The home care specialist makes a bet.
The bet is that while the number of people in need of care will grow over time, the percentage able to afford paid private home care will shrink. And in order to conquer this population, it must be over-focused on it.
This is partly why the Family Tree In Home Care program is evolving into a private Family Tree program.
Another reason is that the company has gone from being a family business with about $4 million in 2016 to having a presence in every major market in Texas and Colorado, sometimes in multiple locations. It was originally founded in 2011.
The rebrand goes into effect Tuesday in the North and Southeast Texas markets and will go into effect in the “coming months” in Central Texas and Colorado.
“We knew the market was changing,” Daniel Gottschalk, president of Family Tree Private Care, told Home Health Care News. “We started a real transformation of our business a few years ago to really stand out in the market. We wanted our brand to reflect this differentiation.”
Family Tree has acquired 14 companies in the past four years, and some of these companies still operate under their legacy brands. Logos, place names and all other branding elements will now be under the umbrella of Family Tree Private Care.
The company’s services include both non-medical and home health care, but all on a private basis and not through pay-per-service Medicare. In total, the network employs about 2,000 employees.
“Changing our brand, for example, brings together a lot of acquired companies,” Gottschalk said. “We needed to bring brands together, and we also needed to bring systems together. And we needed to have a shared vision that would really show the market what we really do.”
Family Tree began by acquiring other home care companies and then expanded into care management. What really made a difference was the recent acquisition of a private care agency. According to Gottschalk, she was already providing home health care for a private fee, but “not as good as them.”
Now, these home health services make up the bulk of what the company does.
And while it has medical and non-medical home care options and care management, Family Tree doesn’t want to be a jack-of-all-trades. At the same time it is.
He wants to provide the most comprehensive fee-for-service to people who can afford it. One of the reasons for this is to avoid diversifying the sources of payers, and thus the dependence on the state-controlled reimbursement rate increases or decreases.
“We can privately provide for a family that needs really complex home health care, or just a nurse doing a nursing task,” Gottschalk said. “But for the most part, these are people with really complex needs, and they want you to bring healthcare into their own home.”
This approach comes with inherent risks, but the rebrand shows that Gottschalk and Family Tree are willing to bet on themselves, their direct assistants, and their new brand.
It also allows them to raise the salaries of their employees and be more competitive in the hiring market. Because the company relies on private pay – and traditionally richer clients – it can more easily tinker with those wages.
“Obviously, recruiting is still a problem, as is finding high-quality people. … We are fighting the same battles as everyone else,” Gottschalk said. “But we had the luxury of being able to pay carers fairly well at the top of the market because we are the top of the market for clients. We are not always the most expensive agency in town for clients, but we are on top. We are competitive, but at a better percentage.”
Moving forward, if a company can’t be a top-notch private pay service provider in a certain market, it’s not interested in that market, Gottschalk said. In addition, at the moment the company wants to develop the markets in which it is already present under this single brand.
At the same time, expansion to more states in the future is not out of the question in the long run.
“We believe our community has long needed a leader in exceptional curated care, and over the past decade, our team has worked tirelessly to fill that void,” said Alex Bonetti, founder and CEO of Family Tree Private Care. statement. “I am very proud to have combined our private lines of care, nursing and care management into a single identity that highlights our commitment to high quality private care and clearly communicates our goal to change the experience of aging.”