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Sales Performance: Health/Medical Franchises

By Beth Ewen

Overall, the health care and medical segment grew systemwide sales by a solid 9.2 percent in 2020, up from the prior year’s 6 percent but still tepid compared to 14.5 percent two years ago. Sixteen of the franchises are in the senior care arena, with the other five each in a category of one. Some of the numbers are insane, such as a 62.2 percent increase for ATC Healthcare, which provides medical staffing “Around the Clock” to hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions. Last year amid COVID- 19, ATC organized a new company division called ATC Testing and Screening Services, which allowed it to employ thousands of nurses who otherwise would have been furloughed when elective surgeries were canceled. “We brought in a special marketing person to help us get contracts, and many of our franchisees were able to take advantage,” said CEO David Savitsky, including with a TV production company in Louisiana, for example, and even for weddings and other private events. American Family Care, which provides urgent and primary care in clinics, pushed sales up by 56 percent and units up by 20 percent while rolling out telehealth visits, mass testing sites and services for employers to help them reopen. Franchises that acted quickly served both their pandemic-ravaged communities and their top lines.

Home Healthcare

Strong tailwinds are blowing in the home healthcare space, as COVID-19 hit nursing home residents with particular cruelty. “There were temporary changes made during the pandemic to allow what was termed hospitals without walls, to allow services to be reimbursed into the home,” said Shelly Sun, CEO of BrightStar Care. “We want those expanded and we want those permanent.” Best Life Brands, parent company of ComForCare, up 7.1 percent, is among those jumping on the trend, recently launching Boost Home Healthcare, a new franchise that will offer skilled nursing services in the home. Not all franchises are sailing at the same speed, though. Always Best Care was up 5.1 percent; Visiting Angels was up 3.2 percent; and Interim HealthCare and Right at Home posted sales declines, shown below.

Senior Care     
RankLast Year RankFranchise ConceptSales Growth % Global Sales ($M) Total Units
292353Assisting Hands Home Care20.9% 96 146
124166BrightStar Care17.7% 569 332
247301FirstLight Home Care16.3% 158 190
4870Home Instead Senior Care11.3% 2,116 1,089
239278Homewatch CareGivers11.1% 171 209
177210Senior Helpers10.0% 330 351
227261SYNERGY HomeCare9.2% 191 322
213242ComForCare Home Care7.1% 220 214
224254Home Helpers Home Care6.3% 195 310
240273Always Best Care5.1% 171 209
101118Visiting Angels3.2% 800 675
120140Comfort Keepers2.1% 587* 672
8197Interim HealthCare-2.9% 1,100* 592
126137Right at Home-7.9% 545 641