ViaQuest News

Columbus Business First’s Q&A: ViaQuest CEO on creating 350 jobs in home health care

Carrie Ghose from Columbus Business First interviewed our CEO, Rich Johnson. Look at what he said about ViaQuest:

Q&A: ViaQuest CEO on creating 350 jobs in home health care

ViaQuest Inc. has more than survived from having its credit cut off during the 2008 financial crisis.

The Dublin-based home health, behavioral health and disability services company is on track for $62 million in revenue this year, a 5 percent increase over 2012. Since the beginning of 2012, ViaQuest has added more than 350 jobs throughout Ohio and the Pittsburgh market.

Rich Johnson founded the company 20 years ago focusing solely on services to clients with developmental disabilities. As recounted in Columbus Business First’s CFO of the Year awards, when the recession hit ViaQuest shifted from housing clients in facilities to all home-based care, while adding new services in general home health care and hospice.

Here’s an edited and condensed version of my talk with Johnson about the company’s growth:

Q: It was a fiscal crisis that spurred you to expand service lines.

A: As many companies and our nation as a whole suffered from the financial crisis in 2008 it made us look at what we were doing and where services we’re offered. Being rock bottom from a financial perspective made us think strategically.

Q: Talk about where that decision has landed you today. Why has home health been growing so fast?

A: Specifically the baby boom generation wants to remain in the community in their homes versus going to a long-term care community. Our current administration here in Ohio, Gov. (John) Kasich, has put forth several initiatives to help seniors continue to live in their homes.

(Also), people with mental health issues are typically not as physically healthy. We started as a behavioral health company. These are people who tend to be more costly. As we try to get our arms around the cost of health care, this is a place where we’ve seen growth because of our particular expertise

One other area of growth we’ve seen, … we’ve added quite a few jobs for people with developmental disabilities as well as returning veterans.

Q: So you’re employing former clients.

A: They could be clients of ours; they could be clients of other programs. We are supplying them with jobs that lead them to a career. We just formed a partnership with OfficeMax – we are their employment arm for people with developmental disabilities throughout the state of Ohio.

Q: What’s the impact of the Affordable Care Act and payment reform on your industry going forward?

A: There’s a lot of difficult discussions on how to revamp how providers are reimbursed. I think it’s going to be imperative that we have strong relationships and collaborations with different systems (such as long-term care providers and hospitals). It really is making us look at every aspect of our business to find where we can deliver the highest quality care in the lowest-cost setting.

Q: Is the growth you’ve experienced going to be sustainable?

A: I believe we’ll grow even faster. With the demographic of the baby-boom population it’s just going to expand. … They’re a lot more informed of the choices they have.

One of the big challenges is finding the professionals from a nursing perspective. The services we deliver are going to grow at a fairly fast clip.

Q: Do your people get recruited away?

A: It’s a very, very competitive market. We’re all vying for the same top quality clinicians. One thing we really focus on is the culture of the company and making sure it’s an environment where people like to work and are challenged. We do have lower turnover than the industry average

You can read the online article: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2013/11/qa-viaquest-ceo-on-creating-350-jobs.html?page=all