In This Issue:


 

We began 2015 with momentum from a successful annual leadership conference last fall, followed by the decision from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacating the U.S. Department of Labor's regulations that would have removed the existing companion care exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). While we are excited about the court victory, we recognize that we are not out of the woods yet as the U.S. Department of Labor has deemed this issue a top priority and successfully petitioned the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals for an expedited appeals schedule. Per the Court's briefing schedule, the Department submitted its Appellants' Brief  in accordance with the February 20, 2015 deadline. Subsequently, our litigation team submitted our Appellees' Brief on March 30, 2015. The Court has formally scheduled a hearing for oral arguments on May 7, 2015. The Court's three judge panel hearing the case will be announced thirty days prior to the date of the oral arguments - likely April 7. As a reminder, HCAOA has made resources available exclusively to members providing guidance on the state of the companion exemption rule as a result of the current order. See link here "The Impact of Recent Court Decisions Construing the Labor Department's Revised Companionship Services Exemption".


 

want to personally thank all those members who have contributed funds to the HCAOA General Fund to support the litigation and other HCAOA activities. Your support will help us counter the unlimited resources the federal government plans to allocate to the Department's litigation efforts. If you have not yet made a contribution, please click HERE to make your contribution today!


 

HCAOA is proud to once again work with Home Care Pulse to facilitate the 2015 Private Duty Benchmarking Study. This study captures a vital snapshot of the industry as a whole, including client demographics, employee details, training information and data on peer organizations. Study results and data assist HCAOA members in developing and improving operational plans, adapting new best practices and preparing for future changes within the constantly expanding home care industry. Moreover, the study has specifically measured revenue and growth comparisons of HCAOA members vs. non-members participating in the study. Reviewing historical data of past studies has shown that HCAOA members have consistently higher median revenues compared to their non-member counterparts participating in the study. 
 

In This Issue

 

Highlighting this issue of The Voice is our featured article on the HCAOA Strategic plan and our plans for implementation, along with our Public Policy/Advocacy News section recapping key issues we are covering on the federal and state level. In our Members News section, we feature a preview of our upcoming 2015 Annual Leadership Conference that will be held in our nation's capital, Washington, DC, September 27-30, 2015. Please save the date and plan to attend!

Featured
Featured Article

Charting Our Course

As we anticipate the next phase of the Department of Labor Companion Exemption litigation and reflect on our success in recent months, we are not resting idly by any stretch of the imagination. HCAOA continues to move forward to advance the home care industry and bring private duty home care to the forefront through the organization's communications capacities, ongoing advocacy efforts, and educational programs. After months of work thanks to your input, the HCAOA Board recently approved a three-year strategic plan focusing on key areas including raising the level of standards for HCAOA members, developing a public awareness campaign to educate the public, in particular seniors, persons with disabilities, and those who may assist in arrangements for their care, to become increasingly aware of the advantages of using HCAOA member home care providers. Furthermore, the plan reinforces HCAOA pro-active advocacy plan with a specific effort to utilize data to drive best practices that will enhance and strengthen the professionalism of home care providers.

 

Members Provide Valuable Input towards Strategic Planning Process

HCAOA members participated in Peer to Peer Roundtable discussions to further refine information gathered from a HCAOA Membership survey that served as the foundation of the plan.  The membership survey was structured so that HCAOA staff and leadership would better understand the needs of our members and to provide more relevant and timely member benefits. Subsequently, input from the Peer to Peer Discussions was refined and included in HCAOA's strategic planning documents considered by the HCAOA Board of Directors. With the Board's approval of the plan, your HCAOA staff is now developing specific action steps to implement the plan's objectives. In addition, the Board approved and appointed a Strategy Committee to initiate an action plan to execute the Public Awareness objective as referenced in the plan.

 

 

 

 

 

THE PLAN

 

The plan is broken down in two primary areas of priority

  • STRATEGIC PILLARS or our Externally-facing priorities focusing on Public Awareness, Advocacy, Research and Certification
  • ORGANIZATIONAL IMPERATIVES or our Internally-facing priorities focusing on Membership, Chapters and Education & Training.

STRATEGIC PILLARS

 

ADVOCACY  

Objective: Educate and strengthen influence with Congress, states and other stakeholders

 

HCAOA will educate policy makers to help them have a greater understanding of the value of home care, and HCAOA will strengthen its influence with Congress, state legislatures, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders. 

