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The HCAOA Weekly is a brief update that will be distributed to HCAOA members each week. This communication complements our quarterly newsletter, The Voice, and will provide a vehicle for ensuring a regular flow of information on a more frequent basis. With ever evolving information in the home care industry, we want to ensure the lines of communication remain open and members have a source for quick, valuable news at their fingertips.
Table of Contents

Member News

Chapter News

Congressional Update

Congressional Corne

Member News

Survey for the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study

In partnership with Home Care Pulse®, HCAOA is proud to invite all home care providers to participate in the annual survey to contribute data to the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study. By participating, you will receive a discount code upon completing the survey that you can use to pre-order the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study for just $99.

The survey opens on February 1, 2018 and will close on February 28, 2018. To participate, download the Survey Prep Worksheet to help you gather and organize the necessary information. With a completed Survey Prep Worksheet, the survey can be taken in about 30 minutes. 

This study continues to deliver the most comprehensive U.S. home care industry data available to current and potential home care providers. Your participation helps contribute to the greater depth of insight and understanding this study provides. To learn more about participation and rewards, visit

How Can You Help Families with Funeral Planning?

By Rachel Zeldin, Founder and CEO of Funerals360 – Online Funeral Planning
Funeral planning can be challenging at the best of times – and there really is no “best of times” when a family is in need. Prices are non-transparent and often bundled, which can challenge families in planning the services they need versus what the funeral home wants.
Furthermore, because most funeral homes do not openly publish their prices, consumers can’t easily compare prices between funeral homes in their area.
I’ve had personal experience with this after my great uncle and grandfather died in the same year. At a very emotional time, my family and I felt helpless and uninformed. We couldn’t find any online resources to help us choose a funeral provider, or even to get an idea of pricing. We wound up finding our provider after a dozen phone calls and a lot of note taking, which took days to sort out.
I quickly learned that this is not an uncommon experience. With such a clear consumer need, why were there so few online resources? That’s why I decided to found – a family friendly resource and marketplace that allows consumers to find, price compare, and shop for funeral services – item by item – in a way that serves immediate and future needs.
Best Practices
For those in home care, supporting families during the funeral planning process is not uncommon. That’s why I wanted to share the 5 best practices that I’ve found to be most helpful. Sharing these with families in need can be an impactful way to extend your support and goodwill during the most difficult of times.
  1. Plan Ahead​! It’s far easier to think clearly when you have the time and emotional capacity to discuss your preferences, or those of your loved one, ahead of time. Write them down and keep them in a safe place. To help guide you through these decisions, we offer ​My Funeral Wishes​, a free editable and shareable pre-planning resource on our website.
  2. Pre-Plan, but don’t Pre-Pay​. Pre-paying for services locks you into one provider. Instead, estimate the cost of the funeral and put the money aside in a Payable-On-Death (POD) bank account with a joint account holder. When the time comes, this will give you the flexibility of spending the money how and where your family wishes. This is especially helpful if disposition preferences change (burial to cremation), you move to a new area, or the funeral home goes out of business or is taken over by new management.
  3. Shop Around. ​There is no shame in shopping for a funeral in the same way you would for any other major purchase. Direct cremation service costs can be as low as $600 – but we’ve seen them well over $3,000 in the same area!

    Be sure to compare itemized price lists (found on a “General Price List” or “GPL”) of 3-5 providers, to ensure that you aren’t paying too much for a particular set of services. At​, we have thousands of prices listed on our site, searchable by zip code.
  4. Embalming is NOT Required. ​ Embalming, a temporary (and expensive) form of preservation, is almost never required. This is especially the case if you are planning a simple burial or cremation. Instead, opt for an alternative like refrigeration – which is equally effective, natural, and not harmful to the embalmer, environment, or your pocketbook.
  5. Opt for a Memorial Service Elsewhere. ​If cremation is the preferred method of disposition and you would like to have a service, opt for a location outside the funeral home. There is no need to pay the funeral home for use of its time a space – you can have a memorial service (with ashes present) or celebration of life (no ashes present) anytime and anywhere you choose.
Do you have tips that you’d like share? What’s been challenging or helpful to your families when it comes to funeral planning? We’d like to collect and share your experiences for a future article. Email us at ​​ to share your story.
Chapter News

HCAOA Kansas: Meeting Tomorrow

HCAOA Kansas is planning a meeting tomorrow, January 11. Join in person or via phone! Connect with other Kansas home care providers and discuss issues facing the industry and goals for HCAOA Kansas:
Date: Thursday, January 11
Time: 9:30 am – 11 am
Location: A Helping Hand Home Care | 1425 Oread West Street, Suite 103, Lawrence, KS 66049
Or join via phone, using the number below:
  • United States: +1 (646) 749-3131
  • Access Code: 450-984-821
Please register ahead of time.
Click HERE to register

HCAOA Illinois: Membership Meeting Next Week

HCAOA Illinois will be hosting a special membership meeting next week. Please encourage home care providers to attend and learn more about all of the great work HCAOA Illinois is doing.
Date: Tuesday, January 16
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: Wilder Mansion, 211 S. Prospect Avenue, Elmhurst, IL 60126
Cost: Free!
Click HERE to register!

