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In This Issue:
  1. Executive Corner
  2. Feature Article
  3. Public Policy/Advocacy News
  4. Member News
Executive CornerExeccorner

Here at our new headquarters in Washington, D.C. we have had a productive Spring as we continue to build the necessary infrastructure to provide high level benefits and services to HCAOA members. The HCAOA Board of Directors, committees, and staff collectively have been working diligently to develop and execute on opportunities to bring private duty home care to the forefront through the organization's communications capacities, ongoing advocacy efforts, and educational programs. These efforts were highlighted by a recent Congressional Fly-in where HCAOA members traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with their representatives in Congress. Members who were unable to attend in person also participated in a "virtual" lobby day by sending  527 grassroots messages to Congress to support the HCAOA members who were in Washington, D.C. to lobby on behalf of HCAOA issues. See our Advocacy Update for more information. Please see our Public Policy/Advocacy News section in this issue on how you can become more involved in HCAOA advocacy activities. 


"Home care has allowed me to be a daughter..."

- Rep. Katherine Clark speaking at the recent HCAOA Congressional Fly-In

HCAOA Staff News - LeAndrea Cunningham joins Headquarters Staff

LeAndrea Cunningham is the newest member of the HCAOA staff team, serving as the Manager, Membership and Chapter Services. Starting this past month in May, LeAndrea comes to us from the American Pharmacists Association where she served for eight years as Manager, Member Services. As a valuable member of our staff team, LeAndrea is responsible for managing membership recruitment and retention including working to develop and implement initiatives that attract new members, retain current members, and enhance member benefits. In addition, she provides support to HCAOA chapters providing regular communications and assisting HCAOA chapters in all areas of chapter administration and operations.


Highlighted in this issue of The Voice, our feature article focuses on the Home Care Pulse 2014 Benchmarking Study. HCAOA is proud to once again work with Home Care Pulse to facilitate the study to assist participating members in developing and improving operational plans, adapting new best practices, and preparing for future changes within the constantly expanding home care industry. In addition, you will also find information about HCAOA's legal challenge to the Department of Labor's Companion Exemption rule in our Public Policy/Advocacy News  section. In our Members News section you will find information on how to register for the 2014 Annual Leadership Conference that will be held in Kansas City, information on how we are working to develop the HCAOA chapter network and a preview of our forthcoming launch of the "new" website.
Featured Articlefeaturedarticle

Uncover The Full Potential of Your Home Care Business through Performance Benchmarking


By: Aaron Marcum, Founder of Home Care PulseŽ and the Annual Private Duty Benchmarking Study


As I carefully examine the data, charts, and comparisons contained in the recently released 2014 Annual Private Duty Benchmarking Study, I have been reminded of why performance benchmarking is critical to home care owners. Whether you're struggling to find new clients or to retain caregivers, this year's study validates the required focus and commitment necessary for companies to achieve ongoing, sustainable growth.


Performance Benchmarking is Key to Getting Your Life Back

Prior to starting Home Care Pulse, I owned and operated my own successful private duty home care business in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Within the first couple of years, the company experienced unusual growth and prosperity. I was amazed and thrilled by our success. However, by the third year, this rapid growth brought with it some inherent challenges, such as staffing shortages, caregiver turnover, lack of business systems, poorly executed care plans, client complaints, and the list goes on. These challenges forced me to work "IN" my business 80+ hours a week, rarely ever seeing my wife and children. During this difficult time, I became laser focused on getting my life back while ensuring my home care company was providing the best in-home care experience available.  


The Strategy Period and Performance Benchmarking

One of the first things I did was carve out two hours every day, where interruptions were not allowed. I was amazed at the amount of work I was able to accomplish in just two, uninterrupted hours. I called this time my "Strategy Period," and it was my time to work "ON" my business instead of "IN" my business. During these early Strategy Periods, I was able to identify a critical component missing from my home care business: a strong performance measurement strategy. I had a few measurements in place, but I really didn't know what was working and not working. Plus, even if I did effectively measure performance, I had nothing to compare and contrast it with as there were no industry benchmarks.