 

AWARENESS

Objective: Develop tactics to increase industry awareness with key stakeholders

 

HCAOA  will strengthen the home care industry through awareness efforts both toward internal stakeholders, such as other home care companies and external stakeholders, such as consumers, family members of consumers, prospective employees for companies, policy makers, referral providers, etc. 

 

RESEARCH

Objective: Select and report outcome measures

 

HCAOA will strive to develop and employ data-driven, evidence-based practices to promote quality improvement in the home care industry and promote to targeted stakeholders including the home care industry, the public, legislators and other stakeholders. 

 

CERTIFICATION

Objective: Establish and implement certification mark program

 

HCAOA will develop and integrate a certification mark program as a way of differentiating and distinguishing HCAOA members as quality home care providers, work to align and endorse standards for the collective benefit of the industry and formalize process for developing, reviewing and updating HCAOA certification standards.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL IMPERATIVES 

 

MEMBERSHIP

Objective: Increase membership, member satisfaction, and member engagement

 

HCAOA will maximize value to members by providing outstanding service, products and benefits, work to develop membership engagement plan to recruit members to serve in HCAOA leadership positions and identify and meet member needs within specific membership categories.

 

EDUCATION AND TRAINING LEADERSHIP

Objective: Providing the most relevant training and education for the home care industry

 

HCAOA will strive to establish the Annual Leadership Conference as the premier home care industry meeting, expand the HCAOA Webinar Program and develop and implement new modes of education tailored to member needs including caregiver education.

 

CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT

Objective: HCAOA will be a proactive, influential partner in its relationships with state chapters

 

HCAOA will work to maintain and support the establishment of state chapters in all states and will educate and disseminate "best practice" information to state chapters. 

 

The Association's strategic plan sets the course for the organization and ultimately helps to shape the future of the industry. The goal is to picture what the industry can become, and how the strategic goals and activities of the HCAOA will impact on shaping the future of the industry. While the Association's mission, vision and guiding principles define who we are and what we strive to be, the strategic goals and actions define what must be accomplished to realize our vision.

 

New 2015 Dues Structure

 

In an effort to appropriate the required resources to fund the goals and objectives outlined in the HCAOA strategic plan, the HCAOA Board of Directors approved a dues structure change that sets annual dues at $845. The change reflects the elimination of state chapter dues consolidated into one dues payment. The adjustment reflects a needed reform in the dues structure that has remained unchanged for a number of years and brings the dues in line with comparable trade association fees. Further, because the HCAOA requires both national and state chapter membership in those states with chapters, the combined dues structure eliminates the escalation of chapter dues which had become a deterrent to HCAOA membership. The policy lowers the overall dues burden in those state chapters that experienced excessively high dues. All chapters will now be funded through a formula calculating a designated assessment multiplied by the number of members joining/renewing in that respective chapter/state. While we recognize that for some members this adjustment represents an additional cost that must be absorbed, we balance that with the need to invest in initiatives that advance the industry and add value to members as outlined in the strategic plan and to continue to provide valuable services under current association operations.  We welcome your feedback and encourage your participation as we continue to serve as the premier organization representing the home care industry. Thanks for your membership!  

 

Senator Pat Roberts Rallies Members of Congress to Support Companion Care Case at Court of Appeals

 

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) is working to file an amicus brief on behalf of Members of Congress to support our case against the U.S. Department of Labor in relation to the companion care exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  HCAOA and other organizations are working to secure support from Congress on this effort.  

 

The deadline for signing on to the amicus brief is Monday, April 6, 2015.  If you have not already, please click

HERE

to go to the alert HCAOA has prepared for you to send to your Senators. 

 

Georgia Senate Approves Worker Misclassification Legislation

 

The HCAOA Georgia Chapter has seen another success on the issue of worker misclassification. On March 26th the Georgia State Senate passed HB183, The Home Care Patient Protection Act with only a few no votes. This came after having to beat down two amendments that would have been problematic. The bill still has to be signed by Governor Nathan Deal to become law. The Georgia Chapter is cautiously optimistic.The bill prohibits independent contractor agencies from being licensed under home care licensure. This bill represents a landmark victory and could be a model for other states.

