Small and Medium Businesses in Virginia Cited Among Best Healthcare Workplaces Nationally

by James C. Sherlock

There are a lot of problems in Virginia healthcare starting with staff shortages, especially nurses, and our COPN incumbent protection system.

So, it is not an easy thing to compete and grow in the healthcare space.

But two Virginia companies are doing so and succeeding in ways such businesses must, by being great places to work and by avoiding the COPN grinder.

In 2022, no Virginia organization earned a place in Fortune’s 30 Best Large Workplaces in Health Care.  

But we did have two companies in its best small and medium healthcare companies list:

One key to success: neither competes directly with a core business of a COPN-protected monopoly.

American Retirement Homes/Americare Plus offers assisted living facilities and home health care.

The corporation has chosen a business model that can work in a COPN environment.

  • In American Retirement Homes‘ assisted living business space in six locations in Virginia, it does not compete with the big healthcare monopolies. It does not offer nursing homes.
  • In Americare Plus’ home health market, the industry is very competitive. Americare Plus has expanded to ten locations in Virginia.

Americare Plus

The company does well as measured by its growth and employee satisfaction measures.

Pediatric Therapy Studio is a compelling business in Tyson’s Corner. It’s employees are:

  • Board-Certified Behavior Analysts;
  • Speech-Language Pathologists;
  • Occupational Therapists; and
  • Registered Behavior Technicians.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy programs are very challenging. The

goal is to increase behaviors that are helpful and decrease behaviors that are harmful or affect learning. ABA therapy programs can help: Increase language and communication skills; Improve attention, focus, social skills, memory, and academics.

ABA therapy, a science, is centered on play by the children at Pediatric Therapy Studio.

Speech therapy is another serious science, individualized by necessity. Pediatric Therapy Studio offers it both in-person and by teletherapy.

Pediatric occupational therapy teaches children to handle the activities of daily living.

Those challenges may be due to developmental delay, sensory processing difficulties, ADD/HD, autism spectrum disorders, chromosomal differences, injury, trauma, and many others.

Importantly in Northern Virginia, the staff speak Arabic, Farsi, French, Urdu and Spanish in addition to English.

As for the COPN incumbent in Northern Virginia:

  • Inova Children’s Hospital, co-located with Inova Fairfax Hospital, features trauma and surgical rehabilitation.
  • Inova Loudoun in Leesburg offers outpatient services similar to those offered at Pediatric Therapy Studio.

If you have ever tried to drive from Tysons to Leesburg in the past decade, you will understand that Pediatric Therapy Studio and Inova Loudoun are, as a practical matter, not outpatient competitors.

Bottom line. In both of these businesses, management is doing a lot of things right. Employees who like their jobs and employer are more likely to do their jobs well.

Both have threaded needles in selecting healthcare markets in which they need not compete directly against the core businesses of COPN-protected incumbents and thus have avoided the COPN process.

And they are doing it well.

We can hope their stories encourage others.