Best of Care CEO Kevin Smith is charting a much different course for the home care firm than his father who founded it 42 years ago. The family-owned firm based in Quincy, MA, provides personal care services throughout much of Massachusetts.
Recently the company announced the acquisition of Moving Mentor, a move management and consulting firm that specializes in helping families relocate older loved ones. It’s the second acquisition in five years for Best of Care. In 2018, the company acquired care management firm TuckedIn Elder Care.
Smith recently talked to McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse about the importance of diversification in today’s competitive home care market.
McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: We hear a lot about home care firms offering services, such as transportation and meals. Why buy a moving company?
Smith: My thinking around this acquisition and the pursuit of this acquisition was I saw this real overlap and a real synergy between what a company like Moving Mentor does and what a home care agency can do because when you really boil it all down, we’re both in people’s homes. What are we doing once we get there? That’s where the path sort of diverges, but we are helping people in their own homes during moments of crisis, vulnerability and extreme necessity. Moving Mentor is coming into a family’s life and in their home at a time when there is big change swirling.
McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: Do these businesses overlap?
Smith: Definitely. I’ve seen a move manager go into a home and they might immediately recognize an intervention from home care might be appropriate. That is a very easy handoff that is under our umbrella of companies to make that introduction from move management to home care or vice versa. The challenge will be the integration — to get everyone in our company to recognize these moments where it’s appropriate to cross refer.
McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: How tough is integrating businesses? You’ve had some experience already with TuckedIn Elder Care.
Smith: We see people on our home care team copying me on an email, saying here is a situation going on in this house. Home care aides have said x, y and z are going on in this house. I told them about TuckedIn and I think they would benefit from some information. We are starting to see the way people process and understand what the full scope of our company can do and they are connecting those dots.
McKnight’s Home Care Daily: Is it enough today for a company to focus solely on home care?
Smith: For the big guys, volume is king. If you are in a position with your home care agency where you can really survive on that service volume, sure. But the variability and the unpredictability annually on margins — as living in the United States becomes more expensive — makes it really difficult to live within those margins and continue to operate your company effectively and efficiently, while paying people what they deserve. That is why you are seeing providers like us explore these avenues where there is a different profit margin. There is an ability to create a holistic company where somebody calling you today for one of your services might benefit from another one of your services two years from now.
McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: Where do you see Best of Care evolving from here?
Smith: I think we are going to take these ideas and these services that we’ve created and acquired and figure out what is the most logical and responsible way to scale them. As our geographic footprint expands with one service type or another, we want all of our other services to chase them. So, wherever our home care business grows geographically, I want that growth with move managers and care managers. I want our holistic model that exists in certain parts of the state to be reflected everywhere else that we deliver service. That’s how you build out this full-service organization.
Editor’s note: Peer-to-Peer is a feature from McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse in which we talk to the leaders in home care, your peers, about their operational initiatives, efforts and ideas. If you think someone in home care would make a good subject for Peer-to-Peer, please email Liza Berger at [email protected].