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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 4 years ago

Home health care firm grows

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Local entrepreneur Michael Juceam says it's the right time to expand his home elderly care business, Right at Home.

Local entrepreneur Michael Juceam says it's the right time to expand his home elderly care business, Right at Home.

The business is a franchise of an Omaha, Neb.-based chain and Juceam has owned Right at Home territories in Charlotte and Sarasota counties since 2004, with limited business in Manatee County. Seeing a need, he recently acquired the rights for full services in Manatee County, which cost about $50,000. “There are huge challenges we face in this industry,” Juceam tells Coffee Talk, “but despite that we are growing the services we provide.”

Those challenges, says Juceam, an attorney who also previously founded a Web-based document management firm that specializes in health care and financial services, include new U.S. Labor Department regulations. The rules, announced Sept. 17, will require home health care agencies to pay overtime and higher minimum wages to home health aides starting in 2015.

U.S. officials claim the regulations elevate employees in the field above babysitter status. But several business and industry organizations, both in Florida and nationwide, criticized the changes and countered it will make home health services too expensive. Juceam is in that camp, and he was even quoted in a Sept. 18 front page Wall Street Journal article on the topic. “The regulators have not fully examined the consequences of enacting this,” Juceam says in the article. “This is really a move by labor unions.”

Juceam nonetheless remains bullish, especially in Florida, where the demographics fit his business model. Sales grew about 30% a year from 2010 to 2012, he says, before flattening somewhat in 2013. He declines to release specific revenues, though he says his franchise does between $3 million and $10 million in sales a year. “Four straight years of double-digit revenue growth,” says Juceam, “is hard to duplicate.”

Juceam says he will open an office in Manatee County, probably in Lakewood Ranch, in the next few months. He plans to hire one or two people to staff the office, in addition to 100 or so part-time aides to work with clients throughout the county.

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