Several weeks ago, I attended a Care Talk sponsored by JoinHonor in Dallas. The guest speakers, Seth Sternberg, JoinHonor.com, and Robert Kramer, Founder and Strategic Advisor, NIC.org inspired leading edge home care outlooks. The audience included home care agency owners, a few assisted living directors, and a mix of other senior care proprietors.
I had no idea about the agenda or topics we'd discuss. However, since JoinHonor headed up the conversation, I suspected "care in the home" would be center stage.
Since healthcare costs and government spending are out of control, receiving care in the home and local community is inevitable, and most sensible way to mitigate medical and healthcare expenses. The biggest driver of this model falls to the introduction of the Home and Community-Based Services in 2005. It became a formal Medicaid State plan option, those in the industry felt care would be well-received there and at a low-cost fee.
Home is the New Senior Care Center
At the care talk, Mr. Kramer underlined the significance of partnerships between home care agencies and medical treatment centers, post-acute care facilities, and hospitals. From what I've read, the entire long-term care industry which includes home health care, assisted living, nursing homes, and hospice care will evolve into an affordable care system. It's because cost drivers, mostly coming from the government, will demand less expensive forms which will force more home and community-based services.
What to Expect
Since home care and home health services have deep connections with consumers -- the providers have a great opportunity to spread their tentacles deeper and wider by creating services for a largely ill audience. As you know, chronic diseases and post-acute care rise out of control. And the only way to deliver the needed services at an affordable rate is in the home.
The future of recovery services will be delivered at home, not in a hospital or a nursing home. We'll manage injuries, episodes of illnesses, and recovery from surgeries, right from home.
The future of prevention and wellness, especially treatments to help with diabetes, cardiac disorders, respiratory diseases, memory conditions, and more, will soon be created by the big guys and all delivered at home-sweet-home.
What's surprising about the age in place market
One, of many things, I've learned from members in the Elder Orphan Group, is we're frustrated with the services delivered to the home. Even though our age group rapidly grows, not many entrepreneurs or startups target this exploding opportunity.
There's so much innovation to be done but not much is getting done. Fast Company, sums it well, "The Venture world is filled with blinders and biases, which keep it focused on the same kinds of places, people, and problems as sources for businesses to fund." They claim, in 2015, more than three-quarters of U.S. VC funding went to companies in three states: Massachusetts, New York, and California. Only 5% of capital went to female founders.
The problem could be that younger entrepreneurs, where most VC funding lands, don't see older people using technology.
Seth Sternberg believes VC funding is minimal in the aging business for two reasons, "First, investors need businesses to grow quickly, and tech makes it happen. Unfortunately, most people think that technology and the 65+ population don’t mix. That's just not true. Secondly, most entrepreneurs are in their twenties, thirties, or forties, decades away from 65. They’re not seeing this enormous business opportunity because they haven’t lived it yet. Usually, people build to solve their own problems. They’re looking at their own lives and ways to innovate, then developing new products and services for themselves and their friends."
The market is in the nascent stage, but it has the largest potential.
Another quick point -- Let's not forget to focus on the leading cause of injury to the body, the food we eat.