As I worked on my performance measurement strategy, my number one priority was to understand how satisfied my clients and their family members were with my company's services. This is when I started using a third-party satisfaction research firm to measure the satisfaction level of my clients. Though this firm did not specialize in private duty home care and the benchmarks and comparisons were not apples to apples, I found the client feedback invaluable.


Along with measuring client satisfaction, I also created several other measurement systems for my home care business, so I could continually improve the way we did business. Over time I saw record growth, and our clients became our number one referral source. Most importantly, I had my life back.   So much so that, in 2007 my family and I moved three and a half hours north, and my home care business continued to grow and prosper. In 2009, I sold my business so I could pursue my new passion, Home Care Pulse.


Home Care Pulse and the Private Duty Benchmarking Study

In 2008, I founded Home Care Pulse and developed the first quality satisfaction management program for private duty home care. The program captures and measures client and caregiver satisfaction, providing real data in a way that is tailored for the home care industry. Five years later, we now have nearly 700 home care providers subscribed to our monthly Quality Satisfaction Management Program, which is positively impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals receiving home care in North America.


In 2009, in partnership with the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA), we conducted our first national Private Duty Benchmarking Study.  Since then, this study has helped thousands of home care companies achieve their strategic objectives and gain a competitive edge. This latest edition is loaded with powerful benchmarks and insights designed to help you grow your business.


The Future of Performance Benchmarking for Home Care

Now, in our 6th year of business, we are preparing to take quality satisfaction management and performance benchmarking to an entirely new level.  Beginning July 1st of this year, home care providers will be able to setup their own secure, free basic account through our new VANTAGE Benchmarking Portal. This new online portal will allow providers to enter a handful of Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) each month, and in return we will provide them with 15 Key Performance Benchmarks/Industry comparisons (interactive and visual graphs and charts). These charts can be used to track ongoing progress on a monthly basis. This kind of consistent benchmarking will help providers stay focused on what is important in their business and allow them to address threats that exist, while capitalizing on business strengths and opportunities. There is nothing like it available in the industry and we are making this basic account available at no cost. We simply want to gather as much data as possible on behalf of this growing industry, and allow all providers access to this powerful benchmarking tool. 


Because we will be gathering data throughout the year, this will substantially cut down the length of future annual benchmarking surveys. We have created a monthly polling system within VANTAGE that will also serve as a method of capturing real-time data for the industry. With these exciting changes, the "2015 Private Duty Benchmarking Study" will be primarily hosted online, allowing users to interact and engage with the data. We are excited to introduce these new changes next year! 


I strongly encourage you to immerse yourself in this year's study and set up your own Strategy Period where you can dive deep into the benchmarks and data it contains. Ask yourself tough questions and be open to new ideas and ways of thinking. If you're interested in learning more about our VANTAGE program packages, including the free basic VANTAGE account available July 1st, you can contact us at, (877) 307-8573, or visit us online at  Also, if you haven't already, order your own copy of the 2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study by going to HCAOA members receive a $70 discount by entering the code HCAOA14 at checkout. 


On behalf of the Home Care Pulse team, we wish you great success in 2014 and hope that the new and improved edition of the study will provide you with many ideas on how to uncover the full potential of your home care business.