HCAOA California: Meeting Next Week

Please join HCAOA California for a meeting to be held in Southern California next week.
Date: Wednesday, January 17
Time: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm (Pacific Time)
Location: DoubleTree Suites | 2085 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92802
Cost: $50 for members, $100 for non-members
Please be sure to register ahead of time, so that we have an accurate headcount.
In this meeting, we will celebrate numerous victories from 2017:
  • Defeat of AB 1513
  • Negotiation of reduced Department of Social Services (DSS) fees, saving licensed agencies and caregivers close to $2.2 million in fees 
  • Discussions with organized labor regarding planned legislation
  • Monthly calls with DSS management
  • Interaction with the chief officer of the Employment Development Department
  • Multiple ongoing discussions with Gov. Brown's staff
  • Collection and communication of feedback from DSS about the audits they have conducted
Speakers will include:
  • Trevor O'Neil, Co-Chair, HCAOA California
  • Tony Gonzalez, Lobbyist, London & Gonzalez Advocacy
  • Phil Bongiorno, Executive Director, HCAOA
  • Bob King, Attorney, Legally Nanny 
Furthermore, we will discuss plans for 2018.
Click HERE to register!

HCAOA Florida: Legislative Day

HCAOA Florida will be hosting a Legislative Day in Tallahassee. Please join us for this opportunity to interact with our Florida legislative representatives!
When: Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Where: Comfort Suites Tallahassee | 1026 Apalachee Pkwy, Tallahassee, FL 
Please note: Hotel reservations should be made immediately.
Prior to this event, please join us at the following meeting to discuss our Legislative Day talking points:
When: Monday, January 22, 2018 at 7:00 PM
Where: Backwoods Bistro | 401 E Tennessee St. | Tallahassee, FL | 850-320-6345
Each attendee is encouraged to call the representatives in your service area and schedule appointments to meet with them on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. We are also working to set up meetings with committee chairmen for the bills that we are concerned with this legislative session.
  • The first bill on which we are focused will expand the scope of hospice and allow them to include private duty services without obtaining a home health agency license or become a nurse registry.
  • The second bill will allow local governments (city and county) to set up registries for home care providers. This will result in more expenses for our caregivers and potentially provide unions with access to our caregiver pool. 
Click HERE to register!
Congressional Update

Labor Department Issues Proposed Rule on Association Health Plans

On January 5, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs). The proposed rule would allow small business owners to join together through associations to purchase affordable health insurance. This follows a White House Executive Order issued last fall, setting forth a directive to allow small business owners to join together through associations to buy affordable health insurance.
Under current law, large companies are generally exempt from state insurance regulations, allowing them to provide the same insurance coverage to all of their employees, but small businesses are limited to policies that meet the standards of their home states. The Labor Department says the proposal could benefit up to 11 million people who are self-employed or work for small businesses but don't have employer coverage. The regulation could give businesses more options.
Since the Executive Order was issued last fall, HCAOA has been in preliminary discussions with a broker to develop an AHP that could be utilized by our members to provide affordable health care coverage to their caregivers and other employees. There is a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule. HCAOA is reviewing the rule for possible comment and awaits the final rule to be issued by the DOL that would set the final requirements, structure for AHPs.

RAISE Act for Family Caregivers

On January 8, the Senate passed H.R.3759, which will establish a coordinated strategy to support family caregivers. Their bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and sustain a strategy to recognize and support the more than 40 million family caregivers in the United States.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) championed this legislation in the Senate. The bill was championed in the House by Rep. Greg Harper (R-MS), Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Michelle (D-NM), and Rep. Elise Stefanik, Elise M. (R-NY).
Congressional Corner

Rep. Greg Harper (R-MS)

First elected in 2008, Harper is a mainstream conservative Republican who generally votes in sync with party leadership on big issues. He’s a member of the Republican Study Committee, the largest grouping of conservative House Republicans, and at times has been critical of the smaller, more conservative House Freedom Caucus.
After earning a law degree from the University of Mississippi, he practiced law, acting as prosecuting attorney for the cities of Brandon and Richland, just east of Jackson, MS. Harper played key roles in the political campaigns of former Rep. Charles Pickering Jr. Rep. Pickering served 12 years in the House, and Harper jumped into the 2008 election battle when Pickering announced his retirement. He won the Republican nomination in a runoff election. In the heavily Republican district, Harper has breezed to easy victories in primary and general elections.

Home Care Association of America
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