 

Congress Waiting on Supreme Court Before Further Addressing Obamacare

 

On March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell, which is challenging the provision of the Affordable Care Act that provides for federal subsidies for individuals in state and federal exchanges to purchase private health insurance plans.

 

The challengers' argument focuses on a six-word phase tucked in section 36(B) of the law. That section authorizes health insurance subsidies for low- and middle-income residents enrolled in "an Exchange established by the State." Challengers say that an Internal Revenue Service rule improperly interpreted the statute to allow subsidies on federal exchanges.

 

The justices will look at the case through a legal framework, which weighs the plain language of the statute with the intentions of the law. If Congress' intention is clear, then the justices can rule on what it says. If it is ambiguous, then the justices traditionally defer to the interpretation of the IRS rule.

 

Until the Court rules on this case it is unlikely Congress will pursue other changes to the health care law or pursue action on H.R. 30, legislation that would change the definition of full time employee from a 30-hour standard to a 40-hour standard. H.R. 30 has passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.  HCAOA has strongly supported passage of this bill.

 

Ohio Moves to Reform Home Care Payment Policy

 

In a move to improve programmatic oversight, decrease fraud and abuse, and improve health outcomes for individuals receiving home care services, the state of Ohio Medicaid program plans to eliminate the "independent service provider" option. The policy change is included in Ohio Governor John Kasich's  Executive Budget. As a result, the Ohio Medicaid program will not take any new independent service providers after July 1, 2016 and by July 1, 2019 will only accept claims submitted through home care companies.  For more information click HERE.

HCAOA Comments on Department of Veterans Affairs Proposed Regulation

 

The HCAOA sent a comments letter  in response to a proposed rule issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs entitled "Net Worth, Asset Transfers, and Income Exclusions for Needs-Based Benefits."  The proposed rule is intended to preserve program integrity due to concerns that claimants who are not actually in need may qualify for needs-based benefits.

HCAOA raised concerns with a proposed change that would place a limit on the hourly payment rate that VA may deduct for in-home attendants. While HCAOA supports the Department's efforts to ensure high quality home care services are delivered to our nation's veterans, we expressed concern over the setting of a proposed arbitrary hourly rate for all home care providers that fails to take into consideration current and future changes in staffing and other costs  as a prerequisite to providing high quality personal care services.  


 

Furthermore, we expressed concern that the proposal fails to take into consideration geographic rate variations for these services as well as wage and hour laws that vary by state.  We urged the VA to provide a geographic adjustment to any possible rate and also consider indexing this rate to the Consumer Price Index so that over time, as costs change, the corresponding hourly rate will change as well to appropriately address veteran's needs.

HCAOA also raised concerns with a section in the proposed regulations that states that an "in-home attendant must be a health care provider for the expense to qualify as a medical expense and that only payments for assistance with ADLs or health care services are medical expenses." We urged the VA to revisit this section as the majority of home care/personal care/custodial care services are provided by individuals who are not licensed health care providers.


 

Finally, HCAOA urged the VA to consider adding language to the final rule that would ensure greater protection for veterans to ensure they are not open to potential liability through a registry model of home care.  We urged the VA to require that all home care providers subscribe to the employer model so that all caregivers are provider company employees. HCAOA noted that requiring the home care provider to employ their workforce rather than utilizing independent contractors will eliminate the burden of potential liability from the minds of our nation's veterans.

Save the Date for the 2015 Annual Leadership Conference!

With the nation's capital serving as the as the setting of our annual conference, the HCAOA is encouraging our members to unite and stand together, with the theme HOME CARE: UNITED WE STAND. Join us at the 2015 Annual Leadership Conference on September 27-30 in Washington, DC at the historic Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  Our conference provides sessions that appeal to the seasoned home care business professional as well as those new to the industry.  Expert speakers will present topics on Advocacy, Business Operations, Care Development Programs and innovative Sales/Marketing concepts.  Please stay tuned in the coming weeks for information regarding registration, housing and much more!


Don't Miss These Upcoming Webinars! 

 

Please click on the links below to learn more about these upcoming webinars and register today! 

