Home Care Franchises Are In Huge Demand
In recent years, home care service franchises became one of the top categories of franchise opportunities. Their growing demand is due to demographic and economic factors as the rising aging population is moving toward reducing hospital care and keeping seniors and disabled persons in their homes instead of nursing facilities. HealthCareFinanceNews.com says business owners are concerned about regulations brought by the Affordable Care Act and the attempt of the U.S. Labor Department to impose minimum wage and overtime protections to their workers currently exempted in the Fair Labor Standards Act. “The exemption allows the industry to provide 24/7 care for seniors and the disabled while keeping the cost affordable,” Jay Perron, vice president of government relations and public policy for the International Franchise Association, said. There is also the challenge of increased competition in the market as more franchise brands are entering the industry.
“Home care in general is just exploding,” said Shelly Sun, the CEO and co-founder of BrightStar Care, a leading home care franchise. She expects continued rapid growth through 2050, due mostly to the aging population.
Home carehave historically not required a background in healthcare to make a go of it. But Sun believes offering families a full-service experience, from the traditional personal care services to skilled medical services, is what will give companies like hers an edge.
Offering a continuum of care is a smart move in light of the push within the healthcare industry toward reducing hospital readmissions and keeping seniors and those with disabilities in their homes instead of in skilled nursing facilities noted John Stein, national market executive, for-profit healthcare, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
If anything will slow down the meteoric rise of home care, it could be regulations said Jay Perron, vice president of government relations and public policy for the International Franchise Association.
Like many small businesses, home care franchise owners are concerned about regulations resulting from the Affordable Care Act, but the most pressing concern is the current attempt by the U.S. Department of Labor to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to in-home workers who currently fall under the companion exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act.
“The exemption allows the industry to provide 24/7 care for seniors and the disabled while keeping the cost affordable,” Perron said. “You can imagine how the increased cost will affect the industry and the people they provide service to. In all likelihood, seniors will have to go to the ‘gray’ market in order to find reasonably affordable care.”
Another looming challenge, noted the Franchise Business Review – likely brought on by the sector’s success – is increasing competition in the market. A decade ago, noted the FBR, there were six home care franchise brands but now there are more than 40. …
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