The Times West Virginian

March 17, 2013

Reliable Healthcare Solutions ‘extension of the family’

By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — With the addition of home health services, Reliable Healthcare Solutions LLC is taking its patient care to the next level.

Owners Brian Schnopp and Joe Lombardi spent 2009 building their company. While they officially founded the business in July of 2009, they got their first customer at the beginning of 2010 and really started operating at that time, Schnopp said.

Reliable Healthcare Solutions is located in Morgantown in the Mountaineer Mall, off Green Bag Road, and has expanded its office space there over the past three years, he said. The company’s services extend throughout the region, including Marion County.

Lombardi and Schnopp, who have known each other for many years and both have backgrounds in the health-care industry, went through similar experiences with home health care when their family members were sick. They wondered what other individuals did when they had to work while their loved ones were ill, which led them to create the company, Lombardi said.

“Our goal is to help more people in more ways,” Schnopp said.

Lombardi said they want to improve the health of local West Virginians, and to provide assistance when persons need it and their family can’t be there. When someone has to stay home due to their illness or aging lifestyle, Reliable Healthcare Solutions helps that individual and allows their family members to go to work.

On the private-duty home-care side, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) or medical assistants with the company go into the home and help with tasks such as meal preparation, small housekeeping, bathing, getting dressed, running errands, medical reminders and transportation to doctors appointments. This care is typically a private-pay scenario.

This private-duty, non-medical assistance is now just an arm of what Reliable Healthcare Solutions does.

Last spring, the Monongalia County Health Department’s decision to sell its Home Health Division was made public. This was Reliable Healthcare Solutions’ opportunity to go into full home health with skilled services, and the company was the highest bidder on May 16, 2012, on the steps of the Monongalia County Courthouse. Schnopp and Lombardi officially took over the first of July.

“It’s a part of the business that we had actually wanted to do from day one,” Schnopp said.

In the beginning, the business partners were planning to develop a full-service home health business. However, they needed a Certificate of Need, which the state Health Care Authority issues on a county-by-county basis, in order to provide home health with skilled services, such as nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

At that time, they decided to instead launch their company on the private duty side, focusing on North Central West Virginia.

When Lombardi and Schnopp had the opportunity to purchase a home health business, they jumped at the chance. Their certificate for skilled home health covers Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor and Wetzel counties.

Schnopp said Reliable Healthcare Solutions also provides social work-type assistance. Doctors typically order these home health services for patients, and insurance and Medicare cover the costs for qualifying individuals.

Through this expansion, the company is building more relationships with long-term care facilities, nursing homes and hospitals, he said. Those entities knew what Reliable Healthcare Solutions could do as a private provider, and now they’re seeing what it can do as a home health provider.

“It’s given us a platform to where we can help more people in more ways, and so many people need assistance in different ways,” Lombardi said.

When a physician informs a patient that he or she needs these types of services, it’s a relief for the family to know that they can have a nurse come into the home if approved by insurance.

The home health services allow the company to really help the elderly or individuals who have had accidents and are homebound, Lombardi said.

“We want to be an extension of the family,” he said.

Reliable Healthcare Solutions started with just the two owners and one scheduler who was also a CNA, but now has more than 100 employees, Schnopp said. The workers live throughout North Central West Virginia, and several reside in Fairmont.

Every employee goes through a in-depth training and is experienced, he said. Many of the longtime nurses came from the Monongalia County Health Department’s Home Health Division.

“We have not stopped growing since we began three years ago,” Schnopp said.

He said Reliable Healthcare Solutions is proud of how many quality people it employs and how many clients it is able to help in the community. Dealing with the care of a family member can be one of the most stressful times for people, but they feel better knowing their loved one is in good hands.

“It’s such a wonderful thing to know that you’re helping so many West Virginia families, but also West Virginia families that need medical assistance,” Lombardi said. “We work so hard to fix what needs corrected and to provide the services that families rely on us ... to deliver. It’s a wonderful industry in that you’re helping people. I’m very proud of what we have become and where we’re going.”

Kim Boyce, a registered nurse with Reliable Healthcare Solutions and a Marion County resident, said the private-duty and home health sides of the business complement each other. She’s been doing home care in Marion County for 20 years.

The staff of Reliable Healthcare Solutions can provide care for patients for different amounts of time, from a few hours to daily, either in their homes or in the facilities where they reside. Everyone involved with the company works well together and puts the patients first, she said.

“We are a local company with local people taking care of our community,” Boyce said.

For more information, call Reliable Healthcare Solutions LLC at 304-212-4342 or visit reliablehealthcaresolutions.com.

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.