 

Thursday, April 16

Presented by Home Care Pulse

 

Tuesday, April 28

Presented by Symmetry Consulting

 

Tuesday, May 6

 Presented by corecubed

 

Wednesday, May 27

Presented by Kenyon Home Care Consulting

 

Did you miss a recent webinar?  Click 
HEREto purchase previously recorded webinars in the HCAOA Online Store.

 

HCAOA Establishes State Legislative Tracking System

 

In an effort to help HCAOA members and chapters keep up with the dizzying number of bills introduced in state legislatures across the nation, HCAOA recently secured a state legislative tracking system that will be updated weekly.  Please check 

HERE to view the new tracking system on HCAOA's website.

 

Please contact the HCAOA headquarters office at info@hcaoa.org if you identify a bill in your state legislature that is not included in the tracking system.  With the large number of bills introduced weekly it is possible for us to miss something, so we ask for your assistance to keep this tracking system as accurate as possible.

 

Leaders Wanted to Develop Non Chapter States

 

If you are in a state without a current HCAOA chapter and are interested in starting a chapter, we want to hear from you. Please contact us and we can provide more detailed information on the process of forming a chapter and how you can take a leadership role!

 

If you are  interested in any of the HCAOA chapter related activities above, please contact LeAndrea Cunningham, HCAOA Manager, Membership and Chapter Services at leandrea@hcaoa.org.

 






 



 
Members 
1st Choice Home Care, Inc.
ActiveCare Home Care
Adaptive Nursing & Healthcare Services, Inc.
Always Best Care Chicago SW Suburbs
Angels 2 You
At Home Nursing
BrightStar Care -  Lawrenceville
California Seniors Care
Care and Comfort at Home for Seniors and Veterans
Cathleen Naughton Associates
ComForcare Home Care - SW Chicago
Comfort Keepers  - Reading
Comfort Keepers - Altamonte Springs / Orlando
Comfort Keepers - Bloomfield
Comfort Keepers - Dunedin
Comfort Keepers - Flagstaff
Comfort Keepers - Grayslake
Comfort Keepers - Inveress
Comfort Keepers - Santa Fe
Comfort Keepers - Secaucus
Compass Care
Compassionate Home Caregivers
Continuing Life
Continuity Care Home Nurses
CSS Home Care
Foothill Home Care Partners
Geriatric Care Management Assoc. LLC
Help At Home Senior Services
Hibernian Home Care
Home Care Assistance of St. Louis
Home Companion Solutions
Home Helpers - Alpharetta
Home Helpers - Newnan
Home Instead Senior Care  - Ocala
Home Instead Senior Care  - Whittier
Home Instead Senior Care - Birmingham
Home Instead Senior Care - Central Dallas
Home Instead Senior Care - Chicago
Home Instead Senior Care - Houston
Home Instead Senior Care - Las Cruces
Home Instead Senior Care - Peru  
Home Instead Senior Care - Santa Clarita /Antelope Valley
Home Instead Senior Care - Skokie
Home Instead Senior Care - Tolland
Home Instead Senior Care - Wesley Chapel
Homewatch Caregivers of Los Angeles, South Bay & The San Fernando Valley
Housen Homecare, Inc.
Loving Hearts Private Care Inc.
Lutheran Social Services 
MyLife Home Healthcare
Porter Hills Home Care
Right at Home - Central Texas
Right at Home - Coastal Orange County
Right at Home - Fox Valley & Chicago Southwest Suburbs
Right at Home - La Jolla
Right at Home - Santa Clara
Right at Home - Sonoma County
Right at Home -Bellingham
Right Choice Personal Assistance
RISE, Inc.
Senior Helpers - Greenacres
Senior Helpers - Lexington
Senior Helpers - Rogers
Senior Helpers - Tampa
Senior Helpers - Tarpon Springs
Senior Helpers- Boston
Senior Helpers- North Bay
Senior Home Care - Tucson
Seniors In Place, LLC
SILVERcare
Southern Crescent Care
Spoon River Home Health Services, Inc.
Synergy HomeCare of the Emerald Coast
Tender Care 
Visiting Angels - Sunnyvale

Associate Members 

HealthMEDX
Yadkin Bank
Capitol Marketing Concepts
Littler
ProAction Insurance Services, Inc.
Symmetry Consulting


Home Care Association of America
444 North Capitol Street NW, Ste. 397
Washington, DC 20001
info@hcaoa.org