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Home Attendant Services of Hyde Park: Providing Home Care Assistance to Brooklyn
Access to dependable, affordable health services has become more important than ever as the face of the healthcare industry continues to evolve. Home Attendant Services of Hyde Park (HAS of HP), based out of Brooklyn, New York City, is a company that provides licensed homecare services that address these needs. Legislative changes have altered the way that HAS of HP operates on a daily basis, but the company continues to provide a consistent level of comprehensive home care services as when the company was founded, thanks to the reliability and dedication of its staff of over 950 employees.
“In 1980 when we started this company, it was precisely to fill a need in the New York community, to provide Medicaid patients with the help they need at home, that the City of New York just didn’t have the facilities to provide,” explains Jonathan Redner, CFO of HAS of HP. “This company was born specifically out of the City’s initiative to simultaneously address the social and home care needs of people in our own communities, and that’s exactly what we do.”
Many companies exist strictly to provide this type of service. However, there are not many that have been able to establish a practice grounded in providing the affordable, tailor-made experience HAS of HP provides.
“We work within the five boroughs of New York City, and there are 50 other companies that provide the same services, but we specialize in providing attendants that are best suited to our different cultural demographics within Brooklyn,” affirms Redner. “We take a lot of time to make sure that we find, and hire, attendants who not only speak the language of the client, but who are familiar with the cultural dynamic and the kinds of foods a client likes to eat.”
Focusing on What Matters
Clients appreciate the extra effort put forth, as the company recognizes that its role could amount to the difference between an individual receiving the help they need or refusing any assistance at all. “The stakes are very high because we are dealing with elderly people and the physically disabled,” explains Redner. “We need to make sure that the attendants are not only qualified, but are capable to make the client comfortable, because otherwise that client could just close the door.”
HAS of HP sets the bar for home attendants very high. The company knows it’s under a lot of pressure to provide its employees with incentives to maintain the respectable and high-quality work they perform. “Once a year we send out employee surveys to ask the hard questions that can make companies want to stick their heads in the sand like ostriches,” jokes Redner. “But we ask the hard questions even though it opens the door for harsh criticism, because we want to know how we can improve as an employer. It’s why we pay them not minimum wage, but a living wage, in addition to benefits. Our employees are not students. They have families to support and bills to pay and they are a tremendous asset to the company because we reap the returns of their good work.”
Retooling for the Future
Maintaining a firm grasp on the continuously evolving healthcare industry is imperative for HAS of HP, as certain aspects of the company’s business sector are changing. New York State is exploring new ways to deliver healthcare services more efficiently and holding a reputation for excellence plays a central role in navigating the new market.
“When we first started as a company, our clients would be referred by their doctors to the City and essentially sign up for these services, but that has completely changed now,” says Redner. “In response to budgetary cuts, the City has transferred the referral process to the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) and clients need to choose an MCO that will address of all their healthcare needs. We understand the business model is shifting from that of a mandated City provider, to that of a competitive bidder for MCO cases. What this means for us is that we’re on a completely new avenue of business. Essentially, we’re dealing with the privatization of a municipal-run service.”
That shift towards privatization means the company now has to compete in a free market and essentially reestablish itself within the marketplace. “It’s an exciting change, because it has the potential to be very lucrative for us, but now we are in a marketplace where we need things like working capital to stay competitive,” says Redner. “These MCOs can take between 60 and 90 days to pay their invoices, and to have enough capital to cover your expenses as a 50-person company is one thing, and quite another for a company of close to 1,000 people.”
Maintaining client and employee satisfaction will become key to continued growth and success as HAS of HP seeks private investors to bolster the company’s fiscal strength. “On the one hand, we’re going to be competing with companies who are strict dollars-and-cents companies, and we are not that kind of company,” says Redner. “We have to walk the tightrope between competing on price and upholding our own corporate ethics that have determined the course of this company up to this point. The next few years will be trying as we readjust to the new conditions, but our employees and our clients are at the forefront of our decision making.”
Redner is confident HAS of HP will be able to attract the kind of fiscal partners to support its operations, despite the overall challenges of the current American economy. Utilizing both faith and positive economics, Home Attendant Services of Hyde Park will continue to professionally provide home care in a manner that can’t be overvalued by those in need across New York City.