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October 8, 2018

Leadership Takes Center Stage at Opening of 2018 Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo

The theme of the 2018 Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo in Grapevine, Texas is Authentic Leadership and the meeting began on Sunday, October 7, with a four-hour pre-conference on women in leadership entitled Leading Gracefully: How to Own Your Strengths for More Impact, moderated by Monique Tallon, an expert on female leadership and inclusion.

“How do we as female leaders step into our own authentic leadership ability?” asked Ms. Tallon. “Conventional wisdom tells us if we work hard and put our head down it’s enough. Unfortunately, that is not true.” As Ms. Tallon pointed out “ninety-five percent of the Fortune 100 CEOs are men. There are more CEOs named John than female CEOs.”

Part of the problem is that women too often do not believe in themselves. “Imposter syndrome is a struggle for women, no matter where they are in their careers.” Ms. Tallon urged women to trust themselves and to build their self-confidence.

Women must find a way to get their voices heard, said Ms. Tallon and she cited an example from her career at EBay. She scheduled a meeting with an executive to go over a project, but when she arrived for the meeting, the executive asked her who she was and why she was there because he had never heard of her. After that, Ms. Tallon made it a point to be more visible in the workplace and encouraged other women to do the same.

“Be humble,” Ms. Tallon said, but not so humble that you don’t get noticed.

A significant number of attendees at the conference have never attended the NAHC October meeting before – according to one informal poll, about 40 percent were new this year – so NAHC welcomed them by hosting a First-Timers Reception on Sunday morning, which attracted a large crowd that dined on light snacks and met with NAHC President William A. Dombi and NAHC Chair of the Board Denise Schrader.

The bulk of the First-Timers Reception was given over to networking, as new attendees met each other and built up their list of valuable contacts in the industry.

The creation NAHC 2.0, a leaner and more efficient and effective trade association to represent home care and hospice patients and providers, has been a work in progress for the past year, involving countless hours of work and reflection, as well as discussions with industry stakeholders on what they need from NAHC.

NAHC President Bill Dombi took the stage on Sunday afternoon to update attendees on the considerable progress made by NAHC since the death of its founder, Val Halamandaris, in late July 2017. The strategic planning and board restructuring are complete and business partners are being integrated into the board.

NAHC 2.0 is a cultural transformation to turn NAHC into a member-owned, member-driven organization, emphasizing member participation and collaboration with other industry stakeholders to strengthen the industry and allow it to amplify its power by speaking with one voice on key issues. This process has already yielded a number of important victories for home health and hospice providers and their patients, including, in 2018 alone:

  • Home Health Groupings Model detoured;
  • Medicaid Community First Choice funding
  • Home health rural add-on preserved;
  • Hospice Notice of Elections simplified; and
  • Administrative burden reductions.

These policy successes amount to savings of almost $29 billion over the next decade for home health and hospice.

In addition, the creation of NAHC 2.0 has made the entire organization stronger, with unnecessary appendages – such as under-used, but valuable real estate in Washington, D.C. – sold off and other key indicators improving, in the areas of:

  • Membership;
  • Conference attendance;
  • Overhead costs reduced; and
  • Safety fund from real estate sales.

The home health and hospice community clearly faces challenges, but also great opportunities. As Mr. Dombi explained, focus on community-based care is at an all-time high and new payment and service models are expanding access to home care. Technological innovations promise further improvements in service and efficiency. Finally, demographics favor home health and hospice, with the “silver tsunami” of Baby Boomers swelling the ranks of Medicare, Medicaid, home health, and hospice. (See NAHC Report for more on this.)

Challenges remain for home health and hospice, particularly workforce shortages, tight payment rates, managed care growth, and new competition. However, with NAHC now stronger and smarter than ever – and making valuable new investments in staff and technology – we are better-prepared to meet these challenges than ever before.

That’s the promise of NAHC 2.0 and we see it coming to fruition before our eyes.