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Leading Home Care Into the Future at the 2014 HCAOA Leadership Conference

By Stephen TweedHCAOA

As you read this, I’m winging my way back to Louisville from Kansas City where I have been attending the annual leadership conference of the Home Care Association of America.

(Tomorrow at 8:00 am, I’m back on a plane for Beijing China, but that’s another article for another day.)

Being with HCAOA in KC brings back fond memories of the very first conference ten years ago in Kansas City. I was honored to present the opening keynote speech for that first annual meeting. After speaking, I facilitated a round table discussion on what the members wanted from their association.

Number one on the list was Industry Benchmarks.  It took five years until 2009 to make that happen as we conducted the first ever private duty benchmarking study.  Today, through the cooperation of HCAOA and Home Care Pulse, we have access to amazing benchmark data.  I carry my copy of the 2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study with me everywhere when I’m speaking around the US and Canada.

Another topic on that list from that original conference was “information on industry trends”.  Well there are a number of trends your association has been tracking. One of those trends is healthcare reform and the impact of the employer mandate on home care companies.

A Pre-conference on Industry Trends

On Sunday of this week, during the Pre-conference workshop, we had a full day of studying trends and exploring action steps.  First, Peter Ross, the President, and Phil Bongiorno, the new Executive Director of HCAOA gave us an update on the state of the industry and the association.

Then I was asked to present an overview of the employer mandate and facilitate a discussion by a panel of leading home care company owners.  I was delighted to have as panelists Peter Ross, CEO of Navigating the FOG - PanelSenior Helpers Franchising, Tom Knox, CEO of Seniorcorp, and Angela Landmesser, CMO for Partners in Senior Care. They gave us a terrific perspective on the options for addressing the Employer Mandate under the Affordable Care Act.

After lunch, we held another panel discussion on the changes in Department of Labor Rules regarding overtime and the federal companionship exemption.  The short of it is that all agencies will have to pay overtime for home care workers who work more than 40 hours per week.  The panel consisted of Andy Tysinger, COO of SeniorCorp; Jake Fackrell, CEO of Alta Home Care, and Angie Landmesser.  They gave us very specific information on how they are handling overtime.  Angie and her company have been paying overtime in Illinois for a number of years.  Jake’s company is in California where the state raised the minimum wage and implemented overtime this past year.  Andy described how his company is dealing with overtime in Virginia, and described a new online system called Care Family which allows an agency to use caregivers who become employees of the family to do live-in care.

The closing presentation by Bob King from Legally Nannies gave us a more detailed explanation of the legal issues around the overtime rules.

 What are the leaders doing?

 As members look at industry benchmarks and industry trends, a natural follow up question is, “what are the industry leaders doing”?

To address this question, we put together a presentation and panel discussion on “Lessons from the Home Care Mega Companies.”  This program explored six lessons learned from a Mastermind Group of companies that generate over $5 million in annual revenue, which puts them in the top 5% of companies in the industry.

The lessons we discussed were:Mastermind Panel

1.  Have a huge vision

2.  Be a systems thinker

3.  Try lots of new things

4.  Recognize there is a season for everything

5.  Hire a COO

6.  Measure everything

There were several other terrific general sessions and breakout presentations with great information to help you get ready for the future.  The presentations I heard that were most meaningful were:

  •  Donald Cooper – “Winning the Talent War”
  •  Billy Riggs – “Presto Chango! Making Change a Positive Magical Experience
  • Christina Chartrand – Guidelines to Providing Excellent Training
  • Aaron Marcum – Running a Home Care Business that Doesn’t Run You
  • Jeff Salter – The Amplification Effect: Combining Systems and Leadership
  • Mary Schantz – Collaborative Ideas for State-based Improvement in the Private Duty Industry

Is it worthwhile to be a member of a home care association?

I speak with thousands of home care company owners, CEOs, and administrators each year through our workshops, seminars, web conferences, and speaking engagements.  One of the questions I am frequently asked is about the value of membership in a home care association.

My answer is that associations are the grass roots of home care in America.  The true leaders in our industry are members of, and active in, their state and national associations.  I’ve been an active associate member of HCAOA and a participant in the annual conference since the association was formed.  I’d encourage you to become a member and get involved.


Become a Member Today!



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