Aaron Marcum is the Founder and CEO of Home Care Pulse, the leader in research, quality satisfaction and performance benchmarking for the private duty home care industry. He is also the creator of the annual Private Duty Benchmarking Study. Before starting Home Care Pulse, Aaron owned and managed his own successful private duty home care business in Salt Lake City, Utah. Aaron has a passion for helping this industry grow and is well-known for his leadership among entrepreneurs in home care. To learn how Home Care Pulse can help you achieve your long-term growth and success, visit

Public Policy/Advocacy Newspubpolicynews
HCAOA Files Lawsuit against Department of Labor Over Companion Exemption Rule


HCAOA served as the first of three plaintiffs, along with the International Franchise Association, and the National Association For Home Care & Hospice in a filed lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for the Department's violation of Federal law relative to the Department's issuance of the Fair Labor Standards Act companion care exemption final rule. The changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act companion care exemption threaten the home care industry's ability to provide quality care to seniors and individuals with disabilities. HCAOA refuses to stand by and let misguided policies harm the nation's most vulnerable citizens along with their caregivers, which is why we believe our only option is to file suit against changes to the companion care exemption.



On January 1, 2015, the Department of Labor's (DOL) new rule eliminates a nearly 40 year minimum wage and overtime exemption for home care workers employed by home care agencies and other companies providing companionship and live-in services. 


The DOL acknowledges that most home care workers already earn above the minimum wage, but, beginning January 1, 2015, employers must also begin paying such employees overtime at one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40.


The changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act companion care exemption by the Obama Administration present real challenges for seniors and individuals with disabilities who need access to these necessary personal care services, as well as the home care workers who serve these vulnerable populations. The rule change will reduce consumer's care options, increase their costs, and limit the availability of essential caregivers. Workers will be harmed as well, relegated to part-time work even where they prefer full-time employment.


The new rule will have a deeply destabilizing impact on the entire home care industry, while creating serious care access problems for the elderly and persons with disabilities along with significant burdens on consumers of care and the programs that pay for care, such as Medicaid.


These concerns are shared by advocates for persons with disabilities and state Medicaid programs. Both the National Association of State Medicaid Directors and the National Council on Disability have called on DOL to delay the rule.


California SEIU Home Care Ballot Initiative Update

HCAOA has been on the front line in opposition to California Proposed Initiative 13-0064 backed by that the Service Employees International Union (''SEIU'') that would require home care organizations to expend at least 75 percent of their total annual home care service revenues on direct home care service costs assisting seniors and individuals with disabilities. HCAOA and other stakeholders in California received credible information that SEIU has abandoned their efforts to place the proposed 13-0064 home care initiative on the ballot for the upcoming 2014 election.


The SEIU ballot initiative is a direct assault on the home care industry, threatening a vital source of support for many of California's most vulnerable populations that allows them to continue living in their homes safely and comfortably. Passage of this initiative would put many hardworking homecare professionals out of business, placing even more stress on families in need of support. HCAOA has held that the initiative is unconstitutional, unlawful, and part of a systematic campaign by the SEIU to pressure home care employers to provide assistance to the SEIU in the unionization of their employees.  


SEIU has ceased their signature gathering efforts and have no plans to pursue this in the near future. While this is good news for now, HCAOA will continue to be proactive and vigilantly work with our California stakeholders.  We will be prepared to respond in the event SEIU pursues other avenues outside of the ballot initiative (including any legislative efforts) to achieve their political goals to drive home care organizations out of business. 


Griswold is Sued by Franchisees as Efforts on Worker Misclassification Heat Up

On Tuesday, June 3, 2014, several franchisees launched a lawsuit against Griswold International LLC. The suit claimed the company bilked them out of more than $3 million in franchise startup fees by promising a unique independent contractor model for home caregivers that was reportedly illegal in many states. It was reported that Griswold promoted its business model as being free of employment taxes and other tax withholdings because it used a unique and time-tested independent contractor model, but in reality, the suit claims the company knew the Internal Revenue Service and state tax authorities were cracking down on the practice.


The suit comes at a time when HCAOA is championing stronger worker misclassification statutes at the federal and state level. Recently, HCAOA endorsed two federal bills that would strengthen the hand of the U.S. Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service as it addresses misclassification of workers as independent contractors. These bills include the Payroll Fraud Prevention Act of 2013 (S.1687), introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), and the Fair Playing Field Act of 2013 (S.1706), introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).


