience when my mother became ill and through that experience and that journey, the company was founded.
I had about 30 years of corporate experience before I started the agency and I had to resign that position to take care of my mom. And through that journey realized that I couldn’t be the only person out there that did not know how to navigate Medicare and hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab centers, etc.
We love helping people with their particular journeys because I’ve been in their seats. It’s a little easier to understand sometimes when you’ve already walked those paths and you have the understanding, and the fortitude.
I feel like we don’t really have to sell home care, you just have to tell a story. You have to try and make people comfortable knowing that what they’re getting ready to go through is not going to be easy. It’s emotional, it’s physical. It’s one of those times where you cannot measure the emotional impact that it has on people and families.
We challenged ourselves daily to improve the customer experience, ensure the agency is compensated properly for services and care professionals are properly paid for their skills. That’s where the idea for HomeCareQuote was created.
My name is Karl Ryder and I’ve been working in the consulting and service business for over 40 years. Specifically focused on the home care industry for the last seven years working with Home Care Matters as an advisor through my consulting company The Ryder Group.
Last year we launched a new company called HomeCareQuote where I serve as CEO and Valerie is COO. HomeCareQuote is a Software as a Service (SaaS) technology solution for home care agencies. Each subscribing agency gets a custom URL that represents their defined business services.
This URL runs on the HomeCareQuote platform delivering custom quotes for home care agencies by applying patented algorithm to ensure the agency is properly compensated for their services.
The URL can be used independently by the staff and or imbedded in their website where clients can develop a quote by themselves.
At HomeCareQuote we are focused on finding solutions and technologies to help enable the performance of home care agencies, better outcomes for the patients, and ensure that the care professionals are properly compensated for their skills and roles in the home care ecosystem.
How Did the Business Idea of HomeCareQuote Get Started?
HomeCareQuote was initially developed for use at Home Care Matters. Our goal was to address the ecosystem of the home care industry, starting with the patient care information. The second part of that would be the agency being properly compensated for the services they’re providing and then consequently compensating the care professional for their care skills.
The business impact and client feedback was so compelling that we had several inquiries from other independent and franchise agencies requesting a similar solution they could use. We finished development of HomeCareQuote and began a controlled and selective agency onboarding process.
Explain the Five-Step Process of HomeCareQuote
Karl Ryder: We are really addressing the ecosystem of home care, starting off with the client, then the agency, and the care professional.
We do that in HomeCareQuote with a five-step process.
That five-step process starts out with the potential client intake of all the information relevant to the care needs and the environment the care will be provided, review the information and process the quote.
And when that quote is processed, a unique identification number is assigned to that quote with all the detailed information which is conveyed to the agency in the form of a PDF. This quote ID is attached to that client for the service life with your agency and is connected to all future reassessments and care changes.)
An e-mail is then sent to the client summarizing the input including the unique quote ID number, rate per hour and that the home care agency will be in contact with them.
How Would You Summarize What HomeCareQuote Does?
Valerie Darling: It’s an educational tool, it’s a care plan tool. It’s a pricing tool. It’s a pay tool. It’s a margin improvement tool. It helps drive increased revenues to your agency without necessarily having a huge census.
You don’t have to necessarily have a huge census especially in today’s market, because the labor market is so tight. However, you can now attract people that you might not otherwise have been able to hire, because you have a little higher pay scale related to the type of cases that you are getting.
How Has HomeCareQuote Helped Your Home Care Agency?
Karl Ryder: We made a business rule going forward, all new clients would go through HomeCareQuote. Secondly, we went back and looked at all of our legacy clients and ran their current care needs through the software. All of them came back needing an increase in their hourly rate.
On average we see a 15% increase in revenue.
How Do Other Home Care Agencies Benefit from the Use of HomeCareQuote?
Karl Ryder: What home care agencies can expect to see is an immediate return on investment and differentiation in their marketplace from HomeCareQuote.
A better customer experience, through an interactive consultative conversation between the agency and the people pursuing care.
The proprietary algorithms in the system will ensure that the proper care compensation goes to the agencies.
So automatically, there’ll be a lift in profitability, top and bottom-line impact.
The agencies will then have that increased compensation to determine where that goes best to support the agency business objectives.
What agencies, like Home Care Matters, do is take a fresh business approach, and use HomeCareQuote as a key base care plan and pricing process for their new clients.
Secondly, we recommend the agency go back and revisit current clients and run them through the system making sure that you’re being properly compensated for those services.
That is the immediate benefit to an agency, it is obviously a benefit also to the care professional that’s providing the care.
