Since opening its doors in Springfield in 2000, Integrity Home Care has carved a niche in delivering services aimed at helping people maintain their independence.
“Integrity Home Care provides long-term and short-term care in the home for seniors, disabled individuals, children with special health care needs and anyone recuperating from surgery or sickness,” says co-owner, President and CEO Greg Horton. “That care ranges from intensive nursing and physical therapy services to basic respite care, companionship, homemaking and personal care services.”
The company serves Medicare, Medicaid and private-pay patients and has five offices in Missouri and Kansas, with more than 2,400 employees. About 800 of those work through the Springfield office, which had 2010 revenues of $18.3 million, spending $13 million in local payroll and benefits.
Until late 2010, Integrity was co-owned by Horton, Paul Reinert and Phil Melugin. In December, Horton and Reinert ousted Melugin and remain as the only two co-owners. While that change was difficult, Horton says the Integrity team is pointing its gaze toward the future.
“All of our people are moving forward, and they’re here because we want to be here,” Horton says. “We have a lot of people to look forward, so our focus has to be on our business, and not be sidetracked.”
Another recent challenge is increased regulation as a result of health reform.
“There are several mandates that have already come down that increase what we have to do from an administrative standpoint, and at the same time, they’re decreasing our payments from Medicare,” Horton says. “One of the serious concerns I have is that as (those unfunded mandates) increase, it’ll be more difficult for seniors to access home health care, which is not a good outcome.”
“Home care is the least costly way to provide care, and it’s the one that most people would prefer for the quality of their life,” Horton adds. “Whether the home is an independent care setting or the home they were in for the last 40 years, it really doesn’t matter, but to take them out of that or cause them to have to be institutionalized just because we’re making it more difficult for care to be accessed or provided is a real concern.”
Like many companies, Integrity has had to tighten its belt in recent years, Horton says, noting that while there been some tough choices, the company hasn’t had to lay off employees.
“As some of those reimbursement cuts have come through, we’ve had to freeze wages, and we’ve had to take salary cuts,” he says.
The company also has expanded its physical location to keep up with growth. In 2009, Integrity moved its headquarters to 38,000 square feet at 2960 N. Eastgate Ave., where a leadership team of about 100 employees reports to work, supporting the hundreds of caregivers in the field.
Though the building more than doubled Integrity’s space, Horton says the company already is growing close to capacity at the new site, where there is land available for expansion.
Horton says Integrity’s growth is driven by needs identified in the marketplace, citing the company’s 2008 entry into specialized pharmacy services as a recent example.
“(That) was the result of identifying medication management challenges as the No. 1 reason people have to leave their homes,” he says.
Increased use of technology and telemonitoring is likely to bring growth for Integrity, as well as adding hospice and palliative care for Medicare patients.
“I know that there’s an awful lot to do just in the realm we’re responsible for,” Horton says. “We definitely want to do our very best at that before we tackle something else.”From the 2011 Economic Impact Awards publication