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FAQ - General 

Q: What is IHCA?

A: IHCA stands for the Independent Home Care Alliance. Basically, we are a group of independent home care owners and independent home care leaders who wanted to cooperatively share best practices and other information in a closed community of our peers. We work together to improve the experiences of independent home care owners, their employees, and their clientele alike.


Q: How could I benefit from joining the IHCA network?

A: IHCA is driven by the conversations and best practices of all of our participants. This means that we are highly engaged in the services and relationships we foster.  Agencies who join the IHCA network will have access to many benefits like established best practices, group discounts, curated vendors, performance coaching, operations support, and many more. 


Q: How can my agency show our connection to the IHCA network?

A: IHCA participating agencies will be provided with a digital seal of membership to display on their website, online accounts, email signatures, and printed material. A physical certificate will be sent to the agency to display, along with collateral material which can be included in information packets to assist the agency in explaining the added value their agency can provide because of both their independent status and IHCA membership. Our alliance will help independent agencies to stand out and compete in the home care marketplace.


Q: Is this a National or State Association?

A: No, we are an Alliance. We have no intention to create an Association, but the general use of the words “association” and “alliance” can be confusing at first because the words seem similar. At its basic level, our intent is to focus on joining hands with as many of the ~14k independent home care agencies nationally as we can, to give ourselves a competitive edge by standardizing operations, and to create cooperative operations to run more effective and profitable organizations wherever possible. IHCA seeks to partner with many of these associations and has already partnered with the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA), in an effort to increase national participation and industry knowledge amongst independent home care owners. Associations like HCAOA serve many functions, but one specific example is their work in advocacy through lobbying and policy focused around laws and rules. IHCA will encourage our members to join these organizations to continue those critical tasks, but will not overlap or duplicate. 


Q: Is this for Home Health and Hospice agencies? 

A: Not at this time. Our focus is on non-skilled home care agencies around the nation. Although some of our members may offer other service lines, we find that the majority of our prospective members are providing non-skilled care only. Language in the industry using the term “Home Care” makes this confusing, but it is becoming increasingly common to identify skilled care as “Home Health” and non-skilled care as “Home Care”. 


Q: Are all independent home care agencies eligible to join IHCA?

A: Yes. To clarify, being an independent non-skilled agency is one of the requirements. IHCA has a vetting process to ensure our participants are meeting minimum standards. Our goal is to identify and represent the highest quality agencies and develop an elite network.


Q: Why is IHCA launching at this time? 

A: Our founder, along with many engaged owners, operators, and leaders, finds that current and future threats to independent home care are reaching all-time highs. The number of agencies dissolving, underperforming, losing market share, and falling prey to new “disruptors” is deeply concerning. The sole intent of the alliance is to focus on supporting independents so that they survive and thrive as true competitors in the home care industry.


Q: If I become a member of IHCA, should I still participate in or join State and National Associations? 

A: Yes! IHCA cannot state strongly enough how important it is to continue or start memberships in state and national associations. In fact, we will push strongly for our members not participating in their state or national organizations to do so, with discounts and other potential benefits for anyone who shows their association membership to us. See “How We Partner With State Associations” and “How We Partner With National Associations” for more information. 


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FAQ & How We Partner With State Associations

Q: How does IHCA generally feel about existing state associations? Does IHCA even understand exactly what state associations do? 

A: Our founder has been intensely involved with the Tennessee Association for Home Care for well over a decade. He has served on their board for many years, even in the position of President. He continues to participate with the TAHC and maintains that strong partnerships with state associations are critical to the future of IHCA. The intent is collaboration⁠—not competition⁠—with state associations. 


Q: Will IHCA build state chapters? 

A: No. We find that most states have a representation of home care in some capacity. Collaboration is our first and primary goal with existing organizations. Many existing associations have deep rooted advocacy, lobbying, and education programs that cater to specific regional needs. IHCA will encourage our participants to join and actively participate in those state associations to further strengthen all of home care (skilled and non-skilled alike).


Q: Will IHCA hurt our membership?

