Businesses usually sell products or services. However, there are few who sell outcomes. Griswold Home Care is among such names whose mission has been to provide value-based care.
Griswold Home Care was founded in 1982 by late Dr. Jean Griswold to fulfill the healthcare assistance of elderly citizens aiding them to continue living at home. And today, under the leadership of CEO Michael Slupecki, the organization has established itself across the country, catering to the wider population with their quality home care services.
Read the following interview where Michael shares the genesis of Griswold Home Care, how a unique approach of caregiver to a client has garnered success, and his views on how technology has the power to disrupt the home care sector.
Please brief our audience about Griswold Home Care, its values, and the key aspects of its stronghold within the home care services industry.
Griswold Home Care is a non-medical home care franchise with 168 locations across the country. As the first non-medical home care franchise in the United States, Griswold Home Care is backed by nearly 40 years of experience providing quality home care to the aging population, disabled adults, and others recovering from surgery or illness.
While we operate in a growing industry with many respected competitors, we are different. We call the characteristics that make us unique our ‘Griswoldness’. Those characteristics come directly from our founder, Dr. Jean Griswold. The company was founded in 1982 by Jean, a senior care professional who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. She recognized first-hand that the elderly often lacked the assistance they needed to remain living independently at home.
She decided to fill this void, starting the company in her dining room, and eventually franchising the concept. Over the years, Jean built a proven business model and expanded into 29 states across the country. Jean passed away in 2017 at the age of 86. Her leadership, tireless work ethic, compassion, and entrepreneurial spirit inspire the entire Griswold family, and despite her passing, her values live on in Griswold Home Care today.
Tell us more about the services that make your company stand out from the competition.
Everyone sells services, but we sell outcomes. Our approach is more about understanding what the individual recipient needs, the family’s goals, and the essence of the client’s personality. We determine what the best version of the client’s day looks like, and we find a way to recreate that experience every single day. By understanding the client’s unique circumstances, we can then match them with the ideal caregiver.
For example, if a client is experiencing depression, we will pair them with a more outgoing caregiver. If they are anxious, we’ll bring in someone with a calming personality. If we have a client with functionality issues, we make sure caregivers are prepared to assist them in any way necessary. This approach, which is centered around the outcome of our services, sets us apart in the industry.
With dementia increasing in the aging population, it is important to provide trusted resources for our clients to help navigate this challenging condition. At Griswold, we have a special assessment tool to measure and evaluate the client’s cognitive function.
Once the results are processed, we send them to the client and/or their family with the recommendation to send along to the client’s physician for further testing and treatment as needed. We have access to materials and activities designed to slow the progress of dementia, and we ensure our assigned caregivers are trained in handling a client with this condition.
Brief us about your journey in the healthcare industry.
Originally from Ohio, my professional career started as a CPA with KPMG. From there, I spent 9 years in financial and accounting positions within the staffing industry. In 2004, I entered the healthcare industry when I joined national home healthcare, healthcare staffing, and home hospice franchise company.
As an operationally focused finance executive, I have had a front-row seat in the evolution of skilled home health and hospice. As my career progressed, I became the CFO and eventually the COO while the company expanded internationally. Perspectives were gained on operational similarities and differences in-home and community-based care across the US, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia.
What is your opinion on the impact of the current pandemic on the global healthcare sector, and how has your company fared during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns?
It has been a very challenging year for everyone. Our hearts go out to those who have been impacted personally. We also want to thank those in the healthcare sector who have been on the front line. Second to those who lost their lives to this virus were our parents and grandparents, many of them dealing with cognitive challenges as they have aged. These cognition issues were made far worse because of social isolation when facilities went into lockdown.
At the same time, we try to see the positive side, the healthcare sector is emerging from this crisis more efficiently. Before the pandemic, the healthcare industry was adopting technology at a snail’s pace. And by technology, I mean everything. How many of us were still filling out paper at a doctor’s office? Telehealth via virtual doctor visits was rare. Healthcare, in general, has jumped forward several years, if not a decade.
When you look at-home care and home health care, since 2004 when I joined the care industry, we have been predicting the future of healthcare to be in the home. I never thought the future was going to get here the current pandemic has brought the future into reality.
In your opinion, what could be the future of the home care services sector post the pandemic? And how are you strategizing your company’s operations for that future?
Like everything, we must up our game. Our founder Dr. Jean Griswold started this business in 1982 at her kitchen table, simply providing caregivers to those in need of care. I am afraid to say that the industry hasn’t changed much over the last 39 years. While some providers have sophisticated scheduling software and a website most are still just providing a caregiver to those in need of care. It is a fragmented ‘mom and pop’ industry.
This creates a tremendous opportunity for home care providers who can demonstrate, with data, how we can keep people safe and help avoid more costly services. Seniors represent the largest share of the healthcare industry expense. As the healthcare industry shifts reimbursement away from fee for service to value-based care, no other providers in the healthcare ecosystem spend as much time with seniors as we do.
We can improve the safety of the home environment, provide medication reminders, ensure nutritious meals, prevent, or slow the rate of cognitive decline by social engagement, and more. These non-medical interventions will reduce the necessity for medical interventions, and every provider on a value-based care reimbursement methodology will want to partner with providers who help keep their patients safe in their homes.
As an established leader, what would be your advice to the budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the home care services sector?
Do it for the right reason, to help people. Sure, everyone knows the demographics will create opportunity. That opportunity will attract many entrepreneurs to this industry with various motives. Successful entrepreneurs will be those who focus on delivering the best customer experience, not focused on the bottom line.
Investment in a business is not just financial. Along with money, one invests their time and energy. The returns on that investment also come in multiple forms. The financial return is one aspect. Another is the feeling one receives by helping people. I have worked with hundreds of family-owned franchise businesses. Some spanning three generations and over 50 years. While others where an entrepreneur, even though experiencing financial success, sold the business after only three years. The difference was the value the respective franchise placed in the emotional returns.
How do you envision scaling your company’s operations in 2021?
The answer is deeper penetration in our existing markets while expanding our geographic presence through awarding franchises to new partners. Our goal is to award 15 franchises in 2021. We also want to demonstrate success in the geographies we service with company-owned locations. Our goal is to grow our company-owned locations by 12% in 2021.
In our company-owned locations, we can try different things, overcome failure, and share what works with the franchise locations. At the same time, as our franchises try different things, we must capture and replicate their successes as well.