HCAOA Advocacy Opportunities - Sign Up Today  

The HCAOA invites you to play an active role in the political process and support HCAOA advocacy goals. Our newly established Key Contact program and current Grassroots Communications Network are crucial components of advocacy efforts designed to highlight the home care industry legislative agenda. With support from our lobbying firm, The Federal Group, Key Contacts are asked to set up meetings with their members of Congress. These meetings can take the form of a meeting in the official's home district or state office to discuss legislative issues that impact the home care industry. This can be the first step in forming a lasting relationship with your legislative representatives. The HCAOA Grassroots Network is a simple but effective way to communicate with legislators. As a member of the network you will receive timely grassroots alert messages requesting you to respond to your legislator on important legislative issues.


If you are interested in signing up for the Grassroots Network to receive advocacy alerts please go to our Advocacy Action Network for more information. If you are interested in signing up for HCAOA's Key Contact Program, helping to educate members of Congress on the value of in-home personal care services, please go to the Key Contact Registration page for more information. 

Member NewsMembernews
Leadership Conference Registration - Now Available for both Attendees & Vendors!



This year, with ever evolving regulations on the horizon, home care providers are facing what is culminating into a "Perfect Storm," a time of dramatic change for providers across the country.  Accordingly, providers need to adapt to changes and develop strategies to remain competitive in this new era. The HCAOA conference will dive deeper into critical issues such as the Affordable Care Act and the Companion Care exemption as we help you steer through any rough seas that may lie ahead and ensure smooth sailing for years to come. 


Please click HERE  to view the Conference Brochure.  


Register today! 



HCAOA members represent millions of dollars in purchasing power each year.  The HCAOA's membership is made up of over 2,500 business owners representing communities across the country.  If you are a company that serves the home care market, you don't want to miss this opportunity to interact directly with company decision makers at an event that is guaranteed to attract top leaders from across the industry. 


Please click HERE to learn more about exhibit and sponsorship opportunities.  


New Website Rollout Coming Soon         

The HCAOA is excited to announce the upcoming launch of our "new" website, Working with our team at Hamilton Place Strategies, we conducted an in-depth digital audit of all existing HCAOA digital and social media properties, which resulted in a recommendation for a refreshed website design. The new site will be rolled out in the next few weeks, and will include a modernized look and feel, as well as an improved user experience for our current and potential members.


HCAOA Committed to Develop HCAOA Chapter Network

The HCAOA leadership has made a commitment to developing the HCAOA chapter network. In this effort, we have hired a new Manager, Membership and Chapter Services, LeAndrea Cunningham (see related story), who will serve as our primary staff liaison to chapter leaders.  HCAOA recognizes that our chapters are on the front lines of our industry, interact with and provide support to our member companies at the state level, and engage in successful legislative advocacy for the industry. We have a number of resources that we are planning to make available in the near future to assist chapters, including an updated Chapter tool kit that serves as a resource using "how to" guides, templates, and other materials necessary to support chapter operations.  Further, we are also working on developing individual websites for all of the HCAOA chapters and plan to provide chapters with administrator access to chapter membership data in order to streamline the chapter roster reporting process. In addition, we will be working with chapters on special joint membership campaigns to recruit members to join the Chapter as well as HCAOA.

Featured Premium Associates

Welcome to the Newest Members of HCAOA


Caring Companions at Home of Tyler

Home Instead Senior Care-Castle Rock
BrightStar of Mid-Missouri
Amada Senior Care
Heritage Home Healthcare & HospiceChanges Home Care
Care Plan Plus Inc.Regents Healthcare Inc.
Advocate Wellness, LLCStrategic Healthcare Staffing
Cambrian Homecare
Cascade Companion Care
Cerenity Health Inc.
Right at Home-Northern Lake County
Care on Call
Norwood Seniors Network
Competent Caregivers
McGrath's Home Care Services, LLC
Alliance Nursing Staffing of New York, Inc.


Home Care Association of America
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