Letter From Aaron Marcum: The 2019 Home Care Benchmarking Study


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For ten years, the Home Care Benchmarking Study has charted a course for forward-thinking and data-driven agencies to navigate the most pressing issues facing the industry. Today, I’m excited to announce the release of the Spring Edition of the 2019 Home Care Benchmarking Study. 

Ten years ago today, I founded Home Care Pulse, LLC, with the mission of empowering home care providers to raise the standard of their quality of care. In addition to our Satisfaction Management Program, which surveys over 15,000 clients and caregivers every month, one of the most crucial elements of this mission is the Home Care Benchmarking Study—the most comprehensive study of private-duty home care agencies anywhere.

I’m excited to announce that the Spring Edition of the 10th Annual Home Care Benchmarking Study is being released today. Thanks to the hundreds of home care agencies across the nations who helped make the study possible. This year’s Study is even more comprehensive than previous editions and includes many new data points, more articles from industry experts, and a more complete infrastructure of supplemental resources to help you apply the data. In total, the agencies surveyed in this year’s edition represent over $1.6 billion in annual revenue.

We’ve worked hard to ensure that the Study will provide useful insights to agencies of any size and circumstances. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran with a decade of industry experience and hundreds of caregivers, or a care-minded entrepreneur still preparing to enter the home care industry, the Home Care Benchmarking Study can help you understand the changing landscape of the industry and make data-driven decisions to power growth.

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Changes to This Year’s Study

As you may have heard, this year’s Study comes with some changes. Rather than the traditional single-edition Study released in late April, this year is split into two editions, released in May and September. This is largely due to the sheer amount of data and resources we’re including this year. (If you’ve ordered a physical copy, you’ll notice that each of this year’s two editions is almost as thick as the entire 2018 Study.) These changes are also a transition to a new format for the Study next year that will help make it more accessible to more agencies.

In order to have the time to effectively disseminate and apply this year’s findings, as well as ease the burden on our team, we made the decision to split this year’s edition into two separate editions. I’m confident that the extra data, articles, and resources will bring you increased value and make the Study even more helpful to you than in past years.

Extra Resources to Apply the Data

While we’ve always discussed Benchmarking Study findings throughout the year in our webinars and on our home care blog, we’ve created several types of dedicated resources this year to help you better use the data. This includes webinars dedicated to exploring different sections of the Study that will follow the release of each edition.

We’ve also created an online guide, which we’re calling a playbook, for each edition. The playbooks break down specific data points from the Study and clarify how you can apply them to help your business grow. The playbooks are separate from the Benchmarking Study and are free to download from our website.

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Finally, keep an eye on our blog for more help. We continually publish new articles that zero in on certain parts of the Benchmarking Study and discuss how you can use them.

Combating Caregiver Shortages

This year’s Benchmarking Study is particularly relevant in the light of deepening caregiver shortages. Caregiver shortages are nothing new; however, they’ve become drastically worse in the last year. The industry’s median caregiver turnover rate has reached a new high at 82%, 15% higher than last year. A trend of corporations increasing their minimum wage (led by Amazon’s $15 minimum wage) has also made recruitment more difficult. And as more Baby Boomers age into retirement every day, the demand for caregivers continues to grow.

This year’s Benchmarking Study provides a plethora of tools to help you deal with this shortage, including a breakdown of the types of benefits that other home care agencies are providing to caregivers to stay competitive, an analysis of agencies’ hiring pipelines, and a look at impact on caregiver training and wages on caregiver turnover. Agencies that use these resources to take a scientific, data-driven approach to recruitment have a massive advantage in the recruitment and retention arena.

A Maturing Survey Base

As you read the data, it’s important to understand some nuances about the survey base. While general participation remains constant in terms of demographics and agency size, small yearly fluctuations in the median size or tenure of agencies surveyed can impact the data. This year’s data, while still a broad cross-section of the industry, included more agencies with 10+ years of operation than in some past years.

We’re excited about this. While it may impact how we look at year-to-year comparison for a few data points such as median revenue, this year’s data is especially effective in giving insights into what the most experienced, successful agencies are doing.

There are two main reasons for this shift in demographic: first, consolidation and acquisitions are at an all-time high, resulting in a higher number of large agencies in our survey pool. Additionally, as the Study reaches its tenth year, many agencies have participated every year since the beginning. Thus, we’re drawing on a more mature pool of agencies each year. Both factors can impact how we look the data year-to-year, but also provide us with an even richer look at how the most successful agencies are operating.

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Charting a Course

For ten years, the Home Care Benchmarking Study has charted a course for forward-thinking and data-driven agencies to navigate the issues facing the industry. As home care becomes more competitive, more strategic, and more value-driven, it will become even more important to use the right data to inform your decisions.

There’s immense potential in home care—not only for business growth, but for opportunities to raise the quality of individuals’ lives. Mastering the right metrics will empower you not only to grow your business, but provide better care to your clients and better employment to your caregivers.

As I’ve deepened my operational knowledge and learned how to run a more effective business, I’ve increased my capacity to use my business for good and found more meaning in what I do. I challenge you to use the data and articles in this Study to increase your own capacity to provide an impactful experience to both your clients and caregivers.

It’s a great time to be in home care. Let’s improve lives together.

Warmest regards,

Aaron Marcum

Aaron Marcum
Founder & Chairman
Home Care Pulse

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May 7, 2019|Categories: Articles, Letter from the CEO|

About the Author:

Though Aaron received his degree from Utah State University in business and history, he quickly realized that his passion was in working with seniors. For eight years, Aaron owned and operated a highly successful home care agency. This work inspired him to start Home Care Pulse, aimed at helping home care providers measure and improve their quality of care. As Home Care Pulse has grown, Aaron has most enjoyed helping providers to accomplish their goals, empower their employees, and confidently provide the best in-home care. When Aaron isn’t working with providers, you can find him fishing, hiking, and camping with his family.

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