Advisory Board Profile: Brandy Shifteh

The Private Duty Home Care Advisory Board is made of some of the most experienced and talented leaders in the private duty community. Each of our Advisory board members is committed to the mission and vision of the organization and ensuring our members are well represented and receive the tools, support, and resources you need to provide the highest quality and caliber care and services to your clients and families. 

In our reoccurring Advisory Board Profile series we invite you to get to know our advisory board members better through a short Q&A interview, and learn more about why they choose to dedicate their professional lives to the private duty home care community. 

This week, we have the pleasure of sharing a little more with you about Brandy Shifteh, Regulations Compliance Manager for MatrixCare and HEALTHCAREfirst.

Brandy, Tell me about how you would describe what you do to someone you just met.  

I am the Regulations Compliance Manager for MatrixCare and HEALTHCAREfirst, two leading healthcare SaaS companies owned by ResMed. We provide a variety of EMR software and analytics for the out of hospital/post-acute care space, inclusive of skilled nursing, continuing care retirement communities and assisted living communities, home health, hospice and private duty homecare. We also provide services such as survey, billing, diagnoses coding and assessment reviews. 

I am a member of the product management team, and responsible for monitoring and analyzing regulations that impact home health care, hospice, and private duty homecare to help ensure that our software and services support existing and new CMS regulatory requirements. I also do clinical analytics work for MatrixCare and am very involved in the ongoing development and enhancements of our clinical analytics that support scrubbing of Home Health OASIS assessment data, case mix/HIPPS scoring, clinical assessment and care plan reviews and coding.

Tell me about how you ended up working in private duty home care. How did your professional journey bring you to where you are today?

I’m a Registered Nurse and formerly practiced clinically in critical care and the home health care setting. I fell in love with home and community-based services, as it is very humbling to be invited into the homes of your clients and see first-hand the struggles many individuals face, particularly seniors with multiple chronic conditions whose needs extend far beyond medical and disease management. Providing care in the home affords you the ability to do meaningful work every day by helping your clients not only manage their medical conditions, but also navigate daily activities and life at home where they want to be.

I spent the last 25 years of my career in operations leadership, managing home health, hospice and private duty home care operations nationally, then transitioned into home and community-based services consulting, and finally came to MatrixCare, where I work in clinical analytics and regulatory compliance, which I find incredibly rewarding. I’ve walked in our clients’ shoes and now I am part of a team that innovates and finds solutions to help healthcare providers — and that is deeply personal to me.

Why choose private duty home care? Why not something else, or some other part of home care?

While my work encompasses home health, hospice and private duty home care, the private duty and personal care services industry has special meaning to me and my family, as we have utilized personal caregiving services for two grandparents at end-of-life, as well as for my father-in-law, who suffered from a very aggressive form of Alzheimer’s disease.  The aides who provided care became like family to us and we will be forever grateful for the love, support and compassion they gave every day. Without that care and service, we would not have been able to keep our loved ones at home.

These powerful experiences influenced my decision to focus on home and community-based services in my professional life, in hopes that I could provide that compassionate support for other clients and their families.

What do you find to be the most rewarding about your job?

During my time as a home health nurse, I struggled with finding balance between work and my personal life/family, as the regulatory and supporting documentation requirements can be incredibly burdensome. I eventually left the field and clinical practice and went into operations leadership. All through those years I languished over trying to identify better tools and supports for our field staff to ease those burdens so they could spend more time with their clients and find balance between work and home life. It is such a struggle, and turnover in the field can feel immense.

I am very grateful that something led me to my current work in regulatory compliance and clinical analytics at MatrixCare. Supporting our organization’s mission is incredibly rewarding and personal to me. We are always looking for new ways to innovate and develop analytics and software solutions that are integrated and intuitive, so that clinicians and caregivers can spend more time caregiving and less time documenting.  

Conversely, what do you find to be most challenging?

The regulatory environment is always quite dynamic; however, this past year has been especially intense with both the current COVID-19 public health emergency and the presidential election. The pace of regulatory waivers and interim legislative rulemaking has been constant, rapid and continually evolving. Additionally, as we have come into calendar year-end, we see CMS pushing through rulemaking at a very rapid rate.

Given the complexity of the regulatory landscape, I am proud to be part of a company like MatrixCare that is proactive in navigating and addressing the frequent changes to ease the burden of these challenges for caregivers — who already have plenty to think about!

What Is your favorite memory working in Private duty home care? Why?

Many years ago, when I was managing operations, the husband of one of our clients who had recently passed away came into the office because he personally wanted to tell leadership what their aide had meant to his wife and himself. We cried together as he reminisced about so many specific instances that meant so much to him and his wife. In the midst of this very humbling and touching moment, who walks into the office — their aide! It was such a beautiful moment, and I was so grateful to be included and witness it. 

What is the one thing that keeps you up at night professionally?

Concerns about the most vulnerable seniors, residents, and patients among us having the means and access to the care and services that they need to help them stay successfully at home, which is where they want to be. This has been a strong area of focus for me throughout my career, as I’ve worked hard to advocate for other patients just as I advocated for the care of my own family members. 

What made you first get involved with private duty home care at NAHC?

My interest goes way back to the time I first attended a NAHC annual conference. The educational offerings and networking opportunities were — and continue to be — phenomenal! It became evident immediately that the benefits of membership would be immense. 

What would you say to someone considering becoming a Private Duty Home Care at NAHC member?

I would say it is the right choice. NAHC is an industry leader in advocacy, with significant contacts and visibility in Washington. NAHC empowers Private Duty Homecare, and provides a vast platform of resources, inclusive of education, networking, innovation, certification, and accreditation opportunities. With the organization’s support, you can feel confident you are making the best impact on both the patients you serve and the industry at large. 

What would you say to someone who was considering a career in private duty home care?

This is an incredibly needed and valuable industry, with roles that have the potential to become so much more than a career, as private duty home care touches the lives of others in very personal and rewarding ways. I would like to personally thank all the healthcare providers on the front lines doing an incredibly important and brave job during this pandemic. You sacrifice every day and are true heroes!

On behalf of everyone at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, we thank Brandy for her detailed and candid responses. We are honored to have her as a distinguished member of the PD Advisory Board and thank her for her dedication, commitment, and passion to the Private Duty home care community.