What We Hear: Is NAHC really on your side?

In November’s edition, we provided a fair and honest review of NAHC’s 2014 annual meeting in Phoenix.  To many who attended, the meeting was deemed to be not worth the expense of the trip and conference fee.

With shrinking reimbursement due to Obamacare, many agencies must question whether or not such membership with NAHC is worth the investment.  As the full effect of Obamacare is coming into play in 2015 with reimbursement that continues to decline, you have to wonder – is NAHC looking out for you or does it have other interests?

Since our last publication in November, we have spoken to many readers who all expressed similar concerns about NAHC’s support for a law that is potentially going to put their agency out of business.  It’s pretty clear that NAHC was a champion of, and is on record as expressing joy for the passage of Obamacare in 2010.  But as NAHC began to provide its own analysis of the effects Obamacare, they should have recognized the potential dangers for many agencies.

There is also a bigger issue at play regarding membership within NAHC.  It seems that NAHC is more than willing to take the membership dues from for-profit, locally owned agencies, yet their focus is on making sure non-profit agencies have the tools and resources to succeed.

If NAHC is taking your membership fees and is supposed to be working for you, what is it really doing?  Well, we did some research and reviewed NAHC’s tax return for 2013 which is legal as NAHC is a non-profit, member-sponsored industry group. The data obtained from the tax return is quite interesting.

NAHC should be a non-political organization that represents all members regardless of their political affiliation. However, in 2013, NAHC felt it was prudent to contribute $25,000 of member fees to the Clinton Foundation to support the general operations of the organization.  (Sch. I, Form 990, 2013.)  During our research we were reminded of how much NAHC really does love the Clintons, as evidenced by their paying the former President $225,000 in 2008 for a speaking engagement.  (CBS News, Fox News, Huffington Post.)  NAHC never made a public announcement of their 2013 donation to the Clinton Foundation, but on May 20, 2014 issued a press release about the President and NAHC Executive Committee having the ‘pleasure’ of dining with President Clinton.

To be fair and transparent, we went back and reviewed some earlier NAHC tax returns.  During that review, we didn’t notice any NAHC love for Bush-related initiatives or Republican causes. Republican legislators also equally support and understand the importance of home health as well.

Two employees of NAHC in top leadership positions earned over $1 million combined.  The next five employees, based on earnings, received an additional $1 million combined.  Here is the kicker, 3 out of 7 of those employees are related (Sch. J, Part II, 2013 Form 990).  The CEO also gets to fly in first class on membership dues when ‘no other seats are available’ (Sch. J, Part III, 2013 Form 990).  We are pretty sure that most major airlines have coach seats available and fly out of both Washington airports, but that could just be our ability to use online booking features of all major airlines when planning a trip.  Hey, at least it doesn’t seem that NAHC is paying for the CEO’s wife to accompany him on official organization business anymore.  The last disclosure was included in 2012’s tax return (Sch. J, Part III, 2012 Form 990).

As your renewal notices and applications come in the mail for 2015 – think about where your $1,000 or $2,000 or even $10,000 in dues could be better spent.  This isn’t an attack on the organization, but a buyer-beware alert to think about who is really looking out for your agency.  Times have changed and, unfortunately, not for the better.

We have placed a link on our website to GuideStar.org, the leading and prominent organization that collects and makes available non-profit tax returns.  If you want to make a donation, make it to GuideStar so we can continue to get the information to make informed decisions about organizations that are supposed to working for us, not themselves.  – HHT