Most people don’t think about the possibility of needing home health care, but for one entrepreneur, the thought of assisting others became his passion.
In 1975, Mark Baiada, alongside one nurse, created BAYADA Home Health Care in order to meet the rising need for home health services in Philadelphia, Pa. Today, the company has expanded across the globe with nearly 300 locations, including five right here in Charlotte.
As a BAYADA Division Director Melinda Phillips says, “Our company was founded on the principles of compassionate care and understanding for those in need. Mark Baiada realized that medical technology advancements didn’t need to keep people confined to hospitals for long periods of time, so he set out to create a company that would allow individuals the chance to receive care at home.”
Today, BAYADA Home Health Care operates offices in 22 states and in India, providing a range of home health solutions for clients facing a variety of needs, including wound care, light housework and habilitation.
Responding to the Need
Phillips describes Baiada’s model for growth as allowing people who had proven themselves to go where they wanted and open offices to expand the business and offer compassionate care. In 1989, one of his trusted employees, Tom Mylet, decided to come to North Carolina and open an office in Winston-Salem.
“In fact,” says Phillips, “I started working with BAYADA Home Health Care as an associate at that location in 1994, allowing me to engage in my passion for service to others.”
“After some time as an associate, I became a client services manager and had my own case load. Once that grew large enough, in 1998, I presented Mark Baiada with the idea of opening a Charlotte location. I saw how we were able to help people in Winston-Salem, and I knew there were needs elsewhere in the state. He agreed and the first BAYADA Home Health Care office in Charlotte opened in the University Park Executive Drive area.”
The new office was a success from the start. Under Phillips’ leadership, the company opened more office locations in Charlotte, designating Charlotte as a division with multiple offices.
By 2009, Phillips observed that each office handling all lines of service, including pediatric home care and home health aide care, put a strain on resources and personnel. She had a logical suggestion.
“It seemed logical with multiple offices to start specializing. So now, each office in the Charlotte region specializes in a specific type of care. This allows BAYADA Home Health Care to better manage our client’s needs,” she affirms.
There are over 50 BAYADA offices across the Southeast, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. And, as per the company’s decision to offer specialty care, each office offers a different specialty. These specialties are adult nursing care, adult personal care, pediatrics, and habilitation, which offers care for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
“We saw that BAYADA Home Health Care could provide a greater number of services and a better quality of care if the company were more focused,” attests Phillips.
“All of the locations I oversee each have a director, client services managers, and clinical managers who are registered nurses. The client services managers handle interviewing staff and scheduling case shifts, and the clinical managers handle oversight of the clinicians. So, across all service lines, we ensure that each base is covered.
“We’re one of the few home health companies in Charlotte that does it all,” Phillips adds. We don’t do it all from one office, but we can handle anything. If you need home care, we can get it to you.”
Phillips stresses that BAYADA Home Health Care is committed to not just providing care, but also seeing patients get better. She notes that, 30 years ago, a child who underwent a tracheostomy (a surgical procedure to create an airway into the trachea when the usual route for breathing is somehow obstructed or impaired) would be in the hospital for months, but today, through BAYADA Home Health Care, that same child can recover at home under the supervision of trained specialists.
In fact, Phillips notes, “BAYADA Home Health Care is the largest provider of pediatric home health services in Charlotte.”
Aside from traditional at-home care, BAYADA Home Health Care also offers its services to assisted living communities, and it often receives referrals from doctors and hospitals. Additionally, the company has a dedicated staffing office in Charlotte that provides medical assistance to physicians’ offices, hospitals, and other medical businesses throughout the region.
Speaking globally, Phillips says, “We’ve recently begun services in India through India Home Health Care. They wanted to adopt our model, so last year, Mark Baiada asked me to go to India and support them, give consulting, do some training. It was a great experience, and I can’t wait to see that division grow. We’re also currently working to gain an acquisition in Germany.”
Making a Difference
When asked what makes BAYADA Home Health Care different from other providers, Phillips says, “A lot of companies simply write their mission statement down. The difference is the BAYADA team is expected to live by ours. Our core values are compassion, excellence, and reliability, and our team is dedicated to living these values out in our personal and professional lives.”
Phillips recounts with some passion, “In 2004, Mark Baiada started thinking about articulating his legacy. Teaming up with Dr. Al Freedman, a teacher and psychologist, Mark described his emotions relating to client care. Dr. Freedman helped him craft The BAYADA Way, the defining set of values that we, as a company, live by today.
