Brady Schwab, the new chief growth officer of Right at Home, comes to his role with a fresh set of eyes — or ears, as the case may be. The former audiologist cut his professional teeth in hearing healthcare. As he embarks on his mission to grow the 600-plus-unit home care franchise, he draws on his experience in working with seniors and building out businesses. He talked more to McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse about where he sees the future for Right at Home.
McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: What are your aspirations and goals in your new position?
Schwab: The three pillars that are kind of under my watch are franchise development — growth from the perspective of continuing to expand our flags from a franchisee standpoint. The other is Right at Home has a corporate-owned strategy, so I’ll be responsible for the M and A activity around our corporate-owned. Thirdly is kind of the business model and technology innovation front, so putting some resources around all the innovative things that are occurring within the system and within the company, and really have some dedicated time and people and resources focused on how do we push the model forward. How do we think differently as we try to tackle new changes with the silver tsunami and all the opportunity around technology to improve our ability to care for people as they age in our home?
McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: How different do you expect home care to be from where you came from and how are you adjusting to this new field?
Schwab: There is a learning curve and new information which is really, frankly, exciting to me, but at the core … the similarities are when you approach hearing healthcare, you know, you have a challenge. It’s very personal to the individual that’s unrelated to anything that they did. It’s kind of the circumstance that they find themselves in. And the solution, vis a vis hearing aids or some sort of amplification, is really only part of the problem that we’re trying to solve. It’s a social, psychological, multifaceted kind of thing that we’re trying to address and I see home care as similar. The notion of just being safe in my home or being able to stay there longer is a lot more into the realm of the psychology, the physiology of how do we keep you healthy — the emotional impact of changes that occur to us as we age. There’s a lot of interesting overlap there that is kind of under the hood.
McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: Have you already identified some areas of growth and opportunity and possibly some weaknesses that could use some improvement for the company?
Schwab: I think that the opportunity and the challenge around data and data-driven decision-making is real and … how do we take all the data that we have and start to become more predictive, start to make better decisions based upon it … is both that strength and a weakness. I think when we look at what our clients demand today and what they will in five or 10 years as we see this generational turn is really going to unlock the opportunity with technology and the adoption and welcoming of technology into more people’s lives. So I think that’s really exciting to me, and as we see the larger industry move towards the recognition of healthcare and home care, merging those services.
McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: What technologies specifically are you going to be instilling in your company?
Schwab: We’ve been evaluating a number of folks in the remote monitoring space, and I don’t think that we’ve landed on certainly the one or maybe the couple that we think are going to be the platform that we build off of, but we do have them narrowed down to, to really putting into our test kitchens in our corporate-owned and start to understand, is there is there a one-solution-for-all or … are there better technologies in one scenario versus another that would would bring us to maybe less of a universal approach and more of a maybe multifaceted approach?
McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: Home care is dealing with some big issues such as the workforce shortage and growth of Medicare Advantage plans. What do you see as one or two of the industry’s biggest challenges right now?
Schwab: The caregiver shortage is huge and now how do we attract more people to caregiving? So that and the MA question, I think, are the two, and from my experience in hearing healthcare — very tight labor market, very scarce licensure — were two of the limiters on our labor. So I feel like it’s kind of Groundhog Day from that perspective. And I think there’s some ways that we can make incremental improvements. But there’s a numbers game that we’re gonna have to tackle and that’s where I think the technology has to be part and parcel to a solution.
In hearing healthcare, I lived through a lot of the evolution of MA, the evolution of regulatory changes … so, from some of those real foundational disruptions I think I’ve learned some lessons and can see around a couple of those corners a little bit. I have some early hypotheses about both of those things but haven’t landed on anything, but those are the things that keep me up at night for sure.
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].