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The ongoing merger between two of the largest home care and hospice advocacy organizations is making significant progress, and its leaders discussed new and upcoming action items in a first-ever joint “town hall” meeting Wednesday afternoon. 

For the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, key priorities include overseeing the selection of a transition board, creating advance definitive agreements, ensuring overall synergy between the two organizations and gathering stakeholder input, NAHC’s board chair Ken Albert said during the town hall.

“We’re working with legal counsel to finalize all of the closing documents that are necessary to make this merger come to fruition,” Albert said in an interview with McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. “We are preparing the transition board and creating the governance environment so that when the transition board takes seat, it will be able to govern immediately.”

Once these plans are laid and an adequate governance structure is established, the yet-unnamed new organization will be positioned for a seamless launch. But part of that process involves the search for a leader; Albert noted that this process entered its early stages in November.

“Identifying job descriptions and characteristics and quality of the next CEO, that is all going on in the background,” he noted. “I think the actual search process will begin in the new year, once we know once we have full legal authority to initiate that process.”

Definitive agreements are expected to be signed by the end of 2023, and the two organizations hope to begin consolidated operations in July 2024, according to a timeline presented during Wednesday’s town hall. While nothing is yet certain, progress “is looking very, very promising,” Albert said during the meeting.

He noted that the merger represents an opportunity to create a unified voice of advocacy for home care and hospice stakeholders, and both NAHC and NHPCO hope to serve providers, patients and all other stakeholders in a meaningful way.

“It’s exciting, right?” Albert said. “Because at the end of the day, the people that benefit are the recipients of care, patients and their families.”