We had the good fortune of interviewing Cameron Parsons, the CEO of Parsons Group, Inc., a senior living operator and an August Health customer. Parsons Group, Inc. was founded by Cameron’s parents, Robert and Alyce Parsons, and operates 4 communities in Texas that provide care to hundreds of residents. Next year, Parsons will celebrate its 40th anniversary as family-owned senior living operator — an unprecedented milestone in the senior living industry. Prior to becoming CEO, Cameron spent several years as an Executive Director for a Parsons community, gaining valuable hands-on experience and insight. We spoke with Cameron about how Parsons addressed its staffing challenges, his point of view on care revenue gaps, and the unique issues Texas senior living operators face.
What are the biggest priorities for Parsons Group, Inc. these days?
We’ve come out of the impacts from the pandemic. We've seen staffing — which was the major issue that we faced over the past two, three years — stabilize. Just about every team is a hundred percent staffed.
Now we’re focusing on occupancy, and just keeping occupancy at a stabilized 85-87%.
What’s enabled you to stabilize on the staffing side?
Monica Reveles is in charge of our team and culture for our company, and she works hand in hand with our Executive Directors on addressing any staffing issues.
In different cases it might mean increasing pay rate by a dollar or it might mean offering other kinds of benefits — is it a different PTO package or 401K package? Monica is constantly evaluating what's best for each community and each community varies.
We're able to be flexible and adaptable, depending upon the unique needs of each community. We also re-evaluate frequently, we don’t just set a policy or a pay rate going into the year, but instead we regularly analyze our turnover rate and average employee tenure rate.
How does your previous experience as an Executive Director inform your perspective as CEO?
I lived onsite at a community that I operated for four years, and collectively, I've lived onsite for seven years. That was part of my parents' philosophy: if you wanted to work for the family business, you had to go work at the community level. You had to be boots on the ground to understand how this organization works.
My time started at Parsons House Preston Hollow. Being onsite and running that community made me aware that the more autonomy and authority you can delegate to line staff, the better your outcomes will be. So the more I can trust a caregiver to make decisions for a resident, the better that resident's outcomes will be.
Stepping into the role I'm in today, I try to continue with that value, which is to let Executive Directors run their communities. We set parameters such as the budget, and let them operate that community. Instead of giving Executive Directors solutions to their problems, we try to help support them in discovering the solutions themselves.
What’s your take on care revenue and care revenue gap challenges?
I don't want to discuss revenue without also discussing expenses. We've been able to capture higher revenue, which has been great. That's not to say we also haven't been paying more for goods and services.
We've pushed revenue but the care piece is still not fully being captured, which August Health can help deliver.
Revenue slippage happens, right? Like I said earlier, we want to give our caregivers autonomy but we also want to determine what services they’re providing. Right now we have that meeting once a month, but if we capture service changes two weeks earlier, can we generate more revenue based on the services we are providing?
What are some emergent issues in senior living that are specific to Texas?
Labor is the number one issue, the number two issue is actually insurance.
We've had multiple freezes in Texas in the past few years, which have led to people not insuring us for the claim that we have submitted. We are challenged this year to find property insurance. People are turning us down. The insurance carriers we've been going to for 22 years have said “Nope, we're not gonna insure you anymore. It's too expensive, we can't afford it.”
Whether it be a freeze or having properties in certain areas where insurance carriers are saying they won’t insure you because you're going to get hit by a hurricane that will flood your building, Texas operators are challenged to get the property insurance we require.
What factored into your decision to partner with August Health?
User experience certainly was a driver. Some of our team members have the abilities to utilize an iPhone or a computer, others don't. So it was important that the user interface and the product experience were fairly understandable and easy.