“Then, Mark wanted to ensure that the company’s values were uniformly supported, so he embarked on a nationwide tour of every single BAYADA Home Health Care location to speak with not only employees, but also clients.
“During this tour, Mark received feedback regarding everything from workplace happiness to client satisfaction. As a result, The BAYADA Way was finalized and distributed across all company locations. It provides a guide path to all employees regarding the dispensation of total care and compassion for clients, excellence in all that they do, and reliability in delivering professional medical services.”
Phillips emphasizes, “There are three essential things that separate us from the competition, and chief amongst them is The BAYADA Way. Our people live our core values. We truly mean it when we ascribe to compassion, excellence, and reliability.
“Second, we’re privately held, meaning we have a lot of flexibility when it comes to providing care. Mark’s heart and my heart are in this…all of our employees’ hearts are in this. While other home health care companies are bought and sold every few years, we’re not. They cater to shareholders, we cater to our clients’ needs.
“Third, is that we offer continuity of care. When you need multiple home health services, you’re going to be dealing with multiple companies, but with BAYADA Home Health Care, we have our clients covered across a range of services.”
This third point is ultimately what has made BAYADA Home Health Care as successful as it is in Charlotte and beyond. Phillips points out that the vast majority of the company’s marketing strategy has relied on word-of-mouth advertising and client referrals as well as repeat business. In addition, the company has continued to add more specialty services to its roster in order to drive business.
“In the beginning, we had basic home health care services, then we added pediatrics, and then more services were added as we saw needs grow. In fact, I remember starting out in Winston-Salem and receiving calls from Carolinas Medical Center and Baptist Hospital asking, ‘Who is going to care for these babies?’” recalls Phillips.
Phillips says that the people of Charlotte are what first drew her to the area; aside from the need in the city and its surrounding area, she says she observed the strong work ethic and the overflowing compassion that Charlotteans have.
“The people are what have made us successful in Charlotte. We’re tough on each other and hold each other accountable, but we’re all committed to the same goal: We put The BAYADA Way first. It’s not about us, it’s about the client,” smiles Phillips.
“We’ve evolved through The BAYADA Way,” Phillips continues, “but also through offering specialties. We encourage our people to find their niche, whether that be home health, pediatrics, or something else. When you put someone in a field they love, they’ll do all kinds of amazing things.”
Exceptional People; Exceptional Standards
Because home health care is such a personal industry, BAYADA Home Health Care goes out of its way to attract and work with the best. The company typically brings in new hires through recruiters and targeted ads, followed by a phone interview to assess qualifications. If they meet requirements, candidates are then brought in for an interview with office staff and a skills test. Only candidates who have at least one year of supervised experience are considered.
After that comes a thorough background check, a drug screening, and a clearance from the Office of Inspector General to ensure that candidates don’t have governmental violations. From there, successful applicants are brought in for an orientation and then spend another 30 to 48 hours in home and lab tests to further assess skills. After completion, a specialist may spend as much as 30 days with a supervising mentor in a client’s home to ensure a good fit.
Phillips explains, “Integrity is one of the most important things we look for in our employees. Because they are expected to live The BAYADA Way, we don’t cut corners in our hiring process.
“Success is measured by client satisfaction. We use a nationally-recognized outside vendor for surveys to gather satisfaction ratings. We have three key questions out of many that must be marked as 100 percent satisfactory in order to determine where we stand. If those three questions aren’t 100 percent, we investigate the problem completely.”
Phillips says that the goal is not just to manage a client, but to improve his or her health. If that isn’t happening, BAYADA Home Health Care is not doing its job.
BAYADA Home Health Care has also taken advantage of developing technology, using tablets for keeping track of patient and employee records as well as offering a physician portal on its website to allow doctors the ability to see patient chart information 24 hours a day.
In addition, the company has a simulation lab at its Charlotte office for training purposes. They use a mannequin that can simulate a variety of medical conditions. For example, anaphylactic shock—in such a case, the mannequin’s tongue actually swells to simulate a real-life reaction to an allergy. The simulation lab is also outfitted with cameras so that training staff can not only monitor trainees, but also play back video to demonstrate what went right and what went wrong.
BAYADA Home Health Care also uses technology to scour sources for government funding to cover Medicare and Medicaid patients, and in this tight economy, to find new ideas to provide more and better care at a lower cost.
“We’re committed to patient care and employee satisfaction,” says Phillips. “That’s The BAYADA Way, and it always will be.”