The Biden Administration announced that its next round of COVID-19 relief includes
$400 billion to expand access to Medicaid home and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities.
So, what does that mean for companies like us?
Assaf: We believe that home care is a great way to keep people out of hospitals and improve their health while saving money for the taxpayer. So we think that putting more money into home care is a smart thing to do. However, as an industry, we need to make sure that we take care of 3 important things so that this trend continues and doesn't react, or backfire on us. Number one, we need to make sure that the money goes to the nurses and caregivers because eventually the increasing funding is to attract more people to the industry, to increase the number of hours that nurses and caregivers deliver to the home care industry so that we can take care of more people and take people out of hospitals. However, if 40% or 40 cents of each dollar that goes into home care doesn't go into the nurses and caregivers because it goes to pay for offices and management and marketing and profits of large companies, or of the owners, then we're not going to see these increases coming around. And so at Swift Shift, we made sure that every dollar that we bill from the insurance or from the state, 70 cents go to the hands of the nurses and caregivers, and we will strive to make this 80% over the next few years. Through growing the number of nurses in our community, we are mostly software operated on the back end. So it's a fixed cost. If we have more nurses and more caregivers doesn't cost us more to service them, marginally speaking. And so that's super important that as an industry, we focus on really, you know, this trickle down economics, making sure that the extra funding doesn't end up in the pockets of, you know, private equity or management, but goes down to the nurses and caregivers. Number 2, nurses and caregivers are not investment bankers, which means, or, you know, software sales people, no offense. It means that they're not a quote-unquote coin operated. It's not all about the money, it's about the experience, it's about feeling like you have ownership on the service, but you can manage your own clients, you can hire your own and choose the team that you're working from. You can decide what area to service, which services to provide. You have a voice. And today, more than ever, I think many people look for meaningful work in their community, are willing to work for a little bit less if they can get out of it the feeling of fulfillment of, you know, "I came home today and I did something good today and I feel happy about it." So it's not all about the money. We need to ensure that the caregiver experience is such that it attracts people to the industry. No, fixed shifts, flexible scheduling. No "this is your client." These are all the clients available in the area –– who would you like to serve? Not "this is your team and this is who you're going to work with." These are the candidates that we have in your area, who would you like to work with, meet with them, build your team on the service. This is what we do at Swift Shift and I think this is the only thing that will enable us to take this extra funding and actually put it into work. And lastly it's about managing health outcomes. We need to make people feel better. For many years the home care industry was getting paid whether people were getting better or not, went back to the hospital or stayed at home. If we're going to continue to ask the US taxpayers to give us more and more money to take care of sick people, we need to show that under our care people get better. We need to work with data. We need to feed the data back to the caregivers and the nurses and help them make better decisions because they know the client's best to help them with predictions to help them with trend analysis and to constantly help make people feel better at the lower cost. And this way we can show the taxpayers, the insurance companies, that we are a good investment, that we should receive more funding and 400 billion sounds a lot, but it's compared to $4.4 trillion dollars that are spent on healthcare every year, almost two trillions on hospitals and institutions. It's still a relatively small budget compared to the overall health care expenditure. So make sure the money goes down to the caregivers, make the caregiver experience such that you and everybody else want to work in home care and use data and technology to make people feel better.