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Honor San Francisco

Honor was launched in April 2015 with an innovative take on the homecare model. What is different about them? On the one hand, Honor is big when it comes to technology, “there’s an app for that,” so to speak. But when you sit down to talk to co-founder Seth Sternberg about what makes his company so disruptive, you find that things are not that different at Honor. After all, home care is always about the people – and Honor is committed to people, from the customers they look after to the care professionals who make up their core care.

Let’s start with the big numbers: in the first year and a half of its business, Honor raised $ 62 million through two private funding campaigns. This is not an easy task for any homecare company as most companies often struggle to wrestle for investors and capital. Sternberg and his huge team of co-founders have done a great job convincing leading companies and companies to realize their vision for home care. Big names like Marc Andreessen ($ 15 million), Jeremy Stoppleman of Yelp, PayPal alumnus and Slide founder Max Levchin (combined $ 5 million), and Thrive Capital (lead investor in a Series B round of $ 42 million Winning dollars) is an exciting move for the company that also gives a great deal of legitimacy to Honor’s efforts. Sternberg said of Thrive Capital’s stake, which also funded health insurance startup Oscar, “We’re bringing people more health-focused, which is our goal as we grow.”

Honor’s bright corporate office in the Mission District of San Francisco is a hub of activity.

Honor stands behind this and invests in their caregivers known as Care Pros. Relying on the national average nurse wage of $ 9.70 an hour, Honor aims to pay nurses at least 10 percent more than the regional average – currently $ 16 an hour in the San Francisco area. When Honor started, Care Pros were contract workers, well paid but not involved in the company. In January, Honor made every Care Pro a W2 employee, offering training, paid sick leave, and employee compensation. CarePros are also eligible for stock options. Regarding the decision, Sternberg says: “As an entrepreneur you try to get started very quickly, but you don’t always know the right answer. We wanted to train our nurses, but we learned that we cannot train contractors in honors processes. So we made them W2 employees and can now train them and advance their careers. “

As part of the nurse education process, Honor has partnered with the National Parkinson Foundation and the American Cancer Society to provide additional training and certification to interested nurses in caring for patients with cancer or Parkinson’s disease. These certifications ensure that Care Pros are uniquely qualified to meet the challenges the job poses. Additionally, condition-based nursing skills enable Honor to better match qualified nurses with clients who need specific assistance.

Honor strives to match care professionals with families who share the same personalities and interests, and also offers specialized training for difficult-to-manage conditions. To this end, Honor created a software platform that sorts nurses by subject area, daily preference, and even pet allergies, in order to match nurses and patients as perfectly as possible. “You need to make sure that you are doing your job of tailoring caregivers to a client’s needs. When you’re dealing with hundreds of nurses, a human can’t do it efficiently, but a computer can. This platform saves us money, so it saves our customers money and enables us to pay our care pros better, ”says Sternberg.

Seth SternbergSeth Sternberg – Pictures: Eric Millette

The Care Pro app, an outgrowth of this platform, enables Care Pros to manage their schedules by seeing which clients they match up with, clocking appointments in and out, keeping track of notes for the day (including the client’s family input via the Honor family app). Caregivers who may be continuing care can access the information, and their client’s family can view updates and share with relatives through an email facility monitored by Honor’s care managers. Honor is testing a feature of the app that enables simple wellness checks by Care Pros, including questions about sleeping, eating and bathroom patterns, so family members can see how their loved one is doing.

The Honor Family App is available to everyone who uses Honor’s services. Using the app, family members can schedule a visit, see who their caregiver is, pay their bill, rate a Care Pro, or connect directly with a living person.

To tell the story of honor is to tell the story of failure. Honor set out to shape home care differently – to shake up an industry – and for the most part, they succeeded. However, at the center of the story are still real people caring for patients in need of a human connection. Amidst all the discussions about Honor’s high-tech approach and concerns that their highly paid (and esteemed) care pros are unsustainable in the current marketplace, it is noticeable that Honor values ​​their customers and tries to connect. And that is what home care is always about.

The story of a family

Carol lives in Orange County and takes care of her mother-in-law, Marguerite, who is 98 years old and has dementia and short-term memory loss. You have been an Honor customer since December 2015.

Carol realized that Marguerite needed more help than she could give after Marguerite started calling the police night after night, believing there were intruders in her home. The police told Carol that Marguerite needed a nurse.

iOS family rating

Carol chose Honor after searching the internet for home care in the Glendale, California zip code. She entered her information into a search program and several companies reached out to her.

“I chose Honor after talking to Joy Maldonado. People have been so helpful and reassuring in finding the right caregiver, ”says Carol of the experience. “I really wanted something quick, but I wanted to make the right decision – because that was someone who took care of my mother.”

Carol said she chose Honor because she connected with the people there and never felt pressured to buy a product. “I just felt like Joy really cared when I spoke to her,” she says.

It was not easy to get a caregiver into Marguerite’s house. Dementia made her confused and combative at first; However, Carol says, “Grace is as cute as she can be. Mom went from ‘I don’t want her here, let it stop’ to ‘I love the people who come.’ “The turn in attitude can be attributed to Grace’s patience and understanding of Marguerite’s condition, she explains.

In addition to the health and wellness notes on the Family app, Grace leaves notes for Carol that include the songs Marguerite sings, a special touch that Carol cherishes. Carol doesn’t use the family app much other than reviewing the notes and rating the care professionals who look after Marguerite every day. Carol prefers to communicate with Honor’s home office, which is always an option for families.

For Carol, the best thing about Honor is that she can trust them with the safety and health of their mother-in-law. She knows that Marguerite is getting the best possible care. She says, “Before Honor, Mom was a mess. Now her fear has gone from sky high to calm. She sleeps through the night instead of walking up and down at home. “

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