Jason Lee is joining the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA) at a pivotal time for the personal home care industry.
Lee kicked off his first week of work at the association last week. There are many goals he’s set for himself and his team in the near-term future, but first, he had to get his feet underneath him.
To do that, he’s taking in as much as possible from those that have been through it all in the industry. That includes Vicki Hoak, the former CEO of HCAOA, who announced she would be leaving the association in April. Lee – who most recently worked in the dental industry – spent hours asking Hoak questions during the last week of September.
“I’ve been incredibly impressed by the team – their creativity, their thoughtfulness,” Lee told Home Health Care News. “Now, I’m trying to start my listening tour. I’ve been reaching out to our various board members – I’ve obviously been working with the staff – and then I’ll expand that reach out to key partners, state chapters and home-based care organizations.”
Based in Washington, D.C., HCAOA is comprised of over 3,500 home care organizations.
On Lee’s end, he has over 20 years of experience in advocacy and nonprofit management, according to the association. He was formerly the chief of staff and a senior advisor the president at the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). He also served as the chief advocacy and strategy officer at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and has worked on Capitol Hill, both on the House and Senate side.
Like many in the home care industry, Lee has experienced the value of home care services himself – both with his aging mother and his autistic younger brother.
“It was just a weird coincidence of me seeing the value of home care personally prior to even interviewing for this position,” Lee said. “Statistically, most people want to be at home, as opposed to going to a nursing home or elsewhere. And I’ve seen that personally, with my grandmother, in particular.”
During his “listening tour,” as he dubbed it, Lee is going to be finding out what’s most important to home care providers.
Afterward, the plan is to establish a roadmap on where HCAOA plans to go for its thousands of members.
For now, Lee already has a couple of strategic objectives in mind.
The first is better storytelling. That will include an explanation of the value of home care – to legislators, to American families, to payers.
But that storytelling needs to be backed up with expansive and actionable data, Lee said.
“We need to collect and refine the data that highlights the importance of home care,” he said, “So when we go to like a Capitol Hill, we can provide the anecdotal stories, the storytelling, but also back it up with the data that shows the positive impact home care has on families, for instance.”
Workforce initiatives are going to be front and center. Lee said that HCAOA wants to take some of the telling reports on workforce woes that have surfaced recently and make their findings actionable.
“The workforce is such an important thing, and we need to grow it,” he said. “We were seeing a dearth of care workers even before the pandemic. And now, it’s only increased in importance.”
HCAOA is also going to be delving into artificial intelligence on behalf of the providers it works with.
Home care leaders want to know what they should or shouldn’t be doing in the world of AI, and Lee sees that as an area where the association can step in.
“We’ve heard from members that they want to know about the implications of AI, so I think that will be really important,” he said.
The home care industry is a fragmented one. Providers’ wish lists differ by state, especially because the roadmaps for home care in each state vary.
That makes HCAOA’s job harder, but it’s also one of the issues it wants to try to figure out.
But, ultimately, its goal is to get as many providers on the same page so the industry can move forward successfully and sustainably.
“All those are things that we’re going to look at over this next year,” Lee said. “And we’re going to continue to enhance the relationships with our chapters and the alignment with the state associations down there, making sure that we’re in sync and working well together.”