It’s a huge benefit to the clients that are looking at the care plan, because this is all documented, it is very transparent, dynamic and it follows the patient’s care needs.
What Revenue Improvements are Expected with the Use of HomeCareQuote?
Karl Ryder: It depends on what your base rate is and what your pricing, disciplines and strategies are as an agency.
We are seeing the immediate impact to users today of 10% to 20% improvement over their base rate.
How Does HomeCareQuote, Help from an Operations Perspective?
Valerie Darling: Some of the operational benefits are that you now have pricing consistency. No matter who answers the phone at your home care agency, they all have access to the exact same quoting software. Consistency in pricing is important. No more guessing.
With HomeCareQuote you get your own private URL that’s branded to you with your logo. We put it on our Home Care Matters website and we also have it saved on everybody’s toolbar on their computers. When any potential client/family calls in, anyone in the company/office can run an accurate quote.
This process also helps our nurses.
The plan of care document is now a living document.
In our state (GA), we must do a reassessment every 90 days, if there’s a life event, a fall that requires a hospitalization or something that changes the care that was at home, so something happened, we must go do a new assessment.
At the end of that 90 days again or life event, the nurse goes out, she does her reassessment.
She runs that client back through HomeCareQuote as a Reassessment Quote.
HomeCareQuote gives you that new base care plan, a new quote and ID and tracks the changes in care needs, every time it’s redone.
You and the family can follow of the entire scale of where you started and where that particular client is at any point in time when they’re with your agency.
You can show the family members – here’s where we started last year, here’s where your loved one is now and here are the areas that were most significantly impacted and why your care and your rate is now this.
Karl Ryder: And just to add to that, the quote really is your introduction to defining an opportunity with a client.
The client is getting educated along in the process and there’s a benefit to that.
You have consistency no matter if you’re growing and you’re bringing in new people to manage the customer engagement opportunity, or if you’re having turnover and you have people that are coming in that need to be trained.
It’s a tremendous training tool for the agencies. It allows everybody to speak from the same perspective.
In this system, we have a subscription level that’s called Enterprise with a pro analytics feature. It allows you to look at all your data to know exactly what dynamics are going on within your business.
- What types of care are being provided?
- What types of safety is needed for your patients?
- What type of changes in care needs?
How Does HomeCareQuote help from a Marketing Perspective?
Valerie Darling: It’s a differentiator, it’s what makes our agency unique.
What makes your home care agency different? Well, everybody says, oh, we only hire the best, we only train the best.
It’s a differentiator in that we can have a conversation with a family, or a client, and we can teach them about what is going on in their care needs.
This puts it in black and white and it puts it in a very easy-to-understand, layman’s terms.
Maybe the potential client has three diagnoses, they’re diabetic, they have CHF and they have dementia.
We capture that. That’s a differentiator for marketing right away.
A marketer could also go into a hospital, to a skilled nursing facility or any community. And somebody asks, well, “what does it cost to have home care?”
The marketer or owner can run a quote right there. A social worker can go right to our website and give the family an accurate quote. They know when they’re discharging somebody what those care needs are going to be in the discharge plan, they could actually run a quote for the family.
We are having more and more clients go to our website and find the quote software and are starting to use it more. They call right away and say, “Hey, I got this quote, can you explain it to me what’s going on?”
You share information where appropriate and begin the onboarding process for that opportunity.
It takes the any confusion, ambiguity, and any kind of inconsistencies out of the process. That alone takes a lot of friction out of the process leading to a improved client experience.
From the agency’s perspective, we also see a lift in the ease of use and consistency. And then also being able to convey that information to a care professional and a nurse in advance of the formal care consultation is of tremendous value and different than anything else that’s out there in the marketplace today.
How Can a Home Care Agency Get Started with HomeCareQuote?
Karl Ryder: On our website HomeCareQuote.com there is a demo and a three-month introductory special price that’s available. After the 3 months you can convert into either the professional or enterprise level of subscription.
Each one is priced appropriately. The higher-end is Enterprise which gives you all the data analytics capabilities by retaining all your information stored in the cloud.
All this information is HIPAA compliant, and we are able to communicate with you directly.
Your second step is to fill out a member registration.
And in that member registration, we’re going to capture all the business information about your agency, all the rates, hours of service, services that you provide, and what forms of payment you accept, etc.
Once we have that, we are going to generate a unique URL for your business that you’ll be able to use. You can use it as a separate standalone tool or incorporate it into your website as as many of our users do.