A: No. In fact, we’re hoping to help the membership of state and national associations by offering discounts to the IHCA network if they are a member of an existing association. We also intend to provide more information and PR regarding state and national associations to our network. Many state associations have industry knowledge regarding their state-specific laws and rules, which is invaluable and foolish for IHCA to attempt to replace. In our IHCA network, we will make every effort to have our participants join and participate on state committees. 


Q: Our state association has historically focused on Home Health and Hospice. How can IHCA partner with us to help in the area of non-skilled home care? 

A: We often hear from members of IHCA that they do not feel totally represented by a home health-centric state association. When partnered with IHCA, state associations will benefit because we offer content-specific workshops and other guidance to assist associations in building stronger relationships with their home care members. 


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FAQ & How We Partner With National Associations

Q: Will IHCA hurt our membership? 

A: No. In fact, we’re hoping to help the membership of national associations by offering discounts to the IHCA network if they are a member of an existing association. We also intend to provide more information and PR regarding national and state associations to our network. We are excited to say that we have already formed a partnership with the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA), and we look forward to fostering relationships with other national associations in the future. National associations do tremendous advocacy work by lobbying for changes in governmental regulations, all while keeping their membership updated on important legal changes in the industry. We have every intention to encourage our network to join and participate in these national associations, in order to improve the overall landscape and professionalism of home care. National associations have industry knowledge regarding laws and rules, which is invaluable and foolish for IHCA to attempt to replace. If an IHCA network participant is not a current member of a national association, we will make every effort to have them join and participate on national committees. 


Q: Does IHCA have a preferred National Association they partner with?

A: No. We want to work with any organizations who are willing to collaborate with us, add value to the IHCA member experience, and advance the future of high quality home care. We are excited to say that we have already developed a partnership with the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA), but we look forward to any opportunity to partner with other national associations.


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FAQ & How We Partner With Home Health & Hospice

Q: Does IHCA generally view Home Health and Hospice favorably? 

A: Yes! IHCA recognizes that the top referral sources for non-skilled agencies around the nation tend to be Home Health and Hospice in their communities. We feel we are all stronger when we work together. 


Q: Is this for Home Health and Hospice agencies? 

A: Not at this time. Our focus is on non-skilled home care agencies around the nation. Although some of our members may offer other service lines, we find that the majority of our prospective members are providing non-skilled care only. Language in the industry using the term “Home Care” makes this confusing, but it is becoming increasingly common to identify skilled care as “Home Health” and non-skilled care as “Home Care”. 


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FAQ - Franchises

Q: Is IHCA “anti-franchise”? 

A: No. We are simply passionate about our model of business called “independent”. We gladly join hands with franchises in efforts to serve the growing demand for home care, and already work closely with franchises in national associations. IHCA exists simply to provide independent home care owners with backend best practices, benefits, and supports that franchises can already access as part of their franchise system.


Q: Does IHCA feel franchises are lower quality than independents? 

A: No. Franchisors spend a lot of time and energy to develop and launch their franchisees with a knowledge of standardized operations and branding, as well as ongoing support at varying levels. Quality is a completely relative measurement where the business model, branding, or any other factor do not solely determine the quality of care in any single client’s experience. IHCA feels that delivering high quality care should be the goal of all agencies universally, regardless of franchise or independent status. 


Q: Will IHCA open its content and events to Franchises? 

A: No. Our content and events are reserved for independents only. Being an independent agency is a requirement of IHCA membership. 


Q: Does IHCA work with Franchises in any way?

A: Yes! We participate in state and national associations with both independent and franchise organizations, where all common members work toward a common goal of strengthening home care. 


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FAQ - Disruptors (Honor, HomeHero, etc)

Q: What is IHCA’s relationship with Honor, HomeHero, or other similar organizations? 

A: We have no relationship and reject their model of business. IHCA is focused on the preservation of Independent Home Care Agencies and feels these models of business are not beneficial to the future of home care. 









Contact

membership@indhca.org
(866) 246-3422
209 Ward Circle, #102, Brentwood, TN 37027 

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