Huge demand, huge opportunity
The North American home health care industry is a) huge and b) growing — quickly. We’ve experienced the need for home health care in Canada, even with taxpayer-funded universal health care. In the United States, the demand — and the opportunity — is much, much bigger.
The U.S. population is graying at the same alarming pace as Canada’s. Seniors made up 12.9 percent of Americans in 2009, roughly one of every eight. By 2030, that percentage is projected to be up to 19, or nearly one in five.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are staggeringly expensive — the average cost of a nursing home is close to $50,000 per year and rising in the States, and assisted living is even more costly. Most private insurance policies don’t cover long-term care. Neither does Medicare. And, of course, the U.S. market dwarfs Canada’s (the American senior population was nearly 40 million in 2009; Canada’s was just under 5 million).
Great opportunity for franchise ownership
The home health care industry is trying to rise to meet the demand. As of 2011, the American home health care sector included about 22,000 companies and subsidiaries with combined annual revenue of $57 billion.
It’s a highly fragmented sector of the overall $2.5 trillion U.S. health care industry, with the 50 largest companies — none of them franchised — generating less than a quarter of the revenue. Of the 22,000 establishments, only 18 percent are franchised, and they account for less than 5 percent of revenue in the home health care sector.
That indicates a large vacuum in the home health care industry that franchise companies are beginning to fill. From 2006 to 2010, the number of U.S. franchised home health care establishments grew by more than 60 percent overall and 13 percent annually, from 2,500 locations in 2006 to more than 4,000 in 2010, according to the franchise industry information firm FRANdata. Nurse Next Door was one of several home health care brands that began offering franchises in the latter half of the decade, setting a record for the industry.
Trying to meet growing demand
Consider these numbers:
The number of centenarians on earth has risen from 180,000 in 2001 to 450,000 today. That number is projected to reach 850,000 by 2021 and 3.2 million by 2050.
Worldwide, 15 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and caregivers spend 17 billion unpaid hours to help them.
The number of American seniors, 40 million today, is projected to more than double to 87 million by 2050.
The average U.S. life expectancy, 73 years in 1975 and 75 a generation ago, reached 78, a record, in 2009. The longevity trend shows no sign of stopping or even slowing.
Why we’re expanding into the United States
Nurse Next Door’s core values and philosophy of caring set it apart from any home health care company in the United States. That’s one big advantage.
The other is the difference between the socialized medical system in Canada and private, insurance-dominated American health care. We’ve done spectacularly in Canada even with publicly funded health care; given a choice between paying for personalized care and impersonal, by-the-numbers treatment they’re already paying for with their taxes, Canadians are still choosing Nurse Next Door in rising numbers.