a handshake

Senior Helpers’ acquisition Tuesday of Milwaukee franchisee Miller Home Care is designed to set it on an innovative path with its new parent Advocate Aurora Enterprises.

Senior Helpers CEO Peter Ross told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Miller Home Care’s Milwaukee location is just blocks from Advocate Aurora Health’s St. Luke’s Medical Center. The location makes it an ideal laboratory to develop programs and services to guide patients along from the hospital to home.

“What we want to start doing is look at some value-based pilots and programs to look at how we could actually use the data we get on hospitalizations, falls, change of condition and what Advocate Aurora calls healthy days,” Ross explained. “How can we improve the quality of life by integrating what we do at Senior Helpers with the rest of the healthcare continuum?”

Miller Home Care will become the fourth so-called corporate store for Senior Helpers. It is also the first acquisition since the Baltimore-based national home care company became part of Advocate Aurora Enterprises in April. Senior Helpers, which provides home care and wellness services such as meal planning, transportation and companionship, has 300 other franchises in 45 states that are locally owned and operated.

Advocate Aurora Enterprises President Scott Powder applauded the Miller Home Care deal and said it would “enable new opportunities for aging seniors in Milwaukee to thrive safely in the comfort of their homes.” 

But there could be benefits from the deal beyond Milwaukee. While hospitals have been aggressively partnering with home care and home healthcare firms, Advocate Aurora’s ownership of Senior Helpers is unique in the industry. The two entities could leverage what they learn from Miller Home Care and St. Luke’s Medical Center and apply it to other locations.

“When you’re part of the family you have access to a lot of great opportunities,” Ross said.

Ross said he doubted there would be more acquisitions like Miller Home Care, but he wouldn’t rule another one out if Advocate Aurora Health expanded beyond Illinois and Wisconsin.

 “If Advocate Aurora expands into Colorado or Iowa or Minnesota, I would look at something there with the same kind of synergy opportunity,” Ross said.