In-home care giant AccentCare is starting the new year off with an identity refresh. The goal: to help gain traction in a fragmented market and better define its organizational mission.
Unveiled Monday, the refresh includes a shift toward a single, company-wide name, plus an updated logo. It also includes a new vision and corporate purpose to help guide AccentCare into 2022 and beyond, CEO Steve Rodgers told Home Health Care News.
“This is about so much more than our brand,” Rodgers said. “It’s about who we want to be as an organization and about aligning our people around that. And it’s about how we face the marketplace.”
In addition to “AccentCare,” the Dallas-based company’s business portfolio is made up of Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care, Sta-Home, Gareda, HRS, Texas Home Health, Southeastern Health Care at Home and Guardian. All of those businesses will now transition to the AccentCare brand, effective immediately.
The home health, hospice and personal care services provider’s footprint currently stretches across 31 states and more than 270 sites of care.
“There’s a huge gap in this industry for actually creating a recognized brand in the home that people can kind of attach themselves to,” Rodgers continued.
Executives began thinking about the notion of “redefining AccentCare” following the company’s 2020 acquisition of Seasons, which came with operations in 19 states and two additional brands under its umbrella. With so many unique names and offerings in the mix, they eventually decided it was best to simplify AccentCare’s identity for patients, referral partners and employees alike.
“It’s a common brand that people can trust as they go through the post-acute continuum of services,” Chief Growth Officer Tad Kendall told HHCN. “And this all rallies around not only a common brand, but also around a common culture and a common ability to deliver care for our patients as well as their families.”
Building brand recognition
The decision to unify its seven different brands under the AccentCare name wasn’t made lightly. In the home health industry, in fact, it’s fairly common for the regional or national players to stick with local brands following acquisitions to maintain trust and recognition in those communities.
AccentCare has executed 18 acquisitions since 2016. Its Texas Home Health brand has been around for over 50 years.
To gauge how disruptive a refresh would be, AccentCare conducted internal research while speaking with consumers and referral partners. Contrary to the “house of brands” strategy, the feedback AccentCare received suggested simplicity and unity was more important to most stakeholders, Rodgers said.
It likewise hinted that there’s an opportunity to build a bigger name for AccentCare in the home health space, where the 10-largest companies still control just 25% of the market, according to LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
“Referral sources as well as consumers prefer to buy a breadth of products from one brand and one company, so I think it was critically important for us to be able to represent that in a singular way out there,” Rodgers added. “And when you actually do the research, the brand recognition of any individual brand – this isn’t just us but rather most of the national players – is fairly low in the marketplace.”
AccentCare is planning a media push to promote its unified identity, Kendall noted.
“We’re doing a number of things in terms of media and advertisements where we can get the message out,” he said. “We want to have a continual drumbeat as we go through the process of building that brand recognition.”
Focusing on organic growth
“Coming together as an organization” is at the top of AccentCare’s 2022 to-do list, according to Rodgers. But the CEO is additionally planning for a year of strong organic growth, with plans currently including “five or six” home health de nevos and upwards of 15 on the private-pay personal attendant side.
“De novos are going to generate a tremendous amount of growth for us,” Rodgers said.
AccentCare is also opening 2022 by moving into more Certificate of Need (CON) markets.
“We’re in metro marketplaces with lots of upside for us,” Rodgers explained. “We anchor ourselves with the large health systems and joint venture partners, so that provides a strong base of organic growth, too.”
The post-acute care provider has at least 70 strategic partnerships with health systems, physician practices and provider groups, including nine JVs and 26 partnered hospice in-patient units.
As far as M&A is concerned, AccentCare has typically been an aggressive acquirer when the stars align. Rodgers didn’t share specifics around any immediate plans, but said he expects dealmaking activity to pick up for the industry as a whole toward the second half of the year.
“I think what’s going to happen is after another quarter or two of seeing the public peers with somewhat deflated multiples alongside their businesses, that basically the smaller home health and hospice [agencies] that have been out for sale will kind of realign their expectations,” he said.
As it grows and redefines its corporate identity, AccentCare knows it also must gain ground in the industry’s ongoing staffing battle. To do so, it’s focused on reducing documentation burdens for clinicians while simultaneously improving scheduling.
“We’re very focused right now on things that matter to our nurses in the field, which are things like reducing their documentation time,” Rodgers said. “Documentation is probably one of the No.1 dissatisfiers of our staff. Our nurses didn’t come to do documentation. They came to take care of people.”
A new look
AccentCare’s refresh additionally includes a new logo and “edgier” color scheme that’s meant to stand out from the crowd.
“We’re that innovative thinker, so we felt that we needed to go with a color palette that was a little bit more outside the norm, if you will, for companies like ours,” Kendall.
The new logo takes the AccentCare name, but lowercases “A,” leaving “C” capitalized and “Care” in bold.
“We believe that represents, you know, a subtlety and almost a humbleness of who we are,” Kendall said. “It says we are really focused on care.”