Michael Slupecki. Credit: Griswold Home Care

Last week, 40-year-old Griswold launched a rebranding initiative, embracing technology and innovation, with the “Live Assured” tagline. CEO Michael Slupecki is leading the charge across the company’s 170 local franchises. Slupecki joined Griswold in 2020, following a 13-year stint at Interim HealthCare as COO and CFO. He talked to McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse about the importance of refreshing a brand.

McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: Why after 40 years did Griswold decide it needed a rebrand?

Slupecki: We want to position ourselves visually as more innovative. If you look at the landscape of brands, everyone is hearts, hands and house, which we were as well. We are trying to be more appealing to the decision-makers who are typically the children that have aging parents. We wanted something more dynamic and fresh that people can associate with technology and innovation.

McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: What kind of technology are you using to attract that clientele?

Slupecki: We partnered and are about to roll out a senior-specific wearable that can capture data and look for deviations. It will baseline a senior’s behavior, like eating. Over a two-week period, it will baseline all of these various behaviors and if someone divates from the baseline, it’ll raise a hand. Because of the predictive aspect of it, you can even see changes in bathroom habits that indicate a possible UTI [urinary tract infection]. We can help the family set up a primary care visit, so a few days later there isn’t a trip to the ER.

McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: You’re a personal care company. Do you need to have a toe in the home health space?

Slupecki: Studies are showing the importance of social determinants of health. Depending on the study, they’re 60% to 80% of health outcomes. Food security, social interaction to prevent depression are highly correlated to some medical challenges. Satisfaction is a big part. Medicare Advantage plans and home health agencies are tied to satisfaction scores and preventing rehospitalization. We feel like we are raising ourselves above the traditional home care provider with the best caregivers. 

McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: How are your franchisees adapting to the branding change?

Slupecki: We did some work on it last year and launched it and it’s been really well received. In a franchise network, getting universal adoption is nearly impossible and it’s even more challenging with a brand that has been around for 40 years. I think we’re going to be super successful with this group of franchisees that are in this 0-to-15-year range because they still have that growth mindset. We’ve also have some old-tenured franchisees whose kids are now taking over and they’re excited about it. Of course, some people are content doing things the way they’ve always done them and that’s something we’ll just have to overcome.

McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse: This is such a fragmented industry with lots of consolidation. Is there going to be room for small mom-and-pop agencies in the future?

Slupecki: I think there is always going to be a place for that excellent provider that simply survives on customer service and they stay in the private pay space. But there are going to be fewer and fewer people who can afford private pay; it’s not going to keep up with the growth or the demographics. Medicare Advantage isn’t the solution either because they have to get a return on investment. I think the way things will evolve is there will be other payer solutions because there isn’t enough brick-and-mortar to put everyone in. I think there are going to be other solutions to keep people in their homes. There is not going to be an even playing field for every provider.