As the area’s largest home health care agency, Phoenix Home Care Inc. employs nearly 3,500 people to provide a continuum of services helping patients where they live. Since 2011 when it was founded with a handful of employees, the Springfield-based company has not only grown its economic footprint to 18 offices across five states, it also has expanded those services to include pharmacy, palliative, mental health and additional hospice programs in new markets.
Its newest office, established a year ago in Topeka, Kansas, already is serving 60 community clients. Rapid growth in 2018 occurred also with its expanded services. The company’s Department of Mental Health, launched last August, is caring for 22 clients, and Phoenix Pharmacy, operational since March 2018, provides medication to roughly 420 patients.
Doing business now as Phoenix Home Care & Hospice, the company delivers roughly 50,000 hours of care each week to 5,000 patients overall.
CEO and co-founder Phil Melugin says the company’s strategy for expansion in the next two years is to add more services to current markets. Providing more services fills an identified gap, Melugin says. For instance, when patients who receive basic daily living help suddenly need higher level nursing care, it can be frustrating and confusing to work with multiple agencies. “We realized if we can create a continuum from the least amount of care to the highest level of care – including hospice – we could help someone age in place at home,” Melugin says. “They have a one-stop-shop.”
It makes sense economically, too, he says: “Caring for someone in the least restrictive, most independent environment is going to help the health care dollars spread farther because we can do so at a fraction of the cost of a hospital.”
As a large employer, Melugin says the company’s payroll is $1 million-$1.5 million every week. That has significant impact on individuals who spend their dollars locally.
“The amount of taxes we pay in Springfield and the county and the state helps all kinds of economic development,” he adds.
Beyond providing good care and economic benefits, Phoenix Home Care proactively engages with the community’s philanthropic needs, Melugin says. The company participates with numerous nonprofits, including Good Samaritan Boys Ranch, Alzheimer’s Association and Senior Foundation of the Ozarks. Last year, the company established the In Time of Need Foundation to assist those struggling to afford medical expenses. They even help family members with dignified arrangements after a loved one’s death. Many families simply have no resources to properly say goodbye, Melugin says. Phoenix identified that as a need “no others have focused on.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May the all-items inflation index surged 8.6% over the past year, the highest increase since 1981.