Jet Health CEO on expanding personal care products and moving workers to work at home

In a complex work environment, Jet Health doesn’t just use one strategy to solve HR challenges.

As part of its efforts, the company is expanding its benefit packages and creating pathways for future leaders.

This is because its CEO, Stacey Bratcher, believes that talent issues are long-term and that there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution.

Jet Health, founded in 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas, provides home healthcare, hospices and personal care services in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Idaho.

Home Health Care News recently caught up with Bratcher at the Home Care 100 conference held in January in Orlando, Florida. During the conversation, Bratcher also talked about how technology is helping Jet Health improve its healthcare delivery model and why personal care is an integral part of the company’s business.

HHCN: Last time we contacted, you said that Jet Health has invested heavily in recruitment initiatives to bring qualified employees to your team. Can you provide more details on what it looks like?

Bratcher: Our recruitment and retention initiatives include quality-of-life benefit options such as extended vacations, floating vacations, enhanced 401k options, and health insurance choices. Also career paths in terms of the clinical ladder, which may lead to certifications or advanced specialties for clinicians. We have also provided skills development and training for those interested in leadership.

Because we were looking for nurses who may have worked within the four walls of a hospital or skilled nursing facility, this was an important transition for them to a home environment. We’ve put in a lot of programs to really help make this transition better. When we first started hiring them, we lost them within the first 90 days, the retention rate was very low. We have added many introductory programs, many mentoring programs and opportunities to help them treat their patients at home. Now they like it, but at first it’s a really difficult transition for some of them.

Overall, do you expect the home-working problem to improve this year? Why or why not?

I don’t think we’re going to see much improvement because we can’t turn out enough new clinicians fast enough to replace those who have retired. Even those who come to work like to work within the four walls of hospitals at first, where they are surrounded by other colleagues who can mentor them.

Until these graduating classes begin to come of age and gain some experience, they will not feel comfortable entering the home care environment. I think we’re still probably in a couple of years.

Another goal for Jet Health was to expand its use of technology to complement its healthcare delivery model. Can you talk about its features and how it affected the results?

Of course, we use technology through telemedicine to extend the time between our in-person visits, provide on-demand access, and prevent hospitalizations. Remote monitoring allows you to record small changes in the patient’s condition before an exacerbation or the need to transfer to a hospital. The information available through remote monitoring has allowed our clinicians to decide if a patient needs an immediate visit or if a doctor should be contacted for a visit to resolve the issue.

This has enabled us to reduce hospital admissions, improve patient satisfaction, and improve physician satisfaction. This allows the patient to feel comfortable knowing that someone is monitoring their vital signs, whether it be blood pressure, oxygen saturation, or weight changes in any patients with congestive heart failure.

For our clinicians, this lets them know that even if they visit the patient twice a week, for example, they still have information from the week. They can give a much better clinical impression of what is happening to the patient. If there are changes, the clinician may consult a doctor. If the doctor needs to change the medication, we can do it. Our care is much better because we have much more information.

How is the company adjusting its operations in light of the current and potential rate cuts in the future?

We’ve really looked at what features of our back office, perhaps we have redundancy? Do we have parts where we open a file, do a part, open the file again, do another part, open the file again, do another part? Can we fix it?

Instead of looking at the front where we provide assistance, we are really trying to look at the inside to see if we have any savings opportunities in those places.

Are there other areas of home care that Jet Health is making a big effort to advance this year? In general, what opportunities excite you the most?

Our personal care line makes up about 10% of our business today, but I think it’s very important to help people stay at home. Sometimes there is a gap in what qualified home care or hospice care can cover. This personal care business opportunity can provide some of these items to keep that person at home. That personal care is what is missing. It is very exciting for us this year to look for an opportunity to expand